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AT&T reportedly unlocking iPhones for deployed military personnel

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
On the heels of a new AT&T policy allowing for out-of-contract iPhones to be unlocked, reports have emerged that the carrier is unlocking in-contract iPhones for U.S. service members who have been deployed abroad.

AT&T began unlocking qualifying iPhones on Sunday. The company stipulates that customer accounts must be in good standing, not be associated with a current and active term commitment and fulfilled their contract term, upgraded or paid an early termination fee.

Customers report that the unlocking process goes through iTunes and requires a backup and restore.

MacRumors reports that AT&T has begun unlocking iPhones for American military personnel, even if their phones are still under contract. The policy appears to be a goodwill decision on AT&T's part, as federal law mandates only that wireless operators suspend service for deployed service members.

AppleInsider has reached out to AT&T for confirmation of the new policy, but it has yet to hear back from the company.




Branches of the military have been looking into using the iPhone and other smartphones for their soldiers and other personnel. Last month, the U.S. Army released an app marketplace with 12 mobile training applications for iOS.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 15
Good idea for AT&T to at least get some good PR out of having to unlock all of their iPhones.

(Mid-2012) 15.4" MacBook Pro w/ IPS Retina Display | Quad Core i7-3720QM 2.6GHz / 3.6GHz Max. Turbo | 16GB DDR3-1600MHz RAM | 256GB Samsung 830 SSD-based NAND Flash ETA 9/5

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(Mid-2012) 15.4" MacBook Pro w/ IPS Retina Display | Quad Core i7-3720QM 2.6GHz / 3.6GHz Max. Turbo | 16GB DDR3-1600MHz RAM | 256GB Samsung 830 SSD-based NAND Flash ETA 9/5

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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

OThe company stipulates that customer accounts must be in good standing, not be associated with a current and active term commitment and fulfilled their contract term, upgraded or paid an early termination fee.

???
If they are any of these, then they are out of contract.
post #4 of 15
never mind
post #5 of 15
post #6 of 15
As a military member, I applaud this gesture by at&t. I was able to unlock my iphone4 yesterday because it was my old phone and no longer under contract. Easiest thing I ever did to get a phone unlocked.
post #7 of 15
You mean to tell me that they haven't been doing this until just now? That's just inconsiderate. It's not like they haven't been able to do it since day 1, either. Military personnel getting deployed should have been an obvious exception to this policy from the very beginning.
post #8 of 15
Our military live on tight budgets and recently there was a piece on the rip off of the pay phones in Germany for our soldiers to call home. Glad they are doing it but still hate AT&T for their crappy service. Both my iPad and iPhone use unlimited data from Verizon.
post #9 of 15
I'm a little surprised by this. The people within government/military assigned to control the amount of information the US public gets to see will have a harder time stopping military members from posting photos which are contrary to the public consumption doctrines.
post #10 of 15
Work for tyrants. Get kickbacks.
Always remember..wherever you go, there you are.
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Always remember..wherever you go, there you are.
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post #11 of 15
It's the least they could do . . . And they always do the least they can do.
post #12 of 15
Just called customer service and they said to call Apple (the usual infinite loop). I'd like to see someone post who actually got an official AT&T unlock....
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by schralp View Post

Just called customer service and they said to call Apple (the usual infinite loop). I'd like to see someone post who actually got an official AT&T unlock....

Get their name, report them to their supervisor for blatant lies. Simple!
post #14 of 15

I'm stationed in Afghanistan now. This would be great if it were true, but I called AT&T and was informed they do not have any special unlock policy for deployed military members. The only special policy they have for deployed military is contract suspension without incurring early termination fee (which is required by Federal law).

post #15 of 15
After 3 hour-long phone calls to AT&T I finally got my older 3GS unlocked. They are unlocking all qualified customers, not just military.
Here is my tip for those attempting to do the same:
Call customer service line (800) 331-0500 at the recording enter your cell phone number. Then wait for the tech support prompt instead of the general customer service prompt. This way you speak to someone from AT&T in the states and not a foreign rep from India.
Hit 0 to speak to an operator. Have your phone info ready ( IMEI ) number and last four digits of your social. I suggest not calling on your iPhone. You will be on hold a lot so use a landline with speaker phone and get your case number written down. You must have completed your 2-year contract, account in good standing and have purchased the iPhone from AT&T. The process takes about 1-2 weeks so they will give you a date to expect the unlock info notification. Give them two email addresses in case. write down your case number and keep it handy in case you need to call back and inquire about the unlock.
I told them I was going on a trip to Europe so I needed the unlock.Obviously I wouldn't suggest telling them you are switching to T-Mobile if that is your intention. If you get the unlock email, you just backup the phone in ITunes and restore to factory specs. The unlock will be listed. Then just reinstall your apps. Good luck.
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