Can AT&T Relock My iPhone That They Unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MJedi, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. MJedi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2010
    Hello all,

    Last week, I tried to get my iPhone 4S unlocked through AT&T's Device Unlock Portal. I will be out of the country next month for an extended period and wanted to use the local carriers. I figured I'd try this method first before I try other unlocking services. Seeing as I was still under contract for another 10 months, I didn't think I had a chance. (I got the iPhone 4S 3 weeks after launch.) Well, to my surprise they approved the unlock, and now I have an unlocked iPhone 4S. (Even got the "Congratulations" message in iTunes after I restored it, per the instructions.)

    Now I tried to request another unlock for my wife's iPhone 4S, which we got 1 week earlier than mine, and they denied it. It doesn't make any sense to me.

    So I thought I should call AT&T to clarify. However, I am concerned that if I point out that my iPhone was unlocked, they might say it was a mistake and relock it. So, can AT&T relock my iPhone? Should I just leave it alone, and too bad for my wife?

    I don't know if this makes a difference, but when I check my upgrade eligibility, I can get a fully-subsidized device in 5-14-2013, while my wife is eligible on 5-19-2013.

  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Apple can relock and lock any iPhone that they choose to any carrier. Even ones that are sold as factory unlocked. All Apple has to do is put that device's number into the locked database and assign it a carrier. Then the next time that phone is restored, iTunes will lock it to a carrier. Apple has not does this. But just because they haven't, doesn't mean they won't. The possibility does still exist.

    AT&T may request that Apple relock the device, but that may be in violation of a few laws pertaining to unlocking of devices.
  3. Baggio macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I would just pay $3-$5 on eBay to get the other phone unlocked. I wouldn't risk trying to get AT&T to do it as they may realize they unlocked your phone by mistake and may re-lock your phone.
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    From what I can see try to unlock your wife's iPhone a week after yours (if it can wait) to allow for the difference in those dates mentioned.

    If it doesn't work, do call AT&T and explain that you need it unlocked for a trip you're taking. Offer to send them proof of the trip if they try to say they can't unlock it. Just DON'T mention that you already unlocked your phone.

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