Off-Contract ATT 4S vs. Unlocked 4S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Pogopuschel, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Pogopuschel macrumors member

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    #1
  2. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

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    #2
    I don't think they will sell you an off contract AT&T iPhone unless you are an AT&T customer.
     
  3. Pogopuschel thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    I see. Let's say I'm an ATT customer but I want an unlocked 4S. Is there any difference then?
     
  4. zelaya macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I don't see why apple won't sell a unlock iPhone.


     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #5
    They don't sell unlocked iPhones at AT&T stores. You can get one at an Apple store.
     
  6. Pogopuschel thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I know that, but Apple Stores have been selling "off-contract" phones (that come unlocked) all along. What is the difference between those phones and the unlocked one that's supposed to come out in November and appeared in the online store a few days ago?
     
  7. taedouni, Nov 13, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011

    taedouni macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I originally got a 64GB iPhone 4s on launch date but later decided that I wanted to get an unlocked iPhone (i'm currently a senior in college and am debating whether or not I should work overseas). I called Apple yesterday and they issued me a return number (they made an exception for my late return [only late by 2-3 days]). Today I want to my local Apple Store and told the Apple Representative that I wanted to purchase an unlocked GSM iPhone 4S. He told me that currently the store did not have any unlocked iPhones and did not know when they would receive them in stock. I then told him that i'll purchase purchase an off contract at&t iPhone meaning that I would like to pay full price. The guy tried to convince me that the iPhone would be locked to at&t and I just said it's okay. I had the guy switch my sim cards (I assume that I have to return a sim card with my other iPhone) and went home and of course I was not surprised when my iTunes gave me the "Congratulations, your iPhone is now unlocked" screen.

    Sorry a bit off topic with that story..Anyway there is absolutely no difference. Once your IMEI is on the whitelist (for unlocked), you will forever have an unlocked iPhone 4S. As a side note...the only downside of my story is that since I chose to restore to a previous backup....I had to update to 5.0.1 :( [Yes the iPhone 4S that I purchased today had 5.0 and I don't think they will be updated until perhaps the next shipment which is probably for another week or so]


    Edit:
    I speculate that the main reason that Apple did not officially sell unlocked iPhones was to avoid scalpers purchasing unlocked iPhones and selling them overseas. They waited until the iPhone 4S was launched in specific Asian countries. [Not to sound discriminatory in anyway, I'm just stating the obvious]
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #8
    No real difference, they're all factory unlocked.
    Officially they were not supposed to start selling them like that till November but they did anyway.
     
  9. Pogopuschel thread starter macrumors member

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  10. b24pgg macrumors 65816

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    #10
    The AT&T device only, off contract iPhone 4S comes with an AT&T SIM card and no SIM removal tool.

    The unlocked iPhone 4S comes with no SIM card and a SIM removal tool.
    No.
     
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #11
    The only difference is that the unlocked version does not have a Micro-SIM inside, and ships with a SIM ejector. Otherwise, as long as you buy it at an Apple Store and pay the full price, it will be unlocked. In the past, when stores ran out of "unlocked" models, they have simply sold the AT&T models as device only, which places them on the "unlocked" list in Apple's database.

    Note that if you buy the phone from an AT&T store, it will be locked to AT&T no matter what the price paid.
     
  12. ilifecomputer macrumors 6502

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    #12
    So it's out of the question to think AT&T could relock those device only purchases?
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #13
    Yes, AT&T cant just lock iphones to their service only.
    It has to be done prior to purchasing the phone, after that it cannot be changed back to a locked iphone.
     
  14. taedouni macrumors 65816

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    #14
    AT&T cannot lock or unlock your iPhone, only Apple can do that. Some service providers throughout the world give customers their option of requesting an unlock for a fee, however these providers simply charge the customers then ask Apple to unlock the iPhones.

    Apple may unlock an iPhone however they won't lock a phone....
     

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