Apple Store Unlock Experience

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Pyrocloud, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Pyrocloud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tianjin
    #1
    Yesterday I went to the Apple Store in Bellevue, WA to inquire about the unlocked iPhone4.

    One of my questions was, "Is it possible to unlock my current iPhone?", as I bought it for full retail back in October. Surprisingly the answer was Yes. All I needed to do was pay the difference, 50 dollars, and they would unlock it for me. I didn't even need to have my receipt or the original box with me.

    The process was long and the specialists weren't sure how to proceed, as no one had done this before. The procedure as explained to me was, they would refund the original price of the phone, then charge me the price for an unlocked version, the difference being 50 dollars. The refund was done on an Apple Gift Card, and I was able to use another credit I had to cover the difference.

    They told me that I would keep my original phone and they would just add the IMEI number to the list of unlocked phones. This however is not what happened.

    After they unlocked my phone I went straight to Tmobile, in Bellevue Square and they cut my sim card. Unfortunately my phone was not unlocked. So I went back to the Apple Store to find out what went wrong. At that point two more people got involved, a genius, and the store manager.

    After some discussion it was decided to just replace the phone with a new unlocked version. This turned out to work perfectly.

    So if you paid full price for your iPhone4 go in and see if you can get it unlocked. There is one caveat, they told me afterwards that since I had purchased my phone back in October they were not supposed to unlock it. Only phones purchased in the last 30 days were eligible to be unlocked. But since they had already stated they would do it and were half way through the process before realizing, they let it slide.

    Word of advice, Apple doesn't communicate with their stores very well, so it looks to be first come first serve to take advantage of this information gap.

    I would also like to say that all the techs at Apple were extremely helpful and very patient. Superb guys over in Bellevue, I highly recommend this store, even if its really busy all the time.

    Now on to Tmobile to pick up a Sensation. Fingers crossed for an unlocked bootloader. Good week. :)
     
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    IMO the staff at the Apple Store have not followed procedure correctly and should not have unlocked your iPhone (or given you an unlocked replacement).

    Apple does not have the authority to offer you an unlock, only AT&T does.
     
  3. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    If you're paying full price for a device, it should be unlocked b/c the carrier isn't subsidizing the price.
     
  4. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #4
    While I agree with that in principle, that is not what Apple's agreement with AT&T stated. If you have a phone that is locked to AT&T then it is legally AT&T's decision to let you unlock it.
     
  5. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    Hmm event though it probably wouldn't work, I might try asking them to unlock my phone. I got it in August and it's under contract...... but I guess the worst that can happen is they say no.

    .......HMMMMMM
     
  6. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #6
    I'm guessing you're going to have more problems than the OP. He had paid the non-contract price previously. If you're still under contract, they will likely not unlock it.
     
  7. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #7
    AT&T needs to get their p***s out of products they don't own. If you pay full retail for a phone it should be able to be unlocked no questions asked. If you are still in the contract term and you paid a subsidized price then that's different.
     
  8. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    Yeah your right. I'll give it a try next time I'm near an apple store though (the closest is 2 hours away)

    :rolleyes:
     
  9. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #9
    If the OP paid the "full price" why is there now a $50 discrepancy with that and the unlocked price?

    I'd say that AT&T was subsidising all of those "full price" phones even if it was only by a small amount.
     
  10. martiansoldier macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #10
    Well, the discrepancy is due to the price increase. The iPhone 4's without contracts used to be $599.00 and $699.00 for the 16 & 32 GB respectively. Now the unlocked iPhone 4 prices are $649.00 & $749.00 respectively.
     
  11. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #11
    This is weird, why did the non-subsidized price have to go up? Just increased margin for apple?
     
  12. Pyrocloud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tianjin
    #12
    The specialist did read through a disclaimer saying that if my phone was under contract that I would need to deal with the fallout of breaking my subsidy.

    So it is possible to get it unlocked if you are under contract, but I'm guessing that AT&T will be notified and you will need to pay them for the cost of the device.

     
  13. Pyrocloud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tianjin
    #13
    I wouldn't say that it was subsidized, but to get around needing to deal with monopoly law Apple probably offered the no contract phones. If they offered the phone no contract they skirt all kinds of issues related to that.

    All conjecture though. But it does seem strange.

     
  14. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #14
    ^You paid non-subsidized price, but was it from AT&T or Apple? Was it connected to an AT&T account at all when you made the purchase?
     
  15. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #15
    Why would that matter?
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    Arguably, in the past, one was paying for a locked phone, which was stuck on AT&T, but one did not have to commit to any specific contract for 2 years. This -- the phone being ... "uncommitted" to a contract -- is subtly different from buying a phone that is unlocked. Possibly one is paying $50 more for this additional flexibility (e.g. to use the phone on other carriers domestically or abroad, which is not something that would have been possible with the previous, less expensive no-contract phone).
     
  17. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #17
    More curious than anything.. And I would think one would have a better chance of an unlock if it was a phone purchased for full price from Apple and not connected to a carrier purchase in any way.

    In regards to the $50 price increase, maybe Apple just raised the non-subsidized price, do they still show $599/699 anywhere for full priced iPhones?
     
  18. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #18
    That's nice of Apple to do that for you. Apple does screw up on their part sometimes but it works out for the customer :)
    I think they allowed me to return my 6 month old MacBook Pro but instead we just got a replacement one (they couldn't figure out how to repair it the first time and we couldn't wait for them to figure it out).
     
  19. Pyrocloud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tianjin
    #19
    Bought it at the University Village Apple Store in October of 2010, retail as in no agreement was needed, just got a sales reciept.

    It was never activated with AT&T, although I did end up putting an AT&T prepaid card in it. I never really used it as a daily phone, it was for Dev stuff.

     
  20. utwarreng macrumors 6502

    utwarreng

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #20
    Wonder how they handle it when you buy them off of someone else, IE: Craigslist. I'm still in contract with my 3GS, but I bought an iPhone 4 off of Craigslist about 3 months ago, so it's never been under any sort of contract.
     
  21. PharmDoc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    #21
    Yea, I bought my iP4 off CL too and although I have AT&T, I'm not under contract with them. I've been wondering what they would do in that case.
     

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