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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post


    About damn time.



    I could never understand AT&Ts mentality with respect to this policy. It isn't like I have anywhere to go to actually get better service. After moving to AT&T from Verizon I find that there is indeed good cell service in my area.



    It would be very interesting to understand their reasoning as frankly they are better off with me off contract than on, paying for another iPhone.
  • Reply 42 of 98
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    According to the website Electronista, about half a dozen iPhone users complained to Tim Cook, via email, about AT&T refusing to unlock their iPhones. Cook's office helped them get their iPhones unlocked by AT&T. Apparently, the unlock procedure required tethering the iPhone to iTunes.



    So, AT&T must have decided they might as well as do it for everyone.



    We don't know yet how this process will work. My guess is that you call AT&T and give them the IMEI number. AT&T will check their system to see if the iPhone is free of contract obligations. They check off the IMEI number in their system. You connect to iTunes, and Presto !! iPhone unlocked !!



    Waiting for Sunday. Going to unlock my old iPhone 4.
  • Reply 43 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    In the end it is better for AT&T to have me for a customer paying the same rate as subsidized customers. It isn't like I can go somewhere else ad get the same sort of service I get around here from another carrier so it isn't like they will loose a customer if my phone is unlocked.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    What would be their motivation for doing this? Just being nice guys? Seems odd but I'm sure someone can explain the reasoning.



  • Reply 44 of 98
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I also made another mistake. The minimum AT&T plan is around $60. So it will be $635.



    Plus activation fee of $36
  • Reply 45 of 98
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post


    According to the website Electronista, about half a dozen iPhone users complained to Tim Cook, via email, about AT&T refusing to unlock their iPhones. Cook's office helped them get their iPhones unlocked by AT&T. Apparently, the unlock procedure required tethering the iPhone to iTunes.



    So, AT&T must have decided they might as well as do it for everyone.



    We don't know yet how this process will work. My guess is that you call AT&T and give them the IMEI number. AT&T will check their system to see if the iPhone is free of contract obligations. They check off the IMEI number in their system. You connect to iTunes, and Presto !! iPhone unlocked !!



    Waiting for Sunday. Going to unlock my old iPhone 4.



    I remember when the 4S was released there were reports of the 4S being automatically unlocked upon activation for those who bought the AT&T version at full price. The unlocked version was released by Apple weeks later.
  • Reply 46 of 98
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    In the end it is better for AT&T to have me for a customer paying the same rate as subsidized customers. It isn't like I can go somewhere else ad get the same sort of service I get around here from another carrier so it isn't like they will loose a customer if my phone is unlocked.



    If you are going to stay with AT&T anyway, getting the iPhone unlocked is beneficial only if you plan to travel overseas a lot. No exorbitant roaming charges. Otherwise, there is no real benefit.



    From AT&T's point of view, there is a possible financial benefit. If you travel overseas a lot, you are likely to keep you current iPhone after contract if it is unlocked. They don't have to subsidize another iPhone for you.
  • Reply 47 of 98
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    You are looking at this backward! Apple sell unlocked iPhones for full price. Even if you buy one from AT&T with contract and terminate to get it unlocked it will cost you the same:



    $200 iPhone

    + $375 early termination fee

    + $50 for at least one month of service

    -----------

    Total = $625 + tax



    This is more expensive than getting an unlocked iPhone from Apple. This action from AT&T is just to get customers and Apple off their back regarding this issue.



    As noted earlier, one month of service is about $60. Also, there's a one-time activation fee (I think it's $36), bringing the total to about $670.



    So buying the unlocked iPhone directly from Apple at $649 is cheaper (and less of a hassle).
  • Reply 48 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I knew it would eventually happen though I thought some politician would throw a fit that he can't put another country's SIM into his iPhone which would start the ball rolling. I didn't think that Tim Cook calling AT&T was even on the table.



    That was my thought, too: that this wouldn't change until AT&T received suitable pressure from the government to make the change. I'm cynical enough to believe there was still some kind of behind-the-scenes pressure behind this. The only other explanation I can imagine is that they somehow calculated that the move would bring in more customers than it would free.
  • Reply 49 of 98
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,590member
    What's the big deal with carrier locks. They have you tied to a contract so why not let you unlock at any time like O2 in the UK do.
  • Reply 50 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


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



    Oh absolutely not. Just thinking hypothetically.
  • Reply 51 of 98
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    It was all sounding reasonable until the end. If you have paid the early termination fee you have settled your account.







    When was it ever stated as impossible. We know they sell factory unlocked iPhones as required by some countries and we've had SW unlocks with every iPhone model for 5 years.



    AT&T Wireless (Prior to Cingular's acquisition) when they were getting everyone to replace their TDMA phones with GSM phones, the policy was "we do not (sim)-unlock phones" not "It's impossible"



    It is however impossible for customer service to unlock the phones, deep in the policies, the only devices that could be unlocked were RIM devices, which was part of a troubleshooting stage that could only be done by the technical support for RIM devices. Got to keep businesses using RIM devices happy. All other devices, SOL.



    Cingular's policy however was that they would unlock devices that were no longer under subsidy, which is similar to the wording you see here. The logical reason is that you aren't going to give away a free phone, and then have that person immediately cancel the plan and take it T-mobile.



    My guess is that AT&T/Apple have developed a tool to unlock the device remotely if all conditions have been met. There are some difficulties with having such a tool available, since customer support staff can be bullied into unlocking a phone if it doesn't enforce it. If you've ever changed your plan and lost features/promotions, you know what I'm talking about. The CRM software enforces certain things, including contract dates, and only higher level representatives (eg technical support) have the power to override screwups made by representatives.
  • Reply 52 of 98
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,458member
    Perhaps this is the sign of things to come in "The New iPhone" and AT&T is getting ahead of it instead of the usual behavior from carriers. It doesn't seem to really change things because of the state of compatible networks among the competition.
  • Reply 53 of 98
    kent909kent909 Posts: 710member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    You are looking at this backward! Apple sell unlocked iPhones for full price. Even if you buy one from AT&T with contract and terminate to get it unlocked it will cost you the same:



    $200 iPhone

    + $375 early termination fee

    + $50 for at least one month of service

    -----------

    Total = $625 +



    This is more expensive than getting an unlocked iPhone from Apple. This action from AT&T is just to get customers and Apple off their back regarding this issue.



    When I asked AT&T about doing this they told me I would have to give the phone back. I chose not to argue since I was not actually trying. This whole thing is just another case of a corporation willing to tell complete and absolute lies to their customers just to maybe make a buck. If you give me your iPhone I can hand it back to you in 3 minutes unlocked. There are ways to use an iPhone and not have to do business with the likes of people you find at AT&T and the phone does not need to be unlocked.
  • Reply 54 of 98
    plovellplovell Posts: 801member
    AT&T has been saying for years that ".. it is impossible to unlock an iPhone". That's exactly what AT&T Customer Service told me about six months ago when I wanted my iPhone 4 unlocked for international travel.



    So now it seems that they will unlock it in June when my contract is over. Big deal. They'll let me use the phone that I have paid for !! Bug F deal !!



    No thank you, AT&T. Too little, too late.
  • Reply 55 of 98
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post


    When I asked AT&T about doing this they told me I would have to give the phone back. I chose not to argue since I was not actually trying. This whole thing is just another case of a corporation willing to tell complete and absolute lies to their customers just to maybe make a buck. If you give me your iPhone I can hand it back to you in 3 minutes unlocked. There are ways to use an iPhone and not have to do business with the likes of people you find at AT&T and the phone does not need to be unlocked.



    If you are trying to do it within 30 days of buying your phone then you have to give it back and you will not pay early termination fee.
  • Reply 56 of 98
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    So let me get this straight.



    I can take my 4GB iPhone 2G, a device I've had for three months short of five years and NEVER used as a phone or had a plan at all to AT&T, and they'll permanently unlock it for me.



    I like that. I like that a lot.
  • Reply 57 of 98
    kent909kent909 Posts: 710member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    If you are trying to do it within 30 days of buying your phone then you have to give it back and you will not pay early termination fee.



    In my research to find a way to get a iPhone, that I could be positive was not stolen, I considered canceling after the first month and paying the early termination fee. I was looking for a 4 and not a 4S, so only being $100 for that phone I figured I could save a little over buying a unlocked phone from Apple.
  • Reply 58 of 98
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


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



    Or possibly a regional carrier such as GCI http://www.gci.com/ like I am, that supports HSPA+ on the same frequencies as AT&T, and offers $200 or 20,000 Alaska Airline miles to any new wireless user who supplies their own phone.



    Just to break down the numbers:



    500 minutes Nationwide = 39.99

    5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 29.99

    SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 15.00

    -----------------------------------------------

    Total Monthly Service 84.98



    Same plan, with AT&T

    450 minutes Nationwide = 39.99

    5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 50.00

    SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 20.00

    ------------------------------------------------

    Total Monthly Service 109.99



    Amount I'd save monthly by switching to GCI vs AT&T = 25.01/month X 12 = 300.12



    So that's HSPA+ speeds, nationwide calling, unlimited text, and better coverage in my home state, all for 300 dollars less per year? Not something to sneeze at.
  • Reply 59 of 98
    guppy737guppy737 Posts: 26member
    I have an old 3G. This is a good deal for me because now I can use that phone overseas without getting raped by ATT. My alternative of course was getting it jailbroken, but now I don't need to bother with that.



    Regardless, being someone who is overseas a lot, tell me why I should renew with ATT when the iphone5 comes out? With Verizon I can immediately unlock a new phone for international use instead of having to use an old out-of-contract phone.
  • Reply 60 of 98
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Or possibly a regional carrier such as GCI http://www.gci.com/ like I am, that supports HSPA+ on the same frequencies as AT&T, and offers $200 or 20,000 Alaska Airline miles to any new wireless user who supplies their own phone.



    Just to break down the numbers:



    500 minutes Nationwide = 39.99

    5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 29.99

    SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 15.00

    -----------------------------------------------

    Total Monthly Service 84.98



    Same plan, with AT&T

    450 minutes Nationwide = 39.99

    5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 50.00

    SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 20.00

    ------------------------------------------------

    Total Monthly Service 109.99



    Amount I'd save monthly by switching to GCI vs AT&T = 25.01/month X 12 = 300.12



    So that's HSPA+ speeds, nationwide calling, unlimited text, and better coverage in my home state, all for 300 dollars less per year? Not something to sneeze at.



    Another alternative is Straight Talk, a prepaid (no-contract) brand of TracFone:



    unlimited talk

    unlimited text

    *unlimited data*

    -------------------------------

    Total Monthly Service $45**



    *anecdotally around 2GB/month before they send you a nasty message threatening to cancel service because you're a data hog.

    **if you prepay several months, this drops to about $42/month



    Straight Talk is an MVNO and buys cellular time from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Just get the AT&T-compatible SIM and your handset is connecting to AT&T's cellular towers.
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