If you end contact with AT&T by paying ETF, yr iPhone will automatically be unlocked.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Nghia Nguyen, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Nghia Nguyen macrumors member

    Nghia Nguyen

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I'm leaving the country in a few days, so I had to end my contract with AT&T early. I tried my best to show proof of home address and documentation of the country I'm going to, just so I could avoid the ETF (Early Termination Fee), but no hope. AT&T basically did everything in their power to stop me from doing that. (I think some folks on MS used to succeed in doing that, but it's not possible anymore.)

    After ending my contract, I talked to an AT&T rep and discussed about my iPhone. I clearly stated that I didn't want to terminate my service with AT&T unless I could get the phone to work in the country I'm going to. After an hour talking, he asked me to call Apple for further assistance on permission to have my iPhone unlocked. I then called Apple customer service, and they actually said it was the carrier's responsibility to give permission to unlock my iPhone (not from Apple.). I literally wasted hours talking to both parties, and neither of them wanted to take care of the issue (even though I already paid ETF and was no longer a customer of AT&T.)

    I didn't give up. I called Apple one more time, and fortunately got to talk to a Senior Advisor who was also in charge of the iOS Engineer department. He asked if I already terminated my contract. I said yes. He then replied to my email stating that he sent a request to his team to contact AT&T to get the code to unlock my phone, but he didn't promise it would go through.

    I waited 48 hours but he didn't reply, so I called in Apple again today, and got to talk to another senior advisor. She explained to me that once my phone is released of service from AT&T, it's already unlocked (as in carrier-free, non-contract, can be used with any service in the world.) I asked her a lot of times to make sure whether the state of my iPhone right now is 100% the same as the $650 iPhone that anybody can buy at the Apple Store, and she said yes. All I have to do is to sign up a new service contract with the carrier in the country I'm going to, then I'm good to go.

    I don't know if anybody has ever done this before, but if it's true, it's really interesting to me. Aside from my monthly bill (which I assume everybody has to pay the same amount), my presumably unlocked iPhone 4S ends up costing only $199 + $165 ETF = $364. That's about half of how much it costs at the Apple Store.

    I haven't got a chance to confirm if it really works with another carrier yet, but I will for sure in a few days. Has anybody had the same situation that I have? I hope this is a good tip for those who are on the same boat with me.
     
  2. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    If the unlock code hadn't been put through, iTunes is used for that, then it's still locked to AT&T. They never unlock iPhones.
     
  3. apollo1444 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    mexico
    #3
    try to use a T-mobile sim if it works then they told you the truth...
     
  4. Applejuiced, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

    Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    No, AT&T never unlocks any of their iphones.
    Even if you pay the ETF or finish your full contract your iphone is still locked to their network.

    Where do you get those numbers? The ETF for the iphone on AT&T is $325.
    Then you also got pay for the first months service and prorated charges and activation fees. If it was as easy as you thought noone would be buying factory unlocked iphones for $649 plus tax.
    After all said and done its about the same price but the difference is you're still stuck with an AT&T locked phone.
     
  5. Nghia Nguyen thread starter macrumors member

    Nghia Nguyen

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Yes, it's supposed to be $325. But my contract started from September 2010; after every month they deducted $10. I ended up paying only $165.

    ----------

    I have the advisor's name, phone number, and case ID. I don't think they'd risk lying to me or just said that to get away with it. I'll check with a T-Mobile micro-SIM tomorrow or so.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #6
    You cannot discount the amount you paid per month when figuring the total cost of the phone. A portion of your monthly bill goes towards making up the initial subsidy.

    In any case, if it is actually unlocked you should send me the person's name so they can unlock mine.
     
  7. Nghia Nguyen thread starter macrumors member

    Nghia Nguyen

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I don't know if I can do that, but I will definitely let you guys know if it's really unlocked. I have to clarify that the advisor told me the iPhone 4S is different from all previous models when it comes to unlocking. I don't really understand exactly what it means, but it might be the case how some people got their $650 iPhone from Apple Store, it didn't say unlocked - but it's actually unlocked (I believe it just says 'non-contract').
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #8
    Oh trust me, they'd risk lying and making things up as they go to get you off the phone.
    Happens all the time with AT&T reps and nothing will happen to them if they were mistaken.
    Dont get too excited, there's 0% chances your iphone is unlocked.
     
  9. Nghia Nguyen thread starter macrumors member

    Nghia Nguyen

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Yeah we'll see.
     

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