AT&T iPhone Unlocking Process Detailed, Successful for Some

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    On Friday, AT&T released a statement that they would now be offering SIM unlocks for iPhones that are no longer under contract. The process of SIM unlocking a phone allows it to use SIM cards from other carriers. This feature is frequently used during international travel to allow the use of mobile service from local carriers. The Next Web detailed the basic steps required by AT&T.
    MacRumors readers shared their experiences on Sunday trying to unlock their out-of-contract iPhones in our discussion thread on the topic. Responses from AT&T service representatives were mixed with some seemingly unaware of the process.


    Confirmation email from AT&T​
    Others had better luck, such as Exegesis48, who was able to get his iPhone 3GS unlocked immediately.
    Experiences may have improved over the day. Some early callers were told the process would complete on April 16th, while others were told to simply wait 48-72 hours for the confirmation email.

    Article Link: AT&T iPhone Unlocking Process Detailed, Successful for Some
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2010
    customer service rep says i need to wait until june until they can unlock my iphone 4 which i got on launch day in june 2010. any one else get a different response? i already was eligible for upgrade to 4s in feb and have done so, so the 4 is no longer used.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Nov 24, 2009
    NEW Jersey / USA
    Nice that AT&T has come around to doing this, upsetting that the method requires the backup and restore which might endanger jailbreaks.
  4. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Are you sure they understood it was an iPhone 4 and not an iPhone 4S?
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    The iPhone 4S certainly wouldn't be eligible in June, but it makes sense that those that purchased on release date for the iPhone 4 aren't at that target date yet. Still you technically no longer have a contract with the iPhone 4.
  6. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Oh, yeah that's true. I guess the iPhone 4 is still somehow considered to be "on the contract."
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    Is he sure he didn't upgrade early? While his contract might actually be up by the end of June, exactly 24 months ago, for his iphone 4,AT&T might still think his iPhone is on contract, despite getting a new contract for with his new iPhone 4S? Just another possibility.
  8. macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Sydney Australia
    In Australia, where this same unlock method has always been available, even though the carriers always say you must back up and restore, you actually don't have to. As long as you sync, you see a pop up saying something like 'congratulations your iPhone has been unlocked'.

    Given this AT&T process seems to be driven by Apple, I can't see why they'd change the process.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    That is exactly what he did and its the same thing I did. There are many of us that AT&T allowed to upgrade at 18 months, but they aren't going to allow you to unlock until you get to the full 24 months.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    We have to put our at&t simcard into phone when doing this restore? I am living abroad at&t not work here but phone need to see that sim card? Also I am using ios 5.0 with custom firmware not to waste gevey optiion (4.10.01). If i just back up and restore is it okay when mail comes?

  11. macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    what chat?
    or should I call them? (some technical rep or something else) (what number)
  12. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2009
    What I don't understand is how come they only just started unlocking phones? Haven't iPhone contracts been running out for years now? Did they simply not unlock your iPhone when your contract ran out before this??

    I hope that one day operators will not be allowed to lock your into their crappy networks, and that people will be given the freedom to travel and swap operators as they wish, without having to wait 2 years.
  13. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 24, 2009
    I've never had to back up and restore a phone simply plug into iTunes
  14. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Not AT&T in the US for subsidized phones.

    You can already do this if you buy a factory unlocked phone. The sore point wasn't that you were locked to AT&T while you were under contract (because after all you didn't pay the full price for the unlocked version), it was that they refused to unlock the phone after your contract expired or paid the early termination fee.
  15. macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2008
    This happened to my old 3GS on Optus and same with my new 4s. I didn't even ask them, thy just did it
  16. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    It's been available for years in France where the carrier has to accept to unlock your phone 6 month after you bought it even if still on contract. Indeed you dont need to restore your phone to successfully unlock it but you do need to sync it with another carrier's SIM inside to make the unlock happen.
  17. macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2010
    It would if you had another phone on your plan, instead of the iPhone 4S.
  18. aajeev, Apr 9, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    macrumors regular

    May 7, 2008
    iPhone 2G?

    Has anybody tried this with an iPhone 2G? I have an iPhone 2G from several years ago (when ATT was still the only one selling it). I bought it at full price from the Apple store, jailbroken/unlock it to use on Tmobile network. So, technically the iPhone 2G was actually never under any contract, and it has never been used with the ATT network. Nevertheless, it was still unlocked to ATT simply because they were the only one selling it at the time. Any advice? I'll probably try calling them myself today anyways. I'll come back for an update just in case anybody wants to know as well.

    Update 1: Just got off the phone with ATT representative. Looks like they still have some of my file on their database (I had a 3GS with ATT about two years ago). The representative didn't seems to care that it was a iPhone 2G, and I'm pretty sure any record of the phone doesn't appear under my account since it was never registered under my name. I was on hold for about a minute, so the representative can look up the whole unlock story to confirm what I was telling him. Anyways, I was told to wait for a confirmation email from ATT regarding the unlock. I'll update once I have more information.

    Update 2: Called ATT again about the unlock situation. I was originally told it was going to take 48-72 hours. But, looking at my last update it has certainly been more than 72 hours. Just like any "good" ATT representative (and why I switched to Verizon), they admitted the first representative had giving me the wrong information and it was not suppose to be 72 hours. So as of now, it looks like I'm going to have to wait until the 16th as well, to get my unlock email. Fortunately, it doesn't look like they are having any issues with my iPhone 2G, so I suppose that a bit of good news.

    update 3: So today is the 16th, and according to ATT I should be expecting an email or some sort. So I called up ATT this morning, just to see whats going on. The representative told me he doesn't (or can't) see any additional progress on my case, but the case is also not closed yet. He then explain to me the when a case is "not closed yet" that means ATT is still reviewing the case and has not gone out to Apple yet. This is the point when I got annoyed, I politely told the representative "So at first you told me 24-72 hours, during the second call not only did you tell me it will get done by the 16th but you also put the blame on Apple for being slow (by a supervisor at the time). and just now you are telling me that ATT is still working on the case!". So I'm left with two options which is to wait or to submit another case. I told him there is no point submitting a new case considering you guys are probably just be doing the same thing anyways. So after three phone calls and default on multiple deadlines (with endless extension) ATT is still working on it....Way to go ATT, I'm so glad I switched away from you, same old ATT.

    Update 4: Alright, it's 18th now and still nothing. Frankly I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't even know if anybody is reading this update anymore. I was told by the representative on the 16th that the only way to do this is to get the case out again, which would probably take another 8 days. I asked to speak to the department that is working on this but he said there was no way to him to get me there. So I'm not sure what to do at this point, maybe I will try to call again.

    Update 5: So this would be the last update, I finally got it to work. I'm still not a big fan of ATT though. Anyways, I wrote a new post (Link: #406). Enjoy, feel free to contact if anybody has any questions.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'll have to dig out the old 3GS in a few days and have them unlock it. I don't really have any intentions of selling it or using it outside of AT&T, but if it's available, why not? :D
  20. xdhd350, Apr 9, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2010
    That's contrary to the statement they sent out regarding the unlock eligibility. It clearly stated that if you had upgraded early, your phone was no longer considered to be under contract. I would call until you get someone who knows this.

  21. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2007
    Meh. The only reason I've got mine jailbroken is to unlock it in first place. Of course with this particular version JB/unlock, there is no way back. :rolleyes:
  22. macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    Has anyone tried to unlock a phone that was a replacement?

    My 3GS has been out of contract since July 2011. However, 2 weeks before my AppleCare expired, I got a replacement, also in July 2011.

    I called AT&T yesterday and I was told that my phone was not eligible yet because no "unlock code" was available for it yet. I know that the unlock takes place through iTunes so there is no apparent "code" to speak of.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    Just got off phone with ATT support. My 3GS has been out of contract since July 2011 and I had it replaced last summer. The tech at first said that I was not eligible and then she submitted a special case number. She texted me the case number and said the resolution date is April 16. Seems weird but maybe it will go through.
  24. macrumors newbie


    Mar 21, 2011
    What a glorious day that will be indeed when we have to pay the actual retail price for the phone (in the U.S.), instead of the low subsidized price that AT&T offers.

  25. macrumors 65816

    Feb 11, 2007
    Online chat support:

    Jewell Hillier: The case number is xxxxxxxx - to be resolved on or before April 16,2012 - You will receive a call or an email with the code and instructions on how to unlock.
    ME: Why so long that you can't just unlock my phone
    Jewell Hillier: We do not have the unlock codes - we send in a case - Apple send us the unlock codes.
    ME: Ok.

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