For those who are worried about your recent AT&T "off contract" UNLOCKED iphone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ET007, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. ET007 macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Just like many in this forum, I also purchased an "off contract" AT&T iPhone 4S two weeks ago at my local Apple store that happens to be UNLOCKED. I have till Nov 15 to return it and I was planning to return it and get an "official" unlocked iPhone 4S once it comes out it November.

    Well, I got a call yesterday at 2:45 ET and it was not from my local Apple Store but from high up after politely expressing my concerns several weeks ago via email. I am not going to go into detail about the phone conversation and you do not need to believe me but here is the concise version of what I was told (Please read everything):

    If you bought a iPhones 4S and it was unlocked, Apple will honour the fact that your iPhone 4S is unlocked and you WILL get an UNLOCKED iphone back if it ever needs servicing or it needs to be exchanged because it was not reparable. I was told that Apple looks at the IMEI and Serial number of the original purchase and if that was unlocked in their database, your serviced or replaced iPhone will also be unlocked.

    I was assured (and even given this person's direct phone number to call this person if I ever had problems) that even though I signed the standard two forms for the "off-contract" AT&T iPhone 4S, my phone will stay unlocked to use with any other SIM card besides the AT&T one. I do not have to return it once the official unlocked iPhone 4S are sold in November in the US. I was also told that sometimes the iPhone 4S might not always recognize all the SIM card setting of a carrier it is not familiar with and that I would then have to go and enter these settings myself but my AT&T "off contract" iPhone will always be unlocked.

    So, if you purchased an "off-contract" AT&T iPhone 4S at the Apple Store AND it happens to be unlocked, it WILL STAY unlocked. This made my decision very easy not to return my iPhone 4S in two weeks.

    I am very impressed with Apple. :)

    PS: I will not give any further info about the phone conversation I had and you do not need to believe me. All I will say is Apple KNOWS what it is doing and your "off-contract" AT&T iPhone 4S was not unlocked but some accident or some mistake.
  2. aawil macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2008
    I figured that was the case. Good to hear another confirmation. I'm keeping mine. Glad I didn't have to wait.

    If only they would fix this battery drain I'd be good to go.
  3. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816


    Jul 15, 2010
    the burrows
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I believe you, but did your caller ever tell you if Apple will make an official statement on this? If not, I'm probably going to return it and get the official one just in case.
  5. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    This has always been the case, apple once a handset is unlocked via there servers. If you have a replacement that will also be unlocked as they have a record of everything form your imei number/serial number. My iPhone 4 last year was brought on vodafone, they unlocked it for me. I had it replaced and the replacement from the apple retail was also unlocked within an hour.
  6. ET007, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

    ET007 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2009
    I do not know if and/or when Apple chooses to make an official statement since I did not ask this person from the executive team this question. My original emails were to Tim and I specifically expressed my concerns to him regarding my "off-contract" unlocked AT&T iPhone 4S.

    Before the surprising phone call on Friday I had every intention of returning this iPhone and getting the "official" unlocked one in November. However, this person on Friday was VERY clear that my "off-contract" unlocked AT&T iPhone 4S will remain unlocked no matter how often is requires servicing or exchanges or firmware upgrades. It is in Apples system. The person gave me his/her direct line and said if I ever have problems to call her/him directly.

    Also as I mentioned in the P.S. section of my original post, Apple knows that they are selling unlocked "off-contract" AT&T iPhones 4S at their stores and they will honour this fact if the iPhone needs servicing, it is not some fluke. It is also a smart move otherwise tons of people would return their off contract AT&T iPhones 4S in November to get the "official" unlocked ones in November.

    Please do not take my word for it, call Apple customer service and make sure you get someone knowledgeable and tell them, you purchased a factory unlocked AT&T iPhone 4S from a US Apple store and you wanted to make sure if it ever needs to be serviced, you will get an unlocked iPhone 4S back. They might play ignorant initially but make sure they understand that your iPhone 4S is really unlocked from your local Apple store even though your local store told you that your "off-contract" AT&T iPhone 4S is locked. Also ask them whether your iPhone 4S is showing up in their system as unlocked. If you are not satisfied with the answers, you can always return the phone within the 30 day return period.

    I purchased the 64 gb model so I wanted to make damn sure that I was not blowing away a lot of money. I have absolutely no reservations or doubts anymore and I am keeping my iPhone 4S. :) I honestly believe Apple wants you to be satisfied with your purchase and if the local stores do not get it or play ignorant, they do get it higher up the ladder.

    Good luck!

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