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  • O2 to Unlock iPhones After Contracts Expire


    O2 will allow its customers to unlock their iPhones after their current contracts expire, according to Matthew Key, chairman and CEO of O2's parent company, Telefónica.

    In an interview held as part of Times Online's "Ask the Boss" feature, Key left open the question of whether O2 would unlock the phones for their customers, or merely not object if they chose to do so:
    Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honor any outstanding contract period they have. At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator
    .
    A reader had asked Key to comment on a rumor that O2 would "not allow people to unlock their iPhone, even if they are out of their contract period." Unlocking phones after contracts expire is much more common in the UK than it is in the US and other markets, so any move by O2 to restrict that ability would be poorly received.

    O2 also offers the so-called "Pay & Go" option for users without a contract, that offers 12 months of unlimited (using the UK definition of that term) web and WiFi, though without Visual Voicemail, call merging or Internet tethering. These users will also be able to unlock after paying a fee of £15.

    As exclusive-carrier arrangements in many countries are increasingly coming to an end, it will be interesting to see which service providers go O2's direction and which don't. O2 clearly thinks that they can hold on to customers by offering low prices, so this move should spur healthy competition in the UK market.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: O2 to Unlock iPhones After Contracts Expire started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 107 Comments
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      It's free for contract phones and £15 for PAYG - but only after 1 year apparently.
      Unlock my iPhone - iPhone

      Not sure what has to be a year - the phone or how long you've been with them. I've submitted my phone details (which is older than 1 year) and my daughter's PAYG details (which is less than a year)
      They will get back to me within 14 days - so lets see what they say....

      Yes please let us know, it will be interesting to see what the definitions are.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      At&t would never do this.
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      I hope this goes global
    1. thatcoralguy's Avatar
      thatcoralguy -
      And this is just one of the 1000 reasons that I can site as to why I moved to the android. Tmobile gave me my unlock code. What do you think your chances are of getting yours? I'll bet it's .00000000000000001% and that is after being out of contact for 10 years and signing a contract agreeing to never ever use any other carrier except AT&T.
    1. Michelebabe1234's Avatar
      Michelebabe1234 -
      I have an officially unlocked iPhone from Australia. It's a breeze not worrying about unlocks.I just wish At&t would do it here in the U.S.

      Here is a pic of iTunes unlocking my iPhone the other day.

    1. astalavistadear's Avatar
      astalavistadear -
      At&t might be following suit
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Cant believe how they can justify unlocking phones that are on contract even if you have to pay the balance but wont unlock the PAYG phones. Surely they can determine what the phone owes them and adjust a pay off price accordingly. Disgusting and possibly illegal behaviour from O2.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      ^Thats very nice to see your iphone is officially unlocked now it should sell for $1,000 easy!
    1. g0sbv's Avatar
      g0sbv -
      Just spoke to o2 they said now monthly phones they will unlock free anytime in your contract but you will have to honour the rest of you contract..[obviously] Pay as you go they will unlock for £15.00..
      use the unlock my phone form:
      https://www.o2.co.uk/apps/help/help?...locking%20Form
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      ^That's why the link in my post above is to the page before that form which explains what they do.
      Best to start here.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      sounds like a fair game plan
    1. uzz's Avatar
      uzz -
      What about my previous iphone family? Like my 2g & 2x 3g phones will I be able to get them unlocked? even though I have them unlocked it would be nice to get them factory unlocked...
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Still think it is a discriminatory behavior from O2 and not legal.
      '[email protected]'
      Have e mailed the appropriate dept venting my dissatisfaction. Perhaps others may feel they want to do the same.After all it now comes down to freedom of choice. Why can people who signed a contract opt out{even if they have to pay until the end of the contract} and people who didnt sign the contract are unable to do so!!! Unfair and discriminatory practice. PAYG users should be offered an opt out choice even if it means paying a bigger chunk towards the phon

      {Just hope that I had the correct e mail address!!!}
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I doubt very much if it's illegal.
      people who signed a contract still have to meet their contractual obligations. What they don't want is people buying phones that they subsidise and unlocking them and using them on another network and never on O2. Why should O2 provide you with a phone for someone else? You might have a point if you say that Apple should provide officially unlocked phones at full retail value but I really don't think you have a complaint against O2 providing a service for their customers!
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      I doubt very much if it's illegal.
      people who signed a contract still have to meet their contractual obligations. What they don't want is people buying phones that they subsidise and unlocking them and using them on another network and never on O2. Why should O2 provide you with a phone for someone else? You might have a point if you say that Apple should provide officially unlocked phones at full retail value but I really don't think you have a complaint against O2 providing a service for their customers!
      Confucious
      I know what you are saying and I am not asking them to provide me with a subsidy to take my phone elsewhere. What I believe is that in todays legal world of equality and equal rights and the many other legalities that abound within our system, together with fair trade policy, that O2 are now discriminating against PAYG customers. What they should do is offer the facility to those customers that have alread paid a substantial part of the phone costs in a lump sum, to pay the remaining balance in order to secure the unlock. ie if the unsubsidised cost was £800 and purchase cost was £550 then £250 is outstanding. £20.83 per month over a 12 month term. After 6 months I would have no objection to paying £125 to unlock my phone. But I certainly feel that I should be given the opportunity to unlock should I wish to do so in line with pay monthly customers. After all they signed a contract and can " buy out " of it if they wish, but I signed nothing and am stuck in. Can you see where I am coming from.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I can see where you are coming from, just not sure I agree with you.
      What O2 have done is a good start, I'm not sure discrimination and fair trade come in to play here - I am no legal expert. I can also see where O2 are coming from.
      Should Apple sell unlocked phones unsubsidised? Possibly. Should O2 be made to unlock immediately? Not sure, they did have an exclusive contract and I'm not sure they are obliged to unlock at all.
      I never used my phone on O2 at all so am not in your situation - maybe my views would be different if I was....
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Confucious
      Mine isnt on O2 either. But the option would have been nice.
    1. st3v3y's Avatar
      st3v3y -
      Ok my wife is near the end of her o2 contract and is using a crappy old sony ericsson. I have a 3gs (still running on 3.0) and want to know a couple of things...

      Can I fill in the form in her name and put my iPhone details in (even tho its on Voda & has never been on o2) and get it unlocked?

      Will this update my baseband and is that a dangerous thing to do or not?

      To be honest, my phone is fine, runs well and if I lost my jailbreaking capabilities I'd feel like I'd lost a big part of my phone and as it is unlocked at the moment, I don't need to go down the official unlocked route but was just wondering? My wife is more than likely going to move away from o2 so I only have a limited time available to do this so what are the pro's and con's if there are any?

      TIA


      st3v3y
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I am trying to get mine unlocked with my daughter's PAYG SIM - don't know if it will work or not but there is only one way to find out!

      The BB only matters for unlock and as your phone will be officially unlocked it will no longer matter.

      Firmware 3.12 can be JB so you will have no problems. When a new FW comes out you just have to wait until a JB is available (which ussually happens pretty quickly) and not have to wait for or worry about an unlock.

      Plug in your wife's details and see if it works.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      i would do the happy dance but i'm too tired :P
      ...
      what if tho, you bought the iPhone over amazone without the sim/contract?
      will they still unlock it for you?