AT&T Will Unlock Out-of-Contract iPhones Starting April 8

Apr 6, 2012 - 16 Comments

AT&T will unlock iPhones that are out of contract

iPhone owners who are out of contract with AT&T will be able to unlock their devices starting April 8. An unlock means the SIM card slot becomes usable outside of the AT&T network, allowing for an individual to swap SIM cards and gain service on another compatible carrier, like T-Mobile.

This exciting news comes from America OnLine Engadget, who provides the following official statement from AT&T:

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.

There are no instructions provided on how to unlock the iPhone, presumably a user will have to contact AT&T directly to walk through the unlock process with a representative. Typically this requires the IMEI number of the iPhone in question, which can be easily found on the iPhone itself or through iTunes. The phone number for AT&T wireless is 1-800-331-0500, and repeatedly pressing 0 is the easiest way to speak with a human being.

Given the pent up demand for unlocked iPhones there will likely be a surge of interest in unlocking contract-free devices. Unlocking is extremely beneficial to users who travel abroad. Purchasing a local pay-go SIM card is significantly cheaper than roaming through AT&T’s overpriced international rates, and also makes an iPhone more useful in areas where AT&T coverage is limited or does not exist.

Even those with no intention on using an iPhone abroad or with a competing cellular network should unlock their iPhone if given the chance. Individuals who bought an iPhone out of contract can also request the unlock, though their devices should already be unlocked by default.

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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPhone, News

16 Comments

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  1. abacus rosse says:

    About time, it’s highway robbery that they are holding us hostage to their network after we have paid our contractual obligations. How was that even legal in the first place?

  2. Trey says:

    I will call on Sunday but I don’t have high hopes.

  3. Jan Landy says:

    You guys at OSX daily are amazing. Who are you guys and where did you com from?

    I called AT&T today, the operator I spoke with was aware of the program, but did not know anything more, she promised to call me on Monday.

  4. LOL says:

    “America OnLine Engadget”

  5. RJM says:

    It’s not really worth going to another provider. I have t-mobile and use an iPhone. If you want internet on-the-go you will have to pay for 4g access but you will only be able to use the Edge network (which is below 3g). It’s like using dial-up all over again. On Wifi the iPhone is magnificent but if you want 4g access anywhere on your iPhone then t-mobile isn’t the way to go. This isn’t a problem if you use a t-mobile phone obviously, but it sucks to pay for 4g and never have access to it.

    • Hans says:

      I disagree, for those of us who are on wifi majority of the day, this is excellent! I have Simplemobile pre-paid $40 unlimited Talk/Text/Web (Uses T-Mobile network) and I don’t mind being on Edge for 15% of the day.

      • RJM says:

        Good point Hans. If you primarily use WiFi then you will love it. I’m on the go a lot, and the edge network is unusable for directions or anything useful. It’s very unfortunate because I love the iPhone. Best of luck.

  6. we will see tomorrow !! i have an locked iphone i can’t put other sim card !! and i already out of contract in AT&T

  7. B.R. says:

    Does this mean that 4.11.8 will be unlocked as well and I can use my other sim in it? I had this iphone 4 for 3 months waiting for an ulock so please let me know.

  8. Ert says:

    is there anyone unlocked At&t i phone ?

  9. […] expected, you can now unlock an iPhone that is out of contract with AT&T. The process is straight […]

  10. s.s. says:

    Yes, I got my iPhone 3GS unlocked by AT&T today.

  11. Sosetha says:

    it is amazing to hear that. I wonder how can we check if our iPhone is out-of-contract or not. I have a locked iPhone 4 BB 04 11 08. I am eager to know about this unlock promotion. I bought this iPhone from a friend who frequently travel abroad and did not know who was the first owner.

  12. Rajesh says:

    I am not able to connect to at & t through the number which you have provided. kindly give me the contact number from India and also the mail id through which i can contact as m not able to create one since it says connect it to account. I dont have the one.

  13. rafael says:

    I just unlocked my iPhone 4 At&t today!

  14. Mike says:

    Currently AT&T has updated their unlocking policy so it’s almost impossible to get unlocked now

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