Can AT&T unlock a locked iphone 4 ??

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bo-waleed, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. bo-waleed macrumors 6502

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    Oct 15, 2009
    #1
    i heard that At&T will unlock their costumer's iphone if the contract have finished.

    is it true ? how ?

    My cousin bought IP4 with AT&T contract in about 2 years ago.

    he is not from USA so he want to unlock it ? any way ?
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

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  3. bo-waleed thread starter macrumors 6502

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  4. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

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    #4
    Although our local AT&T office had a 'manager' with a foreign name and accent (can't remember his name) who said that 'unlocking is easy. I've unlocked quite a few phones.' and when I pressed if that was a service that AT&T offered, he started to look very uncomfortable and said that no AT&T doesn't allow for iPhone unlocking. He also stammered something about it potentially violating the contract of a customer... But then added 'there are hundreds of unlocking sites on the internet that allow people to unlock their phones but AT&T will not unlock it for you'. After pointing out that AT&T unlocks other phones for people, he just shrugged and walked into their backroom.

    I think a good lawyer would be able to get AT&T to unlock iPhones by suing under the fact that they will unlock nearly every other phone they sell. Just not the iPhone, and apparently take punitive action against customers that do.
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #5
    I'm betting a good lawyer would probably look at what you signed when you signed up for AT&T and tell you that you agreed to this ahead of time so there's nothing he can do.

    Also, what punitive action does AT&T take against people who, for example, unlock their iPhone and use it on T-Mobile? What do they do to them?
     
  6. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    #6
    You would not be able to afford the "GOOD LAWYER" that was capable in trashing your AT&T contract.

    I always love it when people threaten to sue, so do the lawyers! Do not think that AT&T did not pay big bucks to tie you to your contract!:p
     
  7. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I would guess that the worst they'd be likely to do to somebody would be to accuse them of violating their service agreement, thus requiring the customer to terminate the agreement (and pay an ETF if they're still inside their fixed service term).

    But if the customer is switching to T-Mobile, then they'd probably WANT to terminate their agreement with AT&T (who would want to pay extra for an old service provider they don't use anymore?) and they would already be on the hook for an ETF if they were still within their fixed service term.

    So, in summary -- AT&T probably wouldn't take any additional punitive action against you for unlocking that wouldn't already have been taken against you for having terminated your service agreement early.
     
  8. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #8
    AT&T can unlock iPhones (well, they can ask Apple to unlock them--the unlock is actually accomplished through Apple's activation servers). Of course they can. But that's not really your question, is it? Your question is whether they will unlock iPhones. And the answer to that is an unequivocal and resounding "No!" AT&T has a policy of not unlocking iPhones for any reason. It's been that way since the first iPhone was released, and there is no sign of any change in policy.
     
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #9
    AT&T iPhone users have agreed to a contract in which they maintain service for a specific length of time (2 years, typically), but have not agreed to having their iPhones perpetually locked to a carrier. The language for that just isn't in the contract.

    They don't have to do anything to them. Again, a contract length has been agreed to, and if the customer keeps the service (on say, a different unlocked phone), or transfers contract responsibility to someone else, then their obligation is fulfilled. Or, AT&T can charge them an ETF. as liquidated damages for a customer not adhering to the contract.

    Besides, what you describe happens all the time. I have never gone two full years on a contract with the same iPhone. Every year I've upgraded and sold the old iPhone to someone else. All AT&T does is reset the contract to the date I activated the new model. And they are perfectly fine with that... they've even gone so far as to reset upgrade eligibility dates on my account, every year.

    The real question is, what happens when the contract is fulfilled? If someone completes 24 months, then the agreement is done and is no longer bound by any restrictive terms. Yet, the phone is still locked and AT&T won't unlock it. How is that appropriate?

    For the record: I don't advocate class action lawsuits. They rarely get anything done, usually result in a check for a couple bucks for each class member and millions in the pockets of lawyers. But I also think it's pretty crummy that AT&T isn't unlocking iPhones, even post-contract.
     
  10. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #10
    Can they? Yes
    Will they? No

    Jailbreak will not unlock it. Only an unlock will unlock it. Grevey or unlock software that can sometimes be accessed after a jailbreak, depending on baseband, iOS version and Iphone Version.

     
  11. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    #11
    I'm out of contract and AT&T refused to unlock my phone. One of the things that irritated me most about them.
     
  12. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #12
    You're asking me as if I am somehow defending AT&T here.

    I have no idea. I think it sucks too.
     
  13. Thedeathbear macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2010
    #13
    Hard to buy that phone 2 years ago when it came out summer of 2010.
     
  14. bo-waleed thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Lool.. Sorry
    I didn't mean this
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #15
    Simple answer, No.
    They dont unlock any iphones at all.
     
  16. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #16
    This.

    I don't really understand why they don't offer an unlock at this point. Sprint and VZW both do it (for international use anyway), you'd think that AT&T would try to compete.
     
  17. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #17
    In terms of unlocking the phone, it should not make any difference whether the customer is "in contract" or not.

    When you sign a contract with the carrier you agree to pay them $x per month for y months in exchange for their service.

    If the carrier sold you an unlocked phone with your 24 month contract, you'd still be bound to the 24 month term.

    Any claim to the contrary is merely an excuse to try and keep you as a revenue earning customer.
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #18
    The idea that somehow a lawyer can force AT&T to unlock a phone is beyond me. You didn't purchase the phone with the statement that the phone will ever be unlocked, therefore they have no obligation to do so. The fact that they will unlock all other phones is basically irrelevant. I do wish that they would pass laws in the US banning phone locks like they have in many other countries. Until then, AT&T can keep their phones locked for all eternity. In fact, even IF a new law was passed, all current phones would remain unaffected.
     
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #19
    Maybe you can work your magic and get out iphone's officially unlocked somehow;)
    Just tell me where to send the money.:D
     
  20. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Pennsylvania
    #20
    If a lawyer can do anything, they'd probably have to emphasize the point that by not unlocking the device, AT&T is forcing the user to keep their service beyond the agreed-upon length in the contract (especially since back in the exclusivity days, you were forced to use AT&T during if you wanted an iPhone, even after the contract you signed expired). I doubt that argument would fly though, otherwise someone would've done it by now.

    It still sucks though. What they're doing is akin to how back in the day you were forced to buy your landline phone (at significant cost) from the phone companies. Back then congress cared more about consumer rights than corporate rights, so that practice was halted.
     
  21. DroidRules macrumors 65816

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    #21
    No, you could of bought an unlocked iPhone.

    Not sure of anything you can do now.
     
  22. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #22
    This might be accurate if the person had purchased an unlocked iPhone and had agreed to having it locked for the duration of the contract in exchange for a discount. That is not the case: the phone was locked when they bought it. They were given a discount on the purchase in exchange for a two year contract commitment, not for a two-year lock on the phone. The phone was permanently locked from the beginning, and they were never given any assurance that it would be unlocked. Most importantly, nothing in the contract compels AT&T to unlock the phone after a certain period.
     
  23. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Legality and morality are not necessarily one in the same. AT&T might be within their legal rights to keep the phone permanently locked, but that doesn't mean people have to agree with or like the practice. IMO permanent subsidy locks are anti-competitive behavior.

    A lawsuit probably wouldn't get us very far, especially since the supreme court upheld the arbitration thing. But the people to talk to would be Congress and/or the FCC. Once upon a time it may've been possible to get something done. I'm not so sure about now since no one seems to care about consumer rights anymore.
     
  24. benguild macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I've tried numerous times, and ended up just selling my brand new AT&T device immediately without using it and buying an unlocked one instead. Not worth the hassle.

    Honestly, trying to use AT&T's international roaming alone almost justifies the cost of an unlocked device.
     
  25. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #25
    Yeah, although AT&T doesn't have as much pressure, since Verizon and Sprint won't activate the unlocked one, so if they wouldn't unlock the SIM, it's global roaming would be almost worthless.

    Maybe AT&T figures that their globe-trotting customers are well off enough that they can afford an $850 unlocked iPhone, and AT&T gets out of a $450 subsidy. Pretty rotten if you ask me. Either that, or they could just get their own international roaming fees in check to the point where it is actually usable. Is it AT&T or the foreign carrier who is taking people for an absolute ride?
     

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