AT&T to Unlock Off-Contract iPhones From April 8th

Unlock iPhone

Couple of days back, we reported that best option to get your AT&T iPhone unlocked after the contract period was to send an email to Tim Cook.

At that time, we had mentioned that though it was nice to see Tim Cook going out of his way to ensure that the customer’s iPhone is unlocked, we couldn’t understand why users have to escalate matters to get their iPhones unlocked after they’ve completed their contractual obligation.

We’ve some great news for AT&T iPhone users. Engadget has just reported that AT&T has changed its policy for off-contract iPhones. It plans to start unlocking off-contract iPhone from April 8th.

We’ve just received word of a spicy strategy change, to be enacted this Sunday, that’s sure to please the AT&T iPhone-loving masses. On Easter, select Ma’ Bell customers with iPhones — those off-contract with accounts in good standing — will be able to request a carrier unlock for their device.  Once freed, any micro-SIM can be used — provided its carrier’s frequencies are supported — by the smartphone. An AT&T spokesperson was able to confirm that “a policy change concerning iPhones” would indeed be rolled-out on Sunday, but declined to elaborate further.

Engadget reports that AT&T spokesperson has also confirmed the change in policy. This means that after AT&T customers have finished their 24-months contract they will be get their iPhones unlocked so that it can be used with any other GSM carrier. Update: It turns into a factory unlocked iPhone, so you don’t need to be worried about locking it again when you update to the latest iOS software update.

AT&T has issued the following statement to MacRumors:

Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones. The only requirements are that a customer’s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee.

We wonder if Tim Cook (or the flurry of emails he may have received) had anything to do with this policy. But anyways, it is good to see AT&T finally making a pro-customer policy change.

We expect the resale value of older iPhones to go up slightly as a side effect of this move and giving users one less reason to jailbreak their iPhone.

We would love to find out how this policy change affects you, so sounds off in the comments.

Like this post? Share it!

  • Wiilt

    JOY TO THE WORLD!

  • rebby

    i was able to unlock my old iphone with unlock code provided by AT&T when I asked them to, I just tell them i just renew my contract and need to use my old one while i’m out of the country for bussines trip….

    they only asked my phone IMEI and last 4 digit SS and they provided me the unlock code and step by step how to by email…

    • Divxclub

      Lies ! I personally unlocked phone with different carrier and ONLY way to unlock it is to get your iPhone IMEI to “white list” then it get’s submitted to Apple server, then end user access iTunes and if white list confirms unlock iTunes will give you a message about you phone is now unlocked and STFU if you don’t know what are you saying in here ,,,,

      P.S.

      Where is no “combinations” to open ANY kind of “Enter code” menu …not even in iOS coding ,,,,damn people are pathetic ….

    • keke

      I was wondering how do they do that for you?Can you help me out? what did you ask? I want my att to unlock for me.

    • irox

      i bought my iphone4 4.3.2 about year ago on ebay att ,,, it was gevey sim……what should i do to factory unlock it

  • Fattrain

    Is the unlock code and instructions you received universal??

    Can you post them here so others can try?

    • timeout

      no evey iphone will need a special code.

    • Bill

      Who did you call? The store or 611 on your device? Thanks

  • Loy

    What happens when you upgrade your phone to future firmware update, will it still be unlocked?

    sorry for my english…

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com/ iPhoneHacks

      If it is unlocked by the carrier then it essentially turns into a factory unlocked iPhone. You don’t need to be worried about locking it again when you update it to the latest iOS software update.

      • Loy

        Nice… Thanks!

  • Fyi

    The rest of the world has been doing it for over two years. The good old USA is just getting it. Boy do these corporations control everything….

  • AC

    Well, what if we are not with AT&T anymore, or never was but own an iPhone that is locked on AT&T… How can we get it unlocked?

    One way is to get a friend that has AT&T to call them and get the code?!

    • Sghdfdhh

      Phone AT&T.

      They’re the phone’s lord and master. You’ll probably have to pay an unlocking fee and convince them that it wasn’t stolen.

    • Sghdfdhh

      Also there isn’t a code. You phone AT&T, AT&T talks to Apple, and next time your phone activates (for instance if you wipe it, restore it, or put in a locked-out SIM and connect it to iTunes), Apple tells your phone that it’s unlocked.

  • Sai Soe aung

    :):):)

  • AC

    would this apply to all versions of iPhone? original iPhone, 3G, 4?

  • br

    This is great. However there are still no instructions on how to do it.

    I wish someone publishes the steps.

    • AC

      you need to call AT&T customer care… but on april 8th or after..

      • br

        That sucks!!! There will be millions calling. I wish AT&T has a webpage dedicated to do this. It would be much easier.

        • timeout

          i just called them they told me that its 3gs or lower they cant unlock iphone 4. sucks i know. or maybe i got a rep that doesnt know whats shes talking about, hopefully thats the case. will try on april 8th again.

          • Sghdfdhh

            They can, so she means ‘won’t’. Presumably if you phone again on Tuesday, you’ll get a different answer.

          • JP32

            They will unlock all versions of the iPhone including the 4S.

  • Michael

    This is great. My brother-in-law in Japan wants to buy my wife’s iPhone 4 (my old phone), so instead of dealing with eBay now I can sell it to him when my wife gets my iPhone 4S.

  • Kadrie

    so ideally, you could purchase a pay as you go att sim, put it in an iphone 4, and ask them to unlock it?

  • Steffany

    Hey well i’ve never been to at&t i just got a phone locked to it and i dont knw anyone who can help me to contact at&t and in my country we dont have any at&t cards and stuff so any help or ideas plzz

  • JC

    Just got off the phone with ATT and they know NOTHING about this. Does anyone have the ACTUAL press release or name of the reps that have validated this statement??
    Thanks

    • Bill

      Same no dice??? What gives

    • numb nuts

      If you read the press release it says “april 8Tth!” today is the 6th.

    • Happy

      Called AT&T earlier today told them I have three iphones and that I do not have an AT&T account with them and asked if I would be able to get them unlocked on the 8th and she said as long as they were free of contracts and charges they would be unlocked free of charge:}:}:}:} About time.

  • jh

    How Sprint and Verizon? will they follow?

    • Chris

      Sprint and Verizon have been doing this from the start, each has a slightly different policy about the requirements to be unlocked though. As I recall, one is something like you have to have had the phone at least 30 days, the other is at least a year and in both cases your account must be in good standing (in other words nothing past due on the account).

  • kumar

    great now i have to wait 2 years b4 i go overseas, by the time it will time to buy new phone and that wouldn’t be unlocked by at&t.

  • hhjkke

    i used to be att customer and now i not, but is wondering can they still unlock it for me.

    • Maxtor182

      I had an iPhone4 locked to Rogers in Canada. I signed a new contract with a different carrier to get 4S. When I called Rogers to unlock my 4, they couldn’t do it because I no longer had a standing account with them. I had to get my new carrier to contact Rogers to release the phone to them so that my new carrier could unlock it. Maybe the same if u no longer have an account with at&t

  • Maxtor182

    I had an iPhone4 locked to Rogers in Canada. I signed a new contract with a different carrier to get 4S. When I called Rogers to unlock my 4, they couldn’t do it because I no longer had a standing account with them. I had to get my new carrier to contact Rogers to release the phone to them so that my new carrier could unlock it. Maybe the same if u no longer have an account with at&t

  • Hari

    I am living in Netherlands. I got a iPhone as a gift. With AT&T free plan contract. It was purchased in USA on the 4th November 2010. I have never use it with AT&T Sim. But i using with gevey sim. Can I also unlock it now.

  • Grime

    Good news, I’m glad to hear it. I was wondering if At&t had a change of heart because of legal reasons. I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t see how it would be legal to give special treatment such as unlocking a phone for some customers and not for others. I wonder why no one has tried to sue on grounds of discrimination or something along those lines.
    Also, for most people not concerned with traveling abroad you can now get month to month service with Straight talk nationwide for $45 a month using an locked At&t cell phone including the iphone. It makes perfect sense they’d change their policy towards unlocking phones with fulfilled contracts.
    I’m just wondering how that’s going to affect Apple’s bottom line. If you can unlock an iphone by paying an early termination fee you can essential get the iphone for less than Apple’s asking price. For example if you buy an iphone 4s for $399. $36.00 activation fee, 59.00 for least expensive voice and data plan option and $315 for the early termination fee (assuming you keep the phone for one month), excluding taxes, that should set you back $819.99. You’d still pay less than buying directly from Apple for $849.00+$45 for a one month Straight talk unlimited plan, for a grand total of $894.00. It’s a difference of $84, not a huge savings, but it’s still something.
    If you’re in the situation I was in, you have 6 months left in you contract, you’re itching to switch carriers and want a new iphone 4s, you can pay an additional $36 upgrade fee in place of the activation fee and follow the steps above or just wait for your contract to end an switch to another carrier and still have to buy an iphone 4s from one of the big three and pay at least $59 for a watered down plan that doesn’t include texting. The choice is up to you, just presenting the options,

    • Tlukacs

      Don’t need to unlock AT&T iphone to be used on Straight Talk because they use AT&T’s network

  • DoctorTim

    I bought my old iPhone 4 at full price from Apple and use it overseas exclusively. It’s B.S. that I have to go through AT&T for an unlock. They have nothing to do with my phone and never have.

    • shawn

      wow your an idiot or you just can not read. You only would have to go through AT&T if you BOUGHT THE PHONE FROM AT&T if you bought a factory unlocked iphone from the APPLE store that’s completely different then what this is talking about.

      • dkj

        hahah hey he’s a Doctor hahahaha

  • Ejin M.

    Hi, is there anyone out there know the steps to at&t unlock iphone 4? Please reply ;)

    • jftcdhv

      1) Wait til Monday 9th
      2) Phone AT&T, and get them to unlock your phone
      3) Put in a non-AT&T SIM and connect your phone to iTunes.

  • Jae

    Does anybody know if we have to unjailbreak the phone to have them unlock? Thx.

  • cheryl

    I already use pay as you go on my iphone, just went into ATT store and paid early term fee and had it switched to pay as you go. But I’ll probably go with TMobiles $30 plan now.

    • jim

      hi cherylm
      i have been on the pay as u go plam as well with my iphone 4 but att will not allow me to use there data network with it have to use wifi texting works but they wont sell me data time time for this phone in fact refunded the moneys i paid them for the data plan

  • http://www.7yemen.co شات شباب اليمن

    Very success move from at&t. that is smart to attract more customers

  • Nosferatu

    good to hear. Last I booted up my old 3GS I remember it had one of those basebands that would be a real PITA (aka need iPad baseband) and would be irreversible. Glad I held out because now I can unlock it and sell it as jailbroken and unlocked. :P

  • Ronak

    Sumthing good to hear..i amglad tht single email worked to start this policy..anyways..
    Guys i need sum help..i resides in india n have got an iphone 4 which is locked to at&t while buying that phone from usa i have terminated the contract by paying the contract breaking fees..from den i was in no contract with at&t..but still my phone is locked to at&t carrier..so am i elegible for this unlock????
    N can some one explain how this process will work..??
    Need help mates..
    Please some one reply soon..ad i
    Am dying to get my phone unlocked..

    • Hari

      Hi Ronak my problem also same as you.we will have to wait until official announcement from AT&T. According to me it is only who are using the AT&T SIM.
      I am not usins AT&T but I am using (unlock with GEVEY SIM) other carrier.

      • DRKD

        Hey Ronak and Hari. Even i got an iphone in nov 2010. I had paid the full cost for the phone and got it from the apple store. It was locked with at&t. I knew other operators in the world unlocked for a fee. but i did not know at&t were so stringent about the policy. Damn should have done my research well. but neways, m currently using it on gevey sim and i hope they should unlock our phones too because we have paid the termination fee or the full cost of the phone so we are no way related to at&t anymore so they should relieve us from their bond. Our phones should be unlocked. hope for the best!

  • Jay

    How much it cost for termination fee?

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    Finally sense prevailed with AT&T and they did this, which they should have years ago.

  • Ronak

    Hi Hari , DRKD
    I probably guess that they should unlock our iphone as i approprieatly went thoroug the statement from at&t..even i am using gevey sim..but unlocked phone is any way better..even i had paid the termination fees while buying the phone…Hari we shouldn’t wait we should call at&t and ask them directly to unlock the phone as when u provide your serial no to them they get every detail weather you have paid the contract termination cost..and let them decide our iphones future..
    Hope for the best..
    Gyus update if u have had a conversation with at&t customer service..this would be realy beneficial for many people..

    • Hari

      Hi just now i call to the at&t customer service . And i given my IMEI Nr. and my e.mail address. they told that they send a unlock code before 17th April . We wait and see. I have call to this no. +1 800 3310 500

  • Ronak

    Hi Hari , DRKD
    I probably guess that they should unlock our iphone as i approprieatly went thoroug the statement from at&t..even i am using gevey sim..but unlocked phone is any way better..even i had paid the termination fees while buying the phone…Hari we shouldn’t wait we should call at&t and ask them directly to unlock the phone as when u provide your serial no to them they get every detail weather you have paid the contract termination cost..and let them decide our iphones future..
    Hope for the best.

  • Jordan

    Funny how today is April 8th and AT&T s wireless department is closed on Sunday’s. I think it’s a scam.

  • lynda

    I called AT&T this morning, just after they opened the customer support lines.
    First customer service rep said that absolutely no-way could they unlock an iPhone, then cut me off.
    Second customer service rep said the same, but then did a little more research and acknowledged that they now can unlock iPhones that satisfy the requirements.
    However, despite the rep being able to see that my phone qualifies, they do not have access to unlock codes.
    My case has been escalated to the account team who, once they confirm eligibility, will get back to me with an unlock code by April 16th.
    So, don’t hold your breath for an immediate unlock.

  • P_NY

    I agree with lynda,

    I also called this morning (trying to unlock iPhone 3GS), the first rep said my account is in good standing and she will transfer me to Apple, once I was with Apple rep, he said to my ONLY AT&T can unlock iPhones, called second time and after 30min of waiting and gave her my IMEI #, ATT rep said I can’t unlock my iPhone, I asked why? and her response was my account is not eligible for unlock because AT&T is the official carrier of iPhone.

    After a little longer of going back and forth withe the rep, she said my account is not eligible to get the unlock code (my contract is up on July). So I guess you can only unlock your iPhone ONLY if your off contract

  • http://www.iphonehacks.com/ iPhoneHacks

    Thanks everyone for the feedback, we have a new post, which provides more info and to also track if AT&T has started unlocking off-contract iPhones.

  • Ronak

    Woww…just called at&t…the representative initially told me there is no unlock available..then after i repeated my problem again and again..he finally said tht we have got an unlock solution for you..he asked my mobile number and IMEI number..and requested me to wait for 24 hours.. He assured tht i will receive a call from their executive regarding unlock…
    Super happy n wating for the call to come..

  • PicturePete

    Jeez don’t any of you guys listen, there is no such thing as an ‘unlock code’ you have to talk to your carrier who will arrange for it to be unlocked, when this is done they contact you and ask you to put in another carriers sim and sync with Itunes, Itunes will then confirm that your phone is unlocked. In the UK they will unlock your phone at anytime however you are still contractually obliged to finish your contract. If you finish your contract then most of them will charge you a fee to unlock so get it unlocked whilst you are on contract, in the UK that is.

  • dark

    has anybody receive any mail or i was told by 17 but so far nothing ?unlocking their iphones 4 or 4S

  • kaleb

    hey guys plz some1 help me i called att and they said that i was not eligible for an unlock my mom used to have att but now we all have t-mobile som1 plz help me what am i to do

    • kaleb

      also the phone i want to unlock is a htc freestyle

  • herder

    hi all

    Admin, if the phone was unlock through original carrier like AT&T, and if I update the iOS(5.0.1 to 5.1.1, would be the signal blocked again(no service)?
    Thank you.