AT&T just unlocked my iPhone 5 (still under contract)

Derek87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 29, 2009
507
109
i remember reading that it's a hit or miss type thing, but on some occasions, AT&T would unlock your iPhone even if your contract still had some time remaining on it.

since i'm traveling to Italy, i decided that i might as well ask, but rather than call, since i had a free moment, i decided to just submit my request online.

i submitted it last friday, and low and behold, yesterday, i received an email saying that the request was approved and that i should try, after 24 hours, to backup and restore my iPhone to complete the process.

yet, being the impatient guy that i am, i waited about 14 hours and decided to give it a whirl, thinking that worse case scenario, i only lost about 30 minutes of time and i could try again later in the week. (the only thing i would forgo qa restoring my music library onto the iPhone since that is a time intensive process (converting lossless to 256mbit files)).

anyway, as the subject line suggests, i didn't have to wait any longer. my AT&T iPhone 5*, which is still under contract until September, is now unlocked. my next step is to hopefully find a reasonably priced prepaid nanosim while i'm in Italy for work. (see my other thread)

i don't know if my long customer standing (6+ years) with AT&T helps, but i'm glad that my phone is now unlocked. it has never made sense to me that they wouldn't unlock the phone for a phone on contract since the owner would still need to pay an ETF or complete the terms of the contract.

anyway, i'd suggest others to give it a shot if you are willing to invest a little time.

* although i don't imagine it makes a difference, this phone is my second unit that replaced my original iPhone 5 which i had some battery issues.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,636
342
you got an international unlock, which is different from a domestic unlock. AT&T pretty much grants all requests for international unlocks.
AT&T does not differentiate between domestic and international unlocks. Sprint does what you're describing, but with AT&T you're either locked or you're not.
 

nox5

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2013
412
47
if you insert none att sim and just sync the iphone with itunes the unlock will also go through.
 

Derek87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 29, 2009
507
109
if you insert none att sim and just sync the iphone with itunes the unlock will also go through.
interesting. i read in some other threads that that might not necessarily work. the instructions i received from AT&T emphasized that i needed to make sure i restored it using the original SIM card that came with the phone.

regardless, i am very psyched that this worked. i didn't give it more than a small chance, and now i have the opportunity to use my phone while traveling and even test out of the feasibility (i.e., coverage and data speeds for my daily usage locations and patterns) of Tmobile or another carrier prior to my contract finishing.