Will AT&T unlock a 4S?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by viperGTS, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. viperGTS macrumors 65816

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #1
    Techincally, as of the writing of this post, all iPhone 4S's should be under contract, which is against the unlocking policy.

    For example, if I buy a used 4S, and tell AT&T i bought it used, will they unlock it? Or is there a risk, and I should buy a factory unlocked one instead?
     
  2. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #2
    No, they will not unlock it, if that phone is under contract with your or someone else. Even if you bought it for $1,000 from someone, if they still have contract on it, then no. Unless you paid Apple or AT&T full price for it or you paid the ETF.
     
  3. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    So factory unlocked is the way to go?
     
  4. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #4

    If you need it unlocked. If you are going to use it in one country and stay on one carrier then save yourself several hundred dollars by paying $199.

    If you need to use it with more than one, then yes, unlocked is the way to go.
     
  5. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Oops, forgot to mention, I'm on T-Mobile :p so to use it on T-Mobile i would need it unlocked... So would it be better to buy an AT&T 4S and try to have AT&T unlock it, or just buy a factory unlocked one? The AT&T "method" is about $200 cheaper but brings the risk of AT&T being unwilling to unlock it.
     
  6. nitemare macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #6
    this is not tech correct. i have a 4S and got it on launch day with subsidy. AT&T has unlocked my 8 month old on contract 4S. they will unlock an on contract phone under certain conditions like for Military members getting deployed over seas. if you bought your iPhone used and can show proof of purchase AT&T will unlock it as long as it is no longer associated with another contract
     
  7. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #7
    Military is an exception, as long as you have deployment orders. They even check the DoD database to verify.

    As for used, like I said, doesn't matter how much you paid, it its still under contract from the person who sold it, they will not unlock.


     
  8. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    What determines if an iPhone is/isn't under contract?

    Still haven't answered my question :eek:
     
  9. Charadis macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    If you bought an iPhone 4S for the subsidized price by signing a 2 year contract and decided to cancel the contract after the first month, AT&T will unlock the phone for you if you've paid the ETF and outstanding usage fees (ie, the month that you were on contract plus activation cost, etc.).

    As long as the phone is no longer on contract and you are a member in good standing, or have paid the ETF, customer service should be able to assist you.

    -C
     
  10. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #10
    If you are using t-mob you need it unlocked.
     
  11. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I understand, but is it better to get an AT&T 4S and have AT&T unlock it, saving money $ but at a risk, or just buy one factory unlocked?
     
  12. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #12
    You said it yourself in your first post:

    With a few exceptions, 4S are going to be tied to a two year contract, yours or someone else's, and thus will not be unlocked by AT&T. If you NEED it unlocked, you should buy it factory unlocked from Apple.
     
  13. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

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    #13
    On here, I've heard various stories about people not with AT&T and not being able to get unlocks. I've also heard that you just need to know someone with AT&T to unlock it for you (have them call in).

    You can also try using this site (http://www.imei.info/) to see if it's factory/carrier unlocked.
     
  14. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I know people who have AT&T too... but i think I might just go factory unlocked to be safe.

    Thanks everybody for your replies! :D
     
  15. nitemare macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #15
    @EricWalker- if the IMEI is no longer associated with a contract, I.E. you switched to an android or win8 phone, AT&T will unlock it.

    If buying a used phone, talk to the seller and ask politely if they have up graded/switched phone brands and or the contract is in a current paid up to date status.
     
  16. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The problem is that the seller on eBay I would've bought it from just receives them as used devices. I assume they were traded in for cash, and the seller I am buying form is just reselling them. So i woudn't be able to tell would I? :eek:
     
  17. Lammercy macrumors regular

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    #17
    Honestly unless you have got a yes or no on this specific question then you should stop commenting "NO"! Plenty of people on this forum have gotten their IPhone 4S unlocked by AT&T. It all depends on who at AT&T you talk to. So unless you have called and they have told you no or yes than stop just saying NO!
     
  18. Neverbepeace macrumors 6502a

    Neverbepeace

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    #18
    This!

    Called att 2 days ago and I straight up asked to unlock both my iphone 4S's under contract for another 8 months......got both unlocked......no questions asked;)
     
  19. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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  20. longhornx macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Mine was unlocked as well. I got it from craigslist.
     
  21. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #21
    I said that. I said they won't unlock a phone that is still under contract. It's the same thing you said.
     
  22. macfan88 macrumors member

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    Brooklyn, NY
    #22
    I did. I asked and they submitted a case then I was unlocked. Depends ho ou talk to and how lucky you are.
     
  23. kalex macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #23
    i got my 4s unlocked by att after buying it on CL. I did a online chat with ATT told them straight out that I was on Straight Talk and never had att service. I told them that I bought my 4s on CL. I actually ended up trading my lumia 900 for 4s so person i bought it from already had my old lumia on his account at the time when I chatted with ATT. I was able to get it unlocked with no issues and it was done within 10 minutes of the chat.

    Then I ended up selling it on CL and getting another lumia 900 which is now locked to att :( but still works fine with straight talk
     
  24. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68030

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    #24
    I did the same about a month ago, no problem.
     
  25. saud0488 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #25
    So much bad information on this thread.

    The clear answer is: Yes they will unlock it.


    Get one for 199 (or 149 from sams club or wal mart) and give them a call. It really depends on who you get. It might take you a few tries but eventually you will get someone who will unlock it.
     

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