AT&T Unlock iPhone 5S Question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by manhattanmania, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. manhattanmania macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2007
    #1
    Hello - I read through AT&T's guidelines for unlocking. Will the below work?

    I'm going to switch from a black iPhone 5S (purchased on contract) to a gold (purchased off eBay). Once I move my SIM to the gold iPhone, I should be able to unlock the black iPhone, right? The contract is tied to the phone number technically, not the phone?

    Thanks!
     
  2. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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    #2
    Incorrect it's connected to the subsidized phone.
     
  3. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    but that makes no sense? for instance if i wanted to i could switch from my iphone to an old flip phone without a data plan and as long as i have service for the length of the two year contract i am fine - the contract is tied to the number not the phone... i've done it before, but have never needed to unlock a phone. if i am buying my own iphone separately and putting my SIM in it how is my old iPhone relevant to ATT at all?
     
  4. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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    #4
    Go for it then. You seem to have the answers. Contact ATT to unlock the iPhone. Can't do it here.
     
  5. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    i obviously don't have the answer which is why i'm trying to see if anyone here unlocked in this specific situation. i simply disagree with your statement that the contract is tied to the device and not the line of service. i know 99% that that is not the case.
     
  6. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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    #6
    From AT&T website

    Postpaid Phones and Tablets with a Service Commitment: Account has been active for at least sixty days and is in good standing (i.e., it has no past due amount or unpaid balance owed AT&T), and all contract obligations, including any Service Commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied. The Service Commitment associated with a given device may be satisfied in one of the following ways:
    Fulfillment of the Service Commitment by expiration of any contractual term
    Upgrading to a new device under AT&T standard or early upgrade policies. Note: the customer must wait 14 days after the device upgrade has been completed to request an unlock of the previous device.
    Payment of any applicable Early Termination Fee
     
  7. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Yes, thanks, I saw this. What I underlined is what I'm getting at. Buying a phone at full price on my own and using that with my service instead of the original phone - does that qualify as "upgrading to a new device under AT&T standard..."?

    Again, 99% sure contract is tied to line of service not device. This is how people are able to just add a new line to get an upgrade every year. Original line: switch phone to a flip phone, costs you basically nothing per month, even though still under contract. New line: buy a new phone at subsidized price. Even though on that original line I'm not longer using the iPhone, i'm still satisfying the contract by having service with that phone number.
     
  8. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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    #8
    You are not upgrading using ATT standard or early upgrade, your buying phone from eBay.

    The only sure way to tell is to submit the request all they will do is either do it or decline it.
     
  9. JonathanK81 macrumors 6502

    JonathanK81

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    #9
    Incorrect. You can use the phone you bought at full price, and not the black 5S, but that won't grant you an unlock. Your contract is tied to both the service and the device. You have to meet certain requirements before you can get the black 5S unlocked if you're under contract. The two are to finish the contract, or to pay the ETF and then they will unlock the phone. Beyond that, you cannot get it unlocked at this point.

    The two devices are not mutually exclusive. Using the sim on the ebay gold 5Swill not suddenly cause the other phone to meet the requirements for an unlock. Could an AT&T rep do it? Sure. But are they supposed to in your instance? Absolutely not.

    Finally, what you underlined is pointless in your case. Because you didn't do either. You didn't go through AT&T, so you don't fit those requirements either.
     
  10. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    okay, thanks - as rablat said only way is to try and see. it just doesn't make sense to me due to the fact that you can switch between an iPhone and a flip phone and whatever phone you want at will even while under contract. i could decide to give my iPhone 5S to someone else as a gift and use a flip phone from now on, while still under contract, and they could use the iPhone 5S with their number - but somehow i couldn't unlock that phone?! i just don't get it....
     
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #11
    That's how it is. It has to do with the subsidy you enjoyed when you purchased the phone originally. The subsidy is actually a loan, and you must repay it in full before they'll let you actually own the thing.
     
  12. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    speaking of subsidies, am i missing something?
    couldn't i just buy a new 64GB iphone ($399 plus tax = $435), cancel after a month (so $15 additional for the line for the month), pay the ETF ($325) = $775 vs $925 ($849 plus tax) if i bought the phone unlocked or at full price.

    am i missing a piece of the puzzle or is it actually cheaper to do this than just buy a 64GB iPhone at full price?
     
  13. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #13
    Three problems with whats stated above.

    1st, it is only 15 a month additional if you are using the next program or bring your own device. Subsidy comes at a higher rate. It would be around $40 plus taxes for the month for a subsidized phone. Depends on what GB plan you have.

    2nd, its not $435 with tax. Tax is based on the full retail value of the phone. You are calculating tax at about 9%. Therefore, it would be $475 with tax. Now, 475 + 325 + 40 = 840.

    3rd, you have activation fee of 36. So now your total is 876.

    So yes, you could save $50 by going through this hassle and then you would have to wait 14 days for AT&T to unlock it.

    And, going back to the original topic at hand. As everyone has already stated, in order to get your current device unlocked it must finish the contract that it was signed to. the IMEI number is tied to the contract. It doesn't matter if you swap phones 10 times to something else, that original phone cannot be unlocked the 2 years is up on the contract. Otherwise, people could buy the iPhone with a subsidy, swap sims and use a 5 year old iPhone to unlock the new one just purchased, then either sell the new device that is now unlocked or use it on another network.
     
  14. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    thanks. i did forget #1 - it would be 40 for first month, not 15. but #2 is not correct, at least in NYC - the tax is on the $399. and for #3, premier customer so no activation fee. so it would be $435 + $20 (half month) + $325 = $780 and i can unlock the phone after 14 days vs. $925 if i bought the unlocked version from the onset.

    interesting! they must watch for people who do this often, i'm surprised the math works out this way to be honest. makes no sense to buy an unlocked phone outright.
     
  15. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #15
    There is no half month, if you cancel within 30, or it may be 45 days now, you are required to return the phone. So it may even be $60 if they require 45 days.

    I'm a premier customer and I still had to pay activation fees for all 3 lines on my account. So, its possible that has changed.

    So, because I was wrong with the sales tax, you are still looking at $800 - $856 depending on activation fee and monthly cost.

    I still don't think that would be worth the hassle to save $75 - 100. But, that is my opinion.
     
  16. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    hermph. for the premier/activation fee thing i think it depends what specific employer/school/etc you're with. i know with the 5S the activation fee was waived for me (and it was bought subsidized).

    so with this whole IMEI of the phone being locked to the contract which is clearly the case --> if i did buy an unlocked iPhone to use, could i not sell my old one because the contract isn't up on that device yet? or would i be able to if the person continued to use AT&T? i've only ever sold my old iPhones after upgrading (thereby releasing the old iPhone), never mid-cycle.
     
  17. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #17
    You could sell it, just you should disclose that it is tied to a contract and it can't be unlocked till ____ date. The buyer can either pay to have it unlocked to use with other networks, or continue to use it on AT&T until the contract is up then they can unlock it for free.
     
  18. manhattanmania thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    awesome. thanks for your help!!
     
  19. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #19
    Of course. Good Luck.
     
  20. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #20
    No, you cant unlock it until the full contract is fulfilled.
    Sounds very simple.
    You just don't want to understand it;)
     
  21. JonathanK81 macrumors 6502

    JonathanK81

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    #21
    You failed to mention to the OP that IF someone buys it, that they still need the OP's phone number and last four of social to unlock it whenever the contract is up. That's something major to consider. I don't buy phones from eBay, but if I did, I wouldn't buy it unless it was unlocked already.
     
  22. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Worst of all. If seller defaults on the subsidized phone say 6-7 months down the road. ATT can block the imei and buyer could be screwed.
     
  23. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #23

    Not true. I bought a note off Craigslist last year. I simply called AT&T and they unlocked it. I did not need the sellers info.
     
  24. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #24
    iPhones are a whole different ballgame to get unlocked.
     
  25. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #25
    I don't think that is entirely true. If you have an active AT&T account in good standing you can unlock 5 devices a year as long as the contract tied to the device is fulfilled. I've unlocked my brother-in-law's iPhone with my AT&T account without a problem. The social security number and phone number are just to access your particular account. In addition, thats why it gives you the option for being a current or former AT&T customer. So those that were former and no longer have the service but completed the contract then have to use their SSN and phone number to unlock it, but those that are still active can just unlock once the contract is up.
     

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