Unlocks soon deemed obsolete?

pdpfilms

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 29, 2004
2,385
0
Vermontana
After reading all the reports that AT&T's likely to lose exclusivity this year (and possibly in June), I've been thinking about my unlocked iPhone. When they lose exclusivity, what do you think will happen to Apple's current policy regarding unlocking? With no partnership assets to protect, will they release OS4.0 as an unlocked firmware?

Whether this happens in June or not, the iPhone is sure to become available on other US networks at some point in the future. My question is how Apple will handle it... active unlocks for all phones using new firmware, or turning a blind eye to unlockers?

Sources:

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/analyst-t-lose-rights-iphone-next-june/2009-11-23

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/01/25/atandt-losing-iphone-exclusivity-on-wednesday/ (Note: article references mid-2010 exclusivity loss)

http://www.mobilitysite.com/2009/10/atts-own-ceo-confirms-they-will-lose-exclusivity-of-the-iphone/

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/company-news/atandt-may-lose-iphone-exclusivity-ceo-admits/19107776/

http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/analyst-t-lose-iphone-exclusivity-mid-2010/2009-11-24

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=112699

These sources are all referring to rumors and analyst predictions of course... this is MacRumors after all, so don't expect news any more concrete than is possible at this point.
 

iphone1105

macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2009
2,010
194
Really, Apple is leaving AT&T in June? Really, you have proof or just forum specualtion(s). I think you're jumping the gun they're leaving my friend. So all you wrote is moot
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,650
6,403
At the iPhone hacks section.
No... not going to happen. Apple isn't leaving AT&T. The while iPad deal says otherwise. Also, no one knows when the agreement is over.
I agree.
Also how it works in other places overseas is that the carrier unlocks the device for a fee or when the contract with the customer has expired. Or you buy a full price unlocked iphone from Apple.
But I dont see that happening any time soon in the US.
Even if it is unlocked you can only use it on Tmobile with 2G data but not with their 3G network since its incompatible with the iphone.
 

pdpfilms

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 29, 2004
2,385
0
Vermontana
I'd like to point out this is more of a rhetorical question than a statement of what's coming.

How will apple handle the opening of the iPhone to other US carriers, especially regarding unlockers?
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
I'd like to point out this is more of a rhetorical question than a statement of what's coming.

How will apple handle the opening of the iPhone to other US carriers, especially regarding unlockers?

Read above. Take the uk as a case in point. O2 lost exclusivity, at the end of your contract term they allowed you to unlock your iPhone. You insert another carriers sim sync with iTunes and away you go.

You can buy a pay and go iPhone and slap an orange o2 or whatever simcard in it and sync with iTunes. If it's an o2 chip it's locked in for a year. I'm not sure for other carriers. O2 will unlock a p&g iPhone after 12 months or for a fee.

Now to AT&T losing exclusivity? Yeah not before hell freezes over.
 

Madmic23

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2004
661
422
In Canada, you can buy an iPhone on any one of our three major providers and it's locked to them. Apparently, the iPhone is shipped unlocked, but is locked to the provider of the first SIM card inserted into the phone.

So, if you buy an iPhone at the Apple store in Toronto, it is unlocked. But as soon as they put a Bell or a Telus or a Rogers SIM card in it, it's locked to that network.

I got this information from a Bell employee over at howardforums.com, which is an excellent source for information on anything cell phone related.

So to sum it up, if Apple left AT&T, whatever carrier you buy the phone for it will still be locked to.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
In Canada, you can buy an iPhone on any one of our three major providers and it's locked to them. Apparently, the iPhone is shipped unlocked, but is locked to the provider of the first SIM card inserted into the phone.

So, if you buy an iPhone at the Apple store in Toronto, it is unlocked. But as soon as they put a Bell or a Telus or a Rogers SIM card in it, it's locked to that network.

I got this information from a Bell employee over at howardforums.com, which is an excellent source for information on anything cell phone related.

So to sum it up, if Apple left AT&T, whatever carrier you buy the phone for it will still be locked to.
there unlocked over here. Several of my friends have purchased iPhones and popped in different carriers from scratch without an issue.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
16,747
6,364
The Black Country, England
Read above. Take the uk as a case in point. O2 lost exclusivity, at the end of your contract term they allowed you to unlock your iPhone. You insert another carriers sim sync with iTunes and away you go.
You don't need to wait until your contract has ended, you can apply to unlock it on day one if you want.


You can buy a pay and go iPhone and slap an orange o2 or whatever simcard in it and sync with iTunes. If it's an o2 chip it's locked in for a year. I'm not sure for other carriers. O2 will unlock a p&g iPhone after 12 months or for a fee.
The O2 PAYG iPhone comes locked to O2. Again, you can unlock it from day one for £15 but you lose the 12 months unlimited data plan.

Full details here.
 

anonymous guy

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
505
103
Unlocking an iPhone in the US is useless anyways, since the only other GSM provider is T-Mobile, and the phone would only work on their edge network.

But for international travelers, this is an ongoing issue.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
Considering that AT&T isn't going to simply "unlock" all phones when their contracts expires with Apple, and therefore unlock is still very much needed.

Furthermore, I am certain that when T-Mobile obtains their agreement with Apple to sell iPhone, they, too, will put their own server lock on the phones they sell.

As international traveler, unlock is essential and will always be necessary.
 

seashellz

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2004
407
0
from my reading ATT will lose EXCLUSIVITY on the iPhone;
VERIZON seems to be next in line to get onboard-see thier 4G ad elsewhere here
 

labman

macrumors 604
Jun 9, 2009
7,776
1
Mich near Detroit
I wouldn't hold my breath

and also hardly a new topic (Speculation) nobody for sure except AT&T and Apple know for sure when or if the contract ends! There not talking! ;)
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,933
49
Connecticut, USA
Read above. Take the uk as a case in point. O2 lost exclusivity, at the end of your contract term they allowed you to unlock your iPhone. You insert another carriers sim sync with iTunes and away you go.
The UK is a very different country with very different consumer laws and a very different cell phone culture. Almost all phones in the US are carrier locked and will remain so as long as they are not legally required to offer unlocks. While it is common practice in the UK for out-of-contract phones to be be unlocked, it just isn't in the US. And AT&T is not going to suddenly allow phones they spent $400 on be unlocked whether they lose exclusivity or not.
 

KidStallyn

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2008
412
0
No... not going to happen. Apple isn't leaving AT&T. The while iPad deal says otherwise. Also, no one knows when the agreement is over.
Just curious how you think the iPad deal says otherwise. To me it says they were only able to strike a deal with AT&T at the current moment in time. You're not locked into any contract whatsoever, and since we haven't seen the hardware broken down (which we'll see in the very near future as shipments start), we'll know for a fact if CDMA is even possible. Most of the rumors are that they are using a chip that supports GSM and CDMA. If that's the case, then I think the fact that they went with a pay as you go method opens the door right up for other carriers to offer the same type of service on the iPad should it be revealed that the hardware has the capability to support the other networks.
 

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
Considering that AT&T isn't going to simply "unlock" all phones when their contracts expires with Apple, and therefore unlock is still very much needed.

Furthermore, I am certain that when T-Mobile obtains their agreement with Apple to sell iPhone, they, too, will put their own server lock on the phones they sell.

As international traveler, unlock is essential and will always be necessary.
a network lock wouldnt be very important if t-mobile gets the iphone imo, because the differing 3G frequencies is enough of a reason to buy your carrier specific model and keep it on the proper network.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
a network lock wouldnt be very important if t-mobile gets the iphone imo, because the differing 3G frequencies is enough of a reason to buy your carrier specific model and keep it on the proper network.
If that's the case, then why does AT&T lock their phone?
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
a network lock wouldnt be very important if t-mobile gets the iphone imo, because the differing 3G frequencies is enough of a reason to buy your carrier specific model and keep it on the proper network.
We saw something similar here in NZ. The two big operators didn't lock phones, because the two networks were incompatible. They're actually a bit closer now, but to this day a Vodafone device won't work on XT (exception: iPhone 3G/3GS), and an XT device will only provide GPRS on Vodafone. People are essentially prevented from swapping their phones between operators, even though there's no locking.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,650
6,403
At the iPhone hacks section.
Just curious how you think the iPad deal says otherwise. To me it says they were only able to strike a deal with AT&T at the current moment in time. You're not locked into any contract whatsoever, and since we haven't seen the hardware broken down (which we'll see in the very near future as shipments start), we'll know for a fact if CDMA is even possible. Most of the rumors are that they are using a chip that supports GSM and CDMA. If that's the case, then I think the fact that they went with a pay as you go method opens the door right up for other carriers to offer the same type of service on the iPad should it be revealed that the hardware has the capability to support the other networks.
Dont you think in order for Apple to put a CDMA chip inside the ipad they would have announced its compatibility and partnership with Verizon or Sprint?
Do you think manufacturers would just stick chips in there for no reason or as a surprise? What kind of logic is that. Get prepared for another dissapointment in a month or so.
Theres only GSM 2G/3G chipsets in them and also the 3G is not compatible with any other US carrier but AT&T.
 

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
If that's the case, then why does AT&T lock their phone?
because there inst a t-mobile 3G version currently available. if a t-mobile version is released, then there will be no point in locking them. as of right now though, t-mobile customers still want to use at&t iphones.