Sister moving to Australia...unlocking iPhone 3GS possible?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by utwarreng, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. utwarreng macrumors 6502

    utwarreng

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #1
    Good morning everyone. My sister is moving to Australia, and wants to take her iPhone 3GS with her. Due to her moving out of the AT&T service area (the country entirely, actually) is there language in the contract that allows you to take your phone with you in that event, unlocked and/or get out of the contract?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    I don't know about getting out of her contract, but there is no official way of unlocking an ATT iPhone. She'd have to jailbreak it then unlock it.
     
  3. utwarreng thread starter macrumors 6502

    utwarreng

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #3
    She called AT&T who said it would be a violation of their agreement with Apple, and the AT&T guy said she should call Apple. After talking to Apple, their rep said all unlocks were handled on the carrier end. Apple suggested she talk to some of the carriers in Australia, as they commonly unlock the phones there.

    Does that sound correct? Would another carrier have the ability to unlock a phone that's tied to AT&T?
     
  4. MaxBurn macrumors 65816

    MaxBurn

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    #4
    I rether doubt it, either take matters into your own hands or get a new phone.
     
  5. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #5
    No.

    A carrier can only unlock an iPhone if the specific phone has been synced to iTunes with one of their SIMs in it.

    You wouldn't be able to sync an AT&T iPhone with anything other than an AT&T SIM, so it wouldn't work.
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #6
    Her best bet is to sell her phone online and use the money to buy a new phone once she gets there.

    Sucks, but that really is the easiest way.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    x2.

    She's likely to have to sign a contract with an Australian carrier. If they do subsidies the same as the US carriers, might as well take advantage of them for a proper Australian iPhone?
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    Agreed. This seems like the best course of action to me.
     
  9. BHP41 macrumors 6502a

    BHP41

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    United States of America
    #9
    Yes there is. If you move to a location that ATT doesn't provide service you DO NOT have to pay the ETF. As far as unlocking, I'm not sure yet on the iPhone. with BB's all you had to do was enable international service(free,as in no charge to your account) through ATT and ATT would give you the unlock code. For iPhones it's a little different process. I'll try to make the time to check in on this for you. Easiest thing would be to Jailbreak and Unlock the phone. You're out of the ETF for sure. You may have to tell the rep that as they will try top make you pay it but it clearly says as with all providers in the US that if you move to a location where you can not receive service you are exempt from any ETF. A violation of Apple?? Sounds just like the $8/hr call center person that doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground and make stuff up as they go. How can it be a violation of Apple?? They sell iPhones world wide. ATT has it locked so you can't use it on any other carrier in the US, ie. T-Mobile
     
  10. BHP41 macrumors 6502a

    BHP41

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    United States of America
    #10
    I would call apple care and ask them about going on a trip to Australia, how can I use my iPhone while I'm there. That's all I'd ask and see what answer you get.

    I imagine that there is a way to unlock it at a Apple store just for this purpose but I don't know for fact.
     
  11. abc123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    #11
    She might struggle to sign a contract and get a subsidised phone in Australia if she is here without a working visa, here for less than 24 months (or just doesn't have permanent residency), is young, doesn't have employment, is studying, or doesn't have a credit history. Carriers here do credit checks and often ask for proof of income before they approve applications. Some carriers are more relaxed than others so she probably won't know until she tries.

    On the positive side though all the carriers here will carrier unlock phones for free by request so it is easy to buy a second hand phone completely unlocked without jailbreak. You can also buy new iphones here direct from apple that come from the factory unlocked, these run you about $850 though so are an expensive options. Most carriers here have prepaid plans that are available to everyone and many come with data so are suitable for use with an iphone.
     
  12. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #12
    They'll tell her to call AT&T. AT&T will tell her to use their international rates which will cost her more than her house if she uses them full time. And that's pretty much the only answer she'll get out of them.
     
  13. labman macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #13
    3 -4+ what Small White Car said you can buy factory Unlocked phones in Australia. I happen to like AT&T but this is one thing I don't like. they wouldn't factory unlock a iPhone for the CEO's grandma.
     
  14. BHP41 macrumors 6502a

    BHP41

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    United States of America
    #14
    Then it looks as if you need to jailbreak the phone. Unlock the phone. Then sign a contract with a dumb phone.
     
  15. prestomusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #15
    jailbreak, unlock, then go prepaid month by month with any of the providers, no credit checks etc.

    simple.

    or... there is a new provider here called http://www.amaysim.com.au plans with no minimum term contract! haven't looked too closely but it looks like these guys are trying to shake things up here, and on the surface appear competitive.
     
  16. utwarreng thread starter macrumors 6502

    utwarreng

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #16
    So my sister is over in Australia now, and is having problems with getting her phone working on the local carrier. Below is her email to me.

    The phone is jailbroken on 4.1 with firmware 05.14.02. I did the jailbreak with Pwnagetool, but didn't select "Activate the phone" because she was still living here at the time, and needed the phone. Does the phone need to be restored/re-jailbroken with the option done, and then ultrasn0w re-installed?
     
  17. abc123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    #17
    I have no experience with Jailbreaking so it might very well br an issue with that but Vodafone has been having major network trouble recently, to the point that the CEO issued an apology so maybe it is a network issue that she is experiencing.

    If you are looking for advice from people in Australia who have done this process then the whirlpool forms might be a good place to search/ask. They have an iphone subsection and also a subsection about mobile carriers (where you can read about vodafone issues in great depth).

    Hope you can get it sorted out soon.
     
  18. NathanA, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    NathanA macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #18
    Yes, that's because she has a locked phone.

    ...oh, reading through the rest of your message, it would seem that you did have her try jailbreaking and installing ultrasn0w. Unfortunately, ultrasn0w doesn't work with iPhone 3G/3GS baseband versions newer than 05.13.04, and you said she has 05.14.02.

    Her only recourse at this point (other than selling the phone off as suggested previously and buying a new iPhone in Australia, which can be *officially* unlocked without any hacks, unlike phones sold in the U.S. by/for AT&T) is to try the "iPad baseband on iPhone" trick, which is detailed at http://blog.iphone-dev.org/ (read the latest blog entry, "Ultra-recycle").

    -- Nathan

    EDIT: Also, please make sure to read the whole post! Including all of the warnings and disclaimers! Once you switch to the iPad baseband on your iPhone, you cannot go back, so this is only if you're desperate. Also, you will lose GPS functionality after "upgrading" to the iPad baseband, as the iPad uses a different GPS chip than the iPhone. There is no fix or workaround for loss of GPS using the iPad baseband as-of-yet, and again, I must stress that you cannot undo the baseband change once it has been made.
     

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