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  • AT&T Reportedly Unlocking On-Contract iPhones with Web Form


    For those of you who are AT&T users and have wanted to unlock your iPhone, you might be in luck. The wireless carrier has been reported to hand out free factory unlocks to customers with on-contract iPhones. Requesting an unlock through AT&Tís web form seems to have produced good results for a number of iPhone owners. The folks over at Ars Technica have heard the following from AT&T customers (Ars poster lunarobverse) who received free clean factory unlocks while on contract:

    I got this even though Iím 10 months into my 2 year contract. When I upgrade to the iPhone 5 next week, Iíll still have to pay the ETF but itíll make selling my old iPhone (or handing it down to an iPhone-less friend) much easier.
    After other users reported trying to call in and getting their iPhone 4S unlocked, many said customer representatives told them the service could not be offered until after they had paid the subsidy. This leads to the conclusion that potential unlockers will have better luck getting through to AT&T by using their web form instead. According to AT&Tís Seth Bloom:

    The only requirements are that a customerís 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.
    If your application to receive an unlock is granted by AT&T, youíll be sent a confirmation number requesting you to restore your iPhone in iTunes. While the device is being restored, youíll see a message that your iPhone has successfully been unlocked on AT&Tís end. Aside from getting an unlock under the table, itís usually quite difficult to make a carrier unlock your iPhone before the contract expires so this news might come in handy to many. At the very least, you can try to get your iPhone unlocked to sell it for more before the next-gen iPhone is announced on September 12th. See if the method works for you and report back to us with your results.

    Source: Ars Technica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Reportedly Unlocking On-Contract iPhones with Web Form started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 310 Comments
    1. osnap's Avatar
      osnap -
      If I unlock it will it still work for AT&T? I want to still keep my same plan as I currently have. But I am planning on selling my 4S this week when I find out the 5 is coming out. So will my plan still be in affect and will it work with my current SIM?

      Also any word on loosing data plan privileges? I am on the unlimited data plan because I'm grandfathered in.
    1. monkeydodo3's Avatar
      monkeydodo3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by osnap View Post
      If I unlock it will it still work for AT&T? I want to still keep my same plan as I currently have. But I am planning on selling my 4S this week when I find out the 5 is coming out. So will my plan still be in affect and will it work with my current SIM?

      Also any word on loosing data plan privileges? I am on the unlimited data plan because I'm grandfathered in.
      Yes it will work with AT&T still. Unlocking just allows it to be used on other carriers as well as the original carrier.
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Quote Originally Posted by osnap View Post
      If I unlock it will it still work for AT&T? I want to still keep my same plan as I currently have. But I am planning on selling my 4S this week when I find out the 5 is coming out. So will my plan still be in affect and will it work with my current SIM?

      Also any word on loosing data plan privileges? I am on the unlimited data plan because I'm grandfathered in.
      Unlock means you can use it with ANY carrier that's same band GSM (AT&T, TMobile) versus CDMA (Verizon). If you're on ATT now your sim will work after unlock too.
    1. moveandstore's Avatar
      moveandstore -
      I used the redsn0w method and it took all but 5 minutes. (I used it on a iPhone 4 which I will be selling. My jailbreak remains intact.

      And yes you will be losing your unlimited data once the new phone comes out. I am grandfathered, but I spoke to an AT&T rep (I am on a corporate discounted plan) and they told me that once you re-up and get a new contract with the new phone, you will have the choice of plans, but none will be unlimited like it was before. Hell, that was two years ago when data was cheaper. AT&T has to make its money, and the found that tiered pricing works for them. So forget about unlimited. That's just a thing of the past.
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      Quote Originally Posted by moveandstore View Post
      I used the redsn0w method and it took all but 5 minutes. (I used it on a iPhone 4 which I will be selling. My jailbreak remains intact.

      And yes you will be losing your unlimited data once the new phone comes out. I am grandfathered, but I spoke to an AT&T rep (I am on a corporate discounted plan) and they told me that once you re-up and get a new contract with the new phone, you will have the choice of plans, but none will be unlimited like it was before. Hell, that was two years ago when data was cheaper. AT&T has to make its money, and the found that tiered pricing works for them. So forget about unlimited. That's just a thing of the past.
      What about 2gb plans, will i have to change it too?
    1. Tario70's Avatar
      Tario70 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Well, after more checking (thanks for the link) it looks like A, I would need to actually run Redsnow in jailbreak mode to access that setting (Jailbreak>deactivate) and B, the newest Redsnow is ONLY for the i4S. Since my phone is already jailbroken under Greenpoison, AND it is an i4, looks like a restore is in my future, followed by putting everything back on it afterwards. Couple or three hours and it should be fine.
      This is 100% incorrect. You can jailbreak an iPhone 4 with the latest Redsn0w. To deactivate you need to put the phone in DFU mode. Not sure where you got your info, but it was wrong.

      The latest redsn0w will actually technically at this point jailbreak any iPhone at the iPhone's latest firmware.

      Quote Originally Posted by moveandstore View Post
      I used the redsn0w method and it took all but 5 minutes. (I used it on a iPhone 4 which I will be selling. My jailbreak remains intact.

      And yes you will be losing your unlimited data once the new phone comes out. I am grandfathered, but I spoke to an AT&T rep (I am on a corporate discounted plan) and they told me that once you re-up and get a new contract with the new phone, you will have the choice of plans, but none will be unlimited like it was before. Hell, that was two years ago when data was cheaper. AT&T has to make its money, and the found that tiered pricing works for them. So forget about unlimited. That's just a thing of the past.
      No offense, until I read an official statement from AT&T on the matter, I'm not buying the "I heard from a sales rep" line. As of right now, even when going to 4G LTE, you take your Grandfathered plan with you even if you buy subsidized. Sales reps tend to know jack squat in these situations.
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tario70 View Post
      This is 100% incorrect. You can jailbreak an iPhone 4 with the latest Redsn0w. To deactivate you need to put the phone in DFU mode. Not sure where you got your info, but it was wrong.

      The latest redsn0w will actually technically at this point jailbreak any iPhone at the iPhone's latest firmware.



      No offense, until I read an official statement from AT&T on the matter, I'm not buying the "I heard from a sales rep" line. As of right now, even when going to 4G LTE, you take your Grandfathered plan with you even if you buy subsidized. Sales reps tend to know jack squat in these situations.
      But it a fact that if you have unlimited data and go over 2 or 3 gb i don't remember, but still if you go over that then they limit your connection speed, so i do believe that they might try to finally end the unlimited data plan users once and for all. And don't forget their top executive has been very vocal in saying how much that plan is costing them, and how much he wants to remove them, so I think it is a very real possibility that the plan might come to a rough end, specially since most unlimited data costumers come from both Cingular and Centennial, and already they've been screwed enough by AT&T with ridiculous and for the most part, made up charges and really stupid restrictions.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      So...wait...if I unlock my iPhones, I will lose my Unlimited Plans????

      If my requests are approved but I don't choose to unlock the phones, will I still lose my Unlimited Plans or is there no turning back?!?!

      It sounds like I'd have to insert another carriers SIM Card or use redsn0w's Deactivate feature in order for me to unlock the devices. So...if approved...but I don't do the aforementioned, will I keep my plans? Anybody know?
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      So...wait...if I unlock my iPhones, I will lose my Unlimited Plan????

      If my requests are approved but I don't choose to unlock the phone, will I still lose my Unlimited Plan or is there no turning back?!?!
      no, that is what they might try to do if you upgrade to the iphone 5, unlocking now with either the iphone 4 or 4s will not affect your plan in any way.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by rcm View Post
      no, that is what they might try to do if you upgrade to the iphone 5, unlocking now with either the iphone 4 or 4s will not affect your plan in any way.
      I see...so there's a slight chance they'll force me to upgrade my current plan if I upgrade my phone. BUT, if I bought the phone outright, then I could keep the plan! Interesting...
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      I see...so there's a slight chance they'll force me to upgrade my current plan if I upgrade my phone. BUT, if I bought the phone outright, then I could keep the plan! Interesting...
      Only in the crazy world of AT&T. The worst part is that a Gophone is $50 a month and everything unlimited, but if you have an iphone your data is limited.
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Quote Originally Posted by rcm View Post
      Only in the crazy world of AT&T. The worst part is that a Gophone is $50 a month and everything unlimited, but if you have an iphone your data is limited.
      This is actually not quite right. You have to read the fine print. There is currently no truly unlimited data plan on the market except Sprint (and I'll believe that when I actually use 10GB and my bill stays the same). Both Gophone and StraightTalk have hard caps at 2GB after which they actually cut you off! There really is no true unlimited out there without some caveat. Either cut you off or throttle you. As someone else said - unlimited is a thing of the past.
    1. SenseiPhone's Avatar
      SenseiPhone -
      For those who cannot unlock AT&T with this method, I'm offering AT&T iPhone IMEI Unlock[/B][/URL].

      50% OFF for ModMyi members (just write ModMyi on payment note)
      Private message for more info.
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewdestinyX View Post
      This is actually not quite right. You have to read the fine print. There is currently no truly unlimited data plan on the market except Sprint (and I'll believe that when I actually use 10GB and my bill stays the same). Both Gophone and StraightTalk have hard caps at 2GB after which they actually cut you off! There really is no true unlimited out there without some caveat. Either cut you off or throttle you. As someone else said - unlimited is a thing of the past.
      Still even if it's not really unlimited they won't bill you another extra $10 for another 1gb like they do to other data users.
    1. vokal_guy's Avatar
      vokal_guy -
      They sent me an email early this morning saying my iPhone 4S has been unlocked and that I should restore. Hopefully I can get a better deal for it on ebay when I put it up for sale
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Quote Originally Posted by rcm View Post
      Still even if it's not really unlimited they won't bill you another extra $10 for another 1gb like they do to other data users.
      You'd rather be cut off (no more data til next month) than pay $10 more??
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by vokal_guy View Post
      They sent me an email early this morning saying my iPhone 4S has been unlocked and that I should restore. Hopefully I can get a better deal for it on ebay when I put it up for sale
      When did you send them your request? I did mine late Friday nite.
    1. kigendeng's Avatar
      kigendeng -
      confirmed, using chat yesterday and asking to unlock 2 of my iphone 4S and they both are still under contract 11 months old, first CS says she couldn't do it because the system wont generate my imei i provided, i kept begging and she did her magic, got unlock confirmation in 15 minutes after and guess what, they both are now unlocked!
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Quote Originally Posted by kigendeng View Post
      confirmed, using chat yesterday and asking to unlock 2 of my iphone 4S and they both are still under contract 11 months old, first CS says she couldn't do it because the system wont generate my imei i provided, i kept begging and she did her magic, got unlock confirmation in 15 minutes after and guess what, they both are now unlocked!
      Anybody had any luck with 4s, under contract, unlocks using the website method? This is very intriguing. I just want to test the service of these other companies.. Signal strength, etc.. And not lose my jailbreak mods.. I'll buy the iPhone 5 to check it out too.. but that will lock me into contract again.. Well -- no reason to get the iPhone 5 on Day 1 of release - though I've done that for all of them since the 2G orig iPhone.. At this point I'm not convinced AT&T has the best deal.. This will be a perfect way to test. Unlocked phone.. I can swap several micro sims from different companies in a test period. Is there anything wrong with my thinking here?

      I'm the typical iPhone enthusiastic that buys every year - meaning I'm always 11 months into my contract when I get a new. I'm assuming that's you too - since you mentioned 11 months..

      Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

      Quote Originally Posted by Tario70 View Post
      This is 100% incorrect. You can jailbreak an iPhone 4 with the latest Redsn0w. To deactivate you need to put the phone in DFU mode. Not sure where you got your info, but it was wrong.

      The latest redsn0w will actually technically at this point jailbreak any iPhone at the iPhone's latest firmware.
      So - now that several people are reporting that AT&T is unlocking their 4S's as well as 4's - with the RedSn0w 'deactivate' method work for a 4S as well - withouth losing your untethered jailbreak? I want to do some testing as I mentioned there - with other carriers - but I really don't want to lose my jailbreak. SOOO much work and time in my modding..

      Quote Originally Posted by vokal_guy View Post
      They sent me an email early this morning saying my iPhone 4S has been unlocked and that I should restore. Hopefully I can get a better deal for it on ebay when I put it up for sale
      So only about 2 days?

      Quote Originally Posted by kigendeng View Post
      confirmed, using chat yesterday and asking to unlock 2 of my iphone 4S and they both are still under contract 11 months old, first CS says she couldn't do it because the system wont generate my imei i provided, i kept begging and she did her magic, got unlock confirmation in 15 minutes after and guess what, they both are now unlocked!
      Wow - this is great news. 4S's getting unlocked. I wonder why AT&T is being so generous to unlock phones only 11 months into their contract? From a business angle I wonder what they're thinking.......
    1. kigendeng's Avatar
      kigendeng -
      For those who wants to unlocked and don't want to lose their jailbreak, This is what I did, just install SAM from Bingner repo in cydia, do deactivated then connect to itunes. that's all. Enjoy!