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AT&T will allow out-of-contract customers to unlock their iPhone - Page 3

post #81 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

Great Time to buy a subsidized iPhone on AT&T, pay ETF and walk over to the t-mobile store to get a micro sim on a value plan! I know it's only going to be edge speeds.

Or just buy it full price and save the bother.

Full price 16gb iPhone 4s is $649 plus tax. Out the door it is unlocked and you never have to deal with AT&T for the unlock, for fees etc.

Subsidized iPhone is $199 plus tax (which in about five states is on the full price) plus $36 activation fee and a trip to AT&T to pay the $450 eft etc. and they might make you pay that first months charge on top of the non refundable activation fee.

So in Cali that's $705 and I'm ready to go from Apple to t-mobile or at least $741 and I have to deal with AT&T who I am trying to get away from.

Even outside of those five states the math doesn't add up. In Memphis where I just finished a job and bought my iPhone the sales tax is 9.25% for that 16gb phone. So full price that's $709 and I avoid AT&T or at least $703 and I have to talk to them.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #82 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by neosum View Post

You could use an unlocked phone on any GSM network that is supported by the phone, such as Tmobile and many of the smaller regional carriers. Being unlocked also adds to the phone's resale value.


But the iPhone doesn't support those other carriers. Their 3G iPhones don't work on 3G outside of AT&T. Good thing the US doesn't care about false advertising or Apple would be sued for calling these iPhones 3G.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Bad for APPLE...they will sell less new iPhones. If I can use my current iPhone on another carrier, I won't have to buy a new one.

Folks buy the phones for more reasons than the phone service

Quote:
Originally Posted by telemaque View Post

I.e. can someone without *any* AT&T account get their iPhone unlocked? The current language suggests that one has to be a customer.

probably not. After all AT&T legally only has to service their customers and likely will in this case. Besides which, if you have unlocked the phone via a jailbreak applied unlock you altered the firmware and the official unlock might not even work on your phone depending on what was altered

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #83 of 99
I have a long out of contract 3gs. I tried today to unlock the phone but was told by AT&T that since the phone was purchased at the apple store and not through them they could not provide the instructions to unlock the phone. I have filed a case with them and will wait for 5 days to hear something but was told by the AT&T rep that it is unlikely they will provide the info.

Outrageous.

Called Apple and the apple rep sent me to the AT&T web page that details their policy not to unlock iPhones.

It is all very confusing. I think i may write to my congressional representatives and the FCC. Enough is enough. After three years the phone has long been paid off and now that is MY phone.

I have posted this comment elsewhere since i think all should know. Knowledge is power.
post #84 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Or just buy it full price and save the bother.

Full price 16gb iPhone 4s is $649 plus tax. Out the door it is unlocked and you never have to deal with AT&T for the unlock, for fees etc.

Subsidized iPhone is $199 plus tax (which in about five states is on the full price) plus $36 activation fee and a trip to AT&T to pay the $450 eft etc. and they might make you pay that first months charge on top of the non refundable activation fee.

So in Cali that's $705 and I'm ready to go from Apple to t-mobile or at least $741 and I have to deal with AT&T who I am trying to get away from.

Even outside of those five states the math doesn't add up. In Memphis where I just finished a job and bought my iPhone the sales tax is 9.25% for that 16gb phone. So full price that's $709 and I avoid AT&T or at least $703 and I have to talk to them.

I never understood the appeal of leasing or buying on consignment or buying a phone on contract. The person always, always gets screwed in the end. If you don't have the money to buy what you want then save until you can, never take the shortcut. If I was in the states I would probably get a new Nokia 900 with LTE for $450 off contract.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #85 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I never understood the appeal of leasing or buying on consignment or buying a phone on contract. The person always, always gets screwed in the end. If you don't have the money to buy what you want then save until you can, never take the shortcut. If I was in the states I would probably get a new Nokia 900 with LTE for $450 off contract.

In this scenario are looking it from the average American's usage pattern where this off contract device would be used entirely in the US for at least 1.5 years?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #86 of 99
Every year, as Apple launches a new phone, it makes sense for a US customer to pay an ETF on his current phone, get it officially unlocked, and sell the phone for $400-$500 on eBay. That money would more than cover the ETF plus the $200 to buy the new phone.

The prices of these used phones would shoot up, because these phones would now be attractive in markets like India and China. A new iPhone 4 with 8GB Flash is available in India for Rs 37,000/-, which is $720. Most Indians would happily buy an officially unlocked iPhone 4 with 16GB flash for $500, if it is in decent condition.

The trouble is, this is the sort of move that could depress the sales of new phones a little bit in markets outside of the US - because more people could consider officially unlocked phones. But would likely be compensated for, by increased sales of the new phones in the US.
post #87 of 99
It ought to be illegal to lock phones in the first place. Just because I have a contract to pay company X for their lousy service for 3 years shouldn't prohibit me from using my phone with company Y. Its not like company X couldn't sue me if I didn't pay their bill.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been used to block consumers from exercising their rights to use the phones that they purchase as they see fit and AT&T thinks that they are doing you a favour by letting you use the phone that you paid for on a different network? Why is this law a one way street?

Government in the United States and elsewhere have allowed big companies to block our rights at every turn. The cell providers have their lobbyists, but who is looking out for consumers?
post #88 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I never understood the appeal of leasing or buying on consignment or buying a phone on contract. The person always, always gets screwed in the end. If you don't have the money to buy what you want then save until you can, never take the shortcut. If I was in the states I would probably get a new Nokia 900 with LTE for $450 off contract.

Do you know of any phone service providers that charge a lower rate if you provide your own phone? I don't. You're not really getting your phone subsidized by the phone company if you're not paying extra to "lease" or "buy on contract". What you are doing if you don't is paying an extra $400 for the right to use your phone with whatever provider you choose.

This isn't about leasing or buying on consignment. Its a criminal conspiracy in restraint of trade and the U.S. government should be pursuing criminal rackateering charges against the cell phone providers and Apple and other companies that insist on locking phones.
post #89 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcr View Post

So... I walk into the ATT store and they do this for me? Or, I still have to do it the old fashioned way. If the phone is out of contract it has nothing to do with ATT. So unless they are offering the service, what has actually changed?

The thing that has changed is the very fact that AT&T is agreeing to offer the service.

Remember, Apple maintains a record of all iPhones and their carrier-locking status. The last thing they heard about your iPhone was the fact that it was locked to AT&T. Until they hear differently, they will continue to assume that it it locked to AT&T. In order for that to change, Apple needs to be told that it has been authorized to be unlocked from AT&T. So, even though you may have terminated your business relationship with AT&T as soon as your contract expired, the fact remains that as far as Apple is concerned, the iPhone itself is still tied to AT&T, and AT&T is the only entity they'll believe to tell them otherwise.

It will not be an instant transaction. Unlike most other cell phones, the iPhone doesn't have anything like a magic code they can punch into the iPhone keypad and immediately unlock it.

Instead, the iPhone's unlocking process will follow a trail of paperwork from AT&T back to Apple's back-office, where Apple will confirm that AT&T has authorized the unlock, and then Apple will update their database of iPhone serial numbers (IMEIs) to flag the fact that your iPhone is no longer carrier locked.

Then, the next time you sync your iPhone with iTunes, it will "phone home", contacting Apple's servers over the Internet. Apple will respond that the phone is no longer locked -- and presto! Your iPhone will not be locked anymore. You'll also get a "Congratulations" dialog box confirming the fact.
post #90 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

It will not be an instant transaction. Unlike most other cell phones, the iPhone doesn't have anything like a magic code they can punch into the iPhone keypad and immediately unlock it.

Instead, the iPhone's unlocking process will follow a trail of paperwork from AT&T back to Apple's back-office, where Apple will confirm that AT&T has authorized the unlock, and then Apple will update their database of iPhone serial numbers (IMEIs) to flag the fact that your iPhone is no longer carrier locked.

Then, the next time you sync your iPhone with iTunes, it will "phone home", contacting Apple's servers over the Internet. Apple will respond that the phone is no longer locked -- and presto! Your iPhone will not be locked anymore. You'll also get a "Congratulations" dialog box confirming the fact.

My unlock was accomplished while on the phone with ATT this morning. I did a sync to one iphone while waiting for the tech rep to enter the info for the second one and when the sync was done I got the "congratulations your iphone is unlocked" message. All in less than half an hour including hold time.
post #91 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter212 View Post

I have a long out of contract 3gs. I tried today to unlock the phone but was told by AT&T that since the phone was purchased at the apple store and not through them they could not provide the instructions to unlock the phone. I have filed a case with them and will wait for 5 days to hear something but was told by the AT&T rep that it is unlikely they will provide the info.

Outrageous.

Called Apple and the apple rep sent me to the AT&T web page that details their policy not to unlock iPhones.

It is all very confusing. I think i may write to my congressional representatives and the FCC. Enough is enough. After three years the phone has long been paid off and now that is MY phone.

I have posted this comment elsewhere since i think all should know. Knowledge is power.

Please keep us posted -- obviously a high percentage of us have bought our AT&T phones directly from Apple -- it sounds like pure uniformed BS on AT&T's part, but hopefully this all gets resolved very soon.
post #92 of 99
. . . .
post #93 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I never understood the appeal of leasing or buying on consignment or buying a phone on contract. The person always, always gets screwed in the end. If you don't have the money to buy what you want then save until you can, never take the shortcut. If I was in the states I would probably get a new Nokia 900 with LTE for $450 off contract.

Well, at least in places where the carrier subsidizes a purchase, it makes sense to buy a phone with contract as long as you plan to keep the phone for the contract period anyhow. Naturally, you can buy a phone for full price but you will not get a discount from the carrier on your monthly fees compared to a customer who bought the phone under a contract. Hence, you pay several hundred dollars upfront for the freedom to cancel the contract at any time.
post #94 of 99
I have an iphone 4 that is not active, because i upgraded to the iphone 4s in nov. Can you unlock it when its not active? Just thought I would ask before I try calling att and wasting my time.
post #95 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkrunner1738 View Post

I have an iphone 4 that is not active, because i upgraded to the iphone 4s in nov. Can you unlock it when its not active? Just thought I would ask before I try calling att and wasting my time.

You cannot unlock it UNLESS it is inactive.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #96 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keda View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but what can you do with an unlocked phone?

Unlocked phones are used when:

1. You're traveling since it's cheaper to buy a prepaid (micro-)sim card which you can pop into the iPhone.
- Many cards offer good phone and/or data rates so you don't pay the exorbitant ATT international roaming rates.
- You can load up the prepaid cards when you need to as well.
- For example, I paid <$15 USD (converted from HKD) for 1,000 minutes when in HK, which includes texting. I can pay more for another card that includes a data plan. But it's still Less expensive than paying ATT's rates!

2. You don't like a specific carrier, you can switch carriers and get a prepaid plan or monthly plan, many of them without a contract and relatively more affordable than ATT.
- Tmobile is relatively more affordable in their phone plans than ATT but you can't use their 3G network.
- Some local/regional carriers piggyback off ATT so those are the ones to use if you want to buy a data plan to use with the Unlocked iPhone.
- Otherwise, if you don't use data much, a Wifi connection is sufficient.

- The only problem is whether or not a particular country uses the same 3G frequency that the iPhone uses. In the USA, the iPhone is only compatible with ATT's 3G network but not Tmobile's network But internationally, it will work in many countries

- Lastly, when the iPhone is unlocked, it saves you the additional cost of buying an unlocked phone when traveling internationally
post #97 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

It ought to be illegal to lock phones in the first place. Just because I have a contract to pay company X for their lousy service for 3 years shouldn't prohibit me from using my phone with company Y. Its not like company X couldn't sue me if I didn't pay their bill.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been used to block consumers from exercising their rights to use the phones that they purchase as they see fit and AT&T thinks that they are doing you a favour by letting you use the phone that you paid for on a different network? Why is this law a one way street?

Government in the United States and elsewhere have allowed big companies to block our rights at every turn. The cell providers have their lobbyists, but who is looking out for consumers?

It makes sense from a business point of view, sadly.

The American phone companies subsidizes almost every phone so they impose a 2 yr contract to recoup their cost by keeping the customer for a certain time limit and locking the phones to their network which further prevents customers from switching to their competitors. The latter doesn't make sense due to the contract agreement!

It should be illegal for phone companies to keep the phone Locked to the network once/after the customer fulfills the phone contract. The phone truly belongs to the customer now without any additional fees. The phone company should consider themselves lucky IF the customer stays with the company after the contract on a month to month basis. At least Unlock the phone since there's no more legal obligations attached!
post #98 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

which carrier is he planning to switch to? The Edge only carrier called T-Mobile?

There is of course the option of prepaid. Tracfone's StraightTalk runs off AT&T's network, but for $45, you can get unlimited everything. (ST now offers the option of using your own device, so it is a viable option) I would imagine there are other prepaid choices too, for those tired of being tied to a contract.
post #99 of 99
%u201CThe only requirements are that a customer%u2019s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee.%u201D

AT&T reneged on this statement.. can anyone point me to an archive of this statement?
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