AT&T behind the refusal to unlock iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DerekRod, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors demi-god

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Hmm now we know its AT&T preventing the unlock of iPhoneshttp://9to5mac.com/2012/03/20/tim-cook-convinces-att-to-unlock-customers-iphone/
     
  2. macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
  3. thread starter macrumors demi-god

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    I knew very well it was them I was just tired of hearing people tell me im wrong.Tim Cook actually got AT&T to unlock an iPhone which is pretty cool
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #4
    It's always been understood that it's AT&T (given that many many other carriers will unlock iPhones).
     
  5. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    At best it's some agreement between AT&T and Apple preventing unlocks. Apple has the power to unlock any and every one of their phones that they want. I suspect they have an agreement with AT&T not to do so, though.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #6
    Likely based on the amount of subsidizing AT&T does of the handsets.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #7
    If that was the case then they would allow you to unlock once you have fulfilled your contract and paid back the subsidy discount.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #8
    Okay. So what is this decision based on and why does Apple go along with it?
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #9
    Yep. The lock/unlock status of a phone resides on Apple's servers. Obviously Cook could've just had someone at Apple flip the switch, but there must be other agreements with AT&T that prevent him from doing that.
     
  10. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Keeping their phone locked means that that specific phone, even if it changes hands 50 times, stays on their network. Once the subsidy has been paid off there is still a good chance someone somewhere is paying ATT to keep the phone functional. Until we have laws against this, or until the local competition steps up (which they recently have, I know), we are unlikely to see a change.
     
  11. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #11
    But from AT&T's point of view, you are an even more valuable customer since your monthly fee does not go down so they make MORE profit on your account. Unfortunately this is the way the secret agreements were written
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #12
    when I saw the link I was hoping tim cook conviced them to change their whole unlocking policy. Oh well, at least now there's actual proof that they can do it ( even though we've known all along)
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #13
    I would love to have my iPhone unlocked just while I'm traveling abroad. I'd gladly keep paying my monthly family plan AT&T bill, but I could use a EuroSIM and avoid those outrageous roaming.... oh...so that's why.

    For a moment there I thought I might have a proposition they'd accept.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    #14
    I still laugh at the AT&T rep blaming apple and finally relenting when I pressed them on the issue that they lock the phones. Who knew it only took Tim Cook to unlock the phone.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    #15
    Letter to FCC

    Put your name in this letter that I wrote, everyone can use it, change it, make it better, send it to friends, whatever. Then send it to FCCinfo@fcc.gov, the only way we will change the way carriers lock phones onto their networks is to speak up.

    To Whom It May Concern:



    Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Jacob Tucker and I am a Verizon Wireless Customer. I believe there is an issue that needs to be addressed with carrier sim module locking and activation refusal. Phones today, such as the iPhone 4s, have advanced chipsets that are capable of operating on multiple network types throughout the world (CDMA and GSM). Through most of the world, consumers have the right to buy a phone, either outright or through a carrier subsidy, and use that phone on any network they choose. They may do this either from the beginning if purchased outright, or once they have satisfied the monetary obligations (contract fulfillment or unlock fee) to the carrier the phone was subsidized through. This leads carriers to compete with one another on price, and level of service. The United States carriers on the other hand have made it impossible for one to purchase a device and not have that device rendered useless beyond becoming a glorified iPod touch, or competitor equivalent, upon leaving one network for another. Let me go into a little more detail as to how they are accomplishing this. Verizon and Sprint sell the iPhone 4s and will unlock the sim card gsm slot for international use only; this means that a customer is never allowed to use the phone on U.S.A gsm networks. This practice is executed by Sprint/Verizon using unlock codes on Apple's Servers that exclude the unlock codes for United States based competitors. Neither Sprint nor Verizon will activate one another's phones on their networks either. The AT&T iPhone 4s equivalent is essentially even more locked down than the other two networks' phones. AT&T will not even unlock the sim slot, this is due to them having to leave the USA country code opened in order for the phone to operate on their own network, if they were to unlock it customers could freely use their phone on T-Mobile or any regional gsm network in the United States with AT&T having no way of stopping it from happening. This forces AT&T customers to pay their ridiculous international roaming rates instead of using a foreign pre paid sim while abroad as to not break the bank. And the following is my favourite act of anti-competitiveness from the carriers. Apple sells a full price, unsubsidized, fully unlocked iPhone on their website (God bless them for taking steps in the right direction); however, Verizon and Sprint refuse to activate any phone or device onto their networks that was not sold by them, even though it is perfectly capable of operating on the network (HOW IS THIS LEGAL?). An equivalent of this would be Comcast saying you cannot use an Xbox, Sony Playstation, iPod, laptop, television, etc. on your home internet connection unless they sell it to you……talk about creating a monopoly for oneself. This makes it IMPOSSIBLE to buy any option of iPhone in the United States with the ability to hop onto whatever network works the best in ones current location.

    Please do not get me wrong, I do not believe the carriers should be forced to unlock these phones to use on the competitors' networks if they subsidize them and partially own them. I do on the other hand think it is ridiculous when I, as a consumer, purchase an item at full price, or complete my contract/buy out my contract, that it is acceptable for a carrier to hold my device THAT I OWN hostage on their network. I also believe it is criminal for Verizon and Sprint to refuse to allow devices they don't sell onto their networks. This leads to zero competition, zero reason to be competitively priced, zero reason to keep the network in top notch shape, and the carriers know this. Who is going to finish paying off a $650 device and then jump ship to a carrier that works better and render the device useless that they just paid off, and additionally have to transfer all of their information over to a new phone? Consumers should be able to purchase a phone and if in an area Verizon works great call Verizon and purchase air time to fulfill their needs, if Verizon has no service and AT&T is top dog, pop in their AT&T prepaid sim and enjoy their device while in the area. It is time for us to catch up with the rest of the world and quit letting the network operators lobby us into remaining hostages.

    In closing, I believe this could benefit the networks as well. People who only have an account with one carrier would be more likely to open a second account with another carrier if they were not forced into a second contract, or into purchasing a second phone. This could also reduce carrier roaming fees, honestly, who is going to use 1x or edge roaming speeds when they have a prepaid service with a carrier with native coverage and can use 3G or 4G service? I know anyone in the business world, with things to get done on the go; will agree with me on that point. Finally, it would keep the carriers honest with their customers, and give all the carriers willing to step up to the plate better ranks with their customers. This would lead to more months of earning the customers hard earned money. In many areas of the country right now Verizon 3G is 300 Kbps or lower, and Sprint is less than 100 kbps. There is also the whole not being able to make calls in large cities on AT&T business we have all read about. The current system of being locked onto one carrier for two years without the option to pop in a different sim card if out of your home area for the weekend to maintain good service is absurd. Then being stuck further past that if you want to keep using your device gives them absolutely no reason to fix this and invest in upgrades. I have called many times, and to be frank, they don't seem to care. This is what we have allowed the carriers to become by giving them the power of network locking devices. Please review this and correct these issues for the people. Let the consumer once again vote with our wallets; and, create innovation, competition, and good customer service in this industry. Thank you for your time.
    Jacob Tucker, Concerned American
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #16
    Copy and pasted that email... thanks!

    Lets hope to see a change in this policy! Just like att went from 2gb to 3gb on their throttling policy!

    I can understand why they wont unlock a brand new iphone, but maybe if you have been using it for 4-6 months then they can unlock it. That would be fair since they are getting back some of that subsidy money and on top of it there is a 24 month contract so if you break that you must pay the ETF.

    Personally i bought the 4S without a contract (I sold my ip4 for a nice amount) so why the heck should I be denied an unlock? Im out of contract, and can do what I please right now.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    #17
    Exactly. As long as they are made whole monetarily then it should be my device to use how I want. I work for a company that has me out in small towns all the time, so it is here and there as to who has a tower close for service. I would love to have an account with a couple companies and be able to hop back and forth so I stayed covered all the time. At the same time I am not going to carry around 3 or 4 phones with me all the time. Thanks for taking the time, here's to hoping it leads to changes.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #18
    I do not think you understand. As long as the iPhone is locked to AT&T they will always make money from anyone who uses it.

    That is all you need to understand. :p
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #19
    yup... pure corporate greed, instead of letting you do whatever you want with a device you have now paid in full and them some, they want to make sure you stay with them and dont go anywhere else.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #20
    When you bought the phone you knew it was locked to AT&T.

    I guess all your "entitlements" have skewed your reasoning!:p
     
  21. thread starter macrumors demi-god

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #21
    No its the sheer fact that they'll unlock any other phone except the iPhone most people don't even know its a permanent lock they don't disclose that on any advertisement even if you paid full price for an iPhone 3G in the US it was still locked.But since AT&T has the goverment in its pocket it will never change
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    chakraj

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal
    #22
    Your logic is just so wrong. It is now entitlements to be able to do what you want with your property. I would say you are way off base..

    Before you know it you will want to watch whatever you want on your TV instead of what Sony wants you to watch, where does it end, driving your car where ever you want, Anarchy.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #23
    Yes what an entitled jerk I am to think that I can do whatever I want with a device that I paid full price for :confused:

    Maybe next Sony will lock down my LCD TV so that it will only work with a sony blueray player and I should just deal with it so I wont be considered "entitled"
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #24
    I am guessing there was as little bit of teasing in that post.

    I agree that while your phone is subsidized that they should be able to keep it locked, but once it's paid off (contract done) they should allow an unlock.

    Part of the purpose of keeping it locked to AT&T is that when you resell your phone, they are hoping to gain a new customer to sell data too.

    I have been a loyal customer of AT&T for several years, and I have no intention of leaving them (unless something drastic changes), but I wish my phone was unlocked for foreign travel.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #25
    I totally agree, I dont want to get over on these companies and unlock my phone or terminate contract before my time is up. I understand they lay out money up front so I can get a subsidized price and I'm all for honoring the contract and paying that money back.... But once that obligation is fulfilled I should be able to do what I want with the device.
     

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