Will Euro carriers unlock US iPhone 4?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by daniels, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. daniels macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    #1
    I know that many European carriers, including Orange in France, will unlock an iPhone4 that you purchase from them. I'll be moving to Europe in the fall and I'm wondering if a carrier there will unlock my AT&T iPhone4 when I sign up for their service. Does anyone know if this is possible? I sent the question to Orange's info request but have not heard back yet.
     
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    Carriers can only unlock a phone that is currently locked to that carrier.

    They aren't allowed to unlock another phone.
     
  3. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #4
    Orange is going to tell you what we're telling you. They only unlock phones you purchase from them.
    It looks like people are having luck with the turbo sim and the gray market unlock. You might want to try one of those.
     
  4. daniels thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    #5
    Thanks for the info everyone. I'm not willing to pay for either the turbo sim or the website unlock as I am not confident that either will last.
     
  5. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #6
    I take that you don't have an unlockable bb?
     
  6. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #7
    Is it that they won't unlock it because it's a legal issue or because they're physically unable?
     
  7. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #8
    I think its just because they'd rather not do it and have you buy it from them, or they just can't.
     
  8. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #9
    I've never heard of a GSM carrier being able to unlock another carrier's phone. However, there's also the greed issue. Carriers have no financial motivation to unlock another carrier's phone.
     
  9. SirStrumalot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #10
    They can unlock your phone if they wanted to but will most likely not. There have been instances of people on AT&T getting their phones unlocked through O2 but its few and far between. What that does say however, is that there is some sort of central database of whitelisted IMEI's. This makes the whole remote unlock a lot more appealing, and I will be trying it out this week.

    Also, if you're moving, just sell your AT&T phone and use that towards purchasing one from wherever you're going. Most carriers will unlock it for free if you're on their service or charge as little as £15 if you bought the phone from them even if you're using a pay-as-you-go sim.
     
  10. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #11
    A few people over at modmyi successfully got O2 to unlock their non O2 iphones.
     
  11. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #12
    If I'm ever in the UK, I'm going to try at least. Hell, I'll even bribe the person behind the counter. The worst they can do is say no!
     
  12. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #13
    Well some of the people weren't even in the UK - they just gave their IMEI to O2s online chat support thing. They basically said something to the effect of "I'm on vacation right now and I need to unlock my iphone... I left all of my billing info at home, but I can give you my IMEI"... seems to depend on the CSR you get. Some just enter the IMEI into the system, while others say they can't help.

    I'm going to try tomorrow morning. Can't hurt, right?
     
  13. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Maybe you shouldn't post your plan for the entire Internet and O2 to see.
     
  14. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    DC USA
    #15
    First of all O2 could easily track what IMEIs customers are using. Second, even if you forget your account number, no way you forget your own address, which they could use to look you up. A CSR could still not care and unlock you anyway, but they'd have to intentionally look the other way. Let us know how it goes.
     
  15. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #16
    I understand it'd be trivial for them to look up the info, I'm just going off what other people have reported. I'll try when their online chats open up. If I get it - great. If not, then it's not like I lost anything except a few minutes of my time

    Why not? It's not like I'm the first person to have thought of such a scheme.
     
  16. daniels thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    #17
    They have a financial motivation in that if they unlock my phone, I'll start paying them to use it on their network :D
     

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