A Question about AT&T's iPhone / Smartphone Unlocking Policy

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacPerforma, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. MacPerforma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone.

    I have a quick question about AT&T's phone unlocking policy. Looking ahead to when the new iPhone 6s / 7 is released next month, if I were to purchase a new iPhone from AT&T and sign a 2-year contract, and then I turned around and decided to terminate my service with AT&T, pay the ETF, and switch to T-Mobile service bringing the iPhone I bought from AT&T, would I be eligible to have AT&T unlock my phone?

    From what I've read, it looks like an iPhone purchased through AT&T would definitely need to be unlocked prior to switching over to T-Mobile. AT&T's unlocking policy seems to be pretty restricted for subsidized phones if you're still in a 2-year contract, but I'm not sure if they'll unlock a subsidized phone if you break the contract but have paid the ETF.

    On a side note, did I read correctly that AT&T is the only of the "big four" wireless carriers that's still locking smartphones, or are other carriers still doing it as well?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Applejuiced, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015

    Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    Yes, as soon as you pay the etf then they will unlock it.
    The only carrier that does not lock its iphones is Verizon. And that's because of their fcc spectrum sale agreement. Not because they like to be nice.
    T-Mobile, att and sprint still do lock iphones. If it's under next payments or contract they will not unlock it till it's fully paid off or contract expired.
    If you purchase an att iphone full price it will be unlocked.
     
  3. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #3
    If you pay everything off, they will unlock for you. But if you're already planning on moving to another carrier, why not just do it so that you can get the phone from that carrier and not worry about ETFs and unlocking.
     
  4. MacPerforma thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #4
    I'm currently with Verizon, and my 2-year contract expires in less than a month. I'm planning on getting the new iPhone 6s / 7 when it's released and switching to T-Mobile, but to save a few hundred dollars on the phone, my plan was to sign a new 2-year contract with Verizon and get the subsidized price for the iPhone, then switch to T-Mobile and have them reimburse me for the Verizon ETF.

    However, now that Verizon no longer offers 2-year contracts, it looks like AT&T is the only option for getting a new iPhone on a 2-year contract and at a subsidized price.
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #5
    Don't you have to hand in your iPhone to T-Mobile so they can pay your etf?
    Why not skip jumping thru 100 hoops and the aggrevation and just sign up with the carrier you want to use and get a phone thru them?
     
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #6
    What he said. You'll wind up paying more with your scheme.
     

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