Over the past couple weeks, we’ve heard about Apple CEO Tim Cook working with AT&T to have older iPhones that are no longer under contract unlocked so that they can be used with other cellular carriers, such as T-Mobile. By contacting Cook’s office, AT&T would be notified to unlock the iPhone, a process that usually took between 24-48 hours. Now it seems that cook and his Apple office have gotten tired of the unlocked iPhone requets, as AT&T has announced that they will handle things from now on.
According to a statement released today, AT&T will start to unlock iPhones for their customers as of Sunday. AT&T’s full statement reads:
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.
Don’t want to read that big wall of text? Well, we can sum it up for you in one sentence: your iPhone can only be unlocked if your AT&T contract is up and you have completely fulfilled your contract with AT&T. So if you were hoping to take your iPhone 4S over to another network, that’s not going to happen…..unless you’re willing to pay a hefty early termination fee to get away.
However, it is worth mentioning that if you were one of those AT&T customers who bought the iPhone at full price (otherwise known as no-commitment pricing–you’ll be free to unlock the iPhone on Sunday, too.
The ability to unlock the iPhone in this case will prove to be very useful for those who are dissatisfied with AT&T for one reason or another. The idea of using the iPhone on another network, like T-Mobile, isn’t a new one, as people have been doing it for years by jailbreaking and unlocking their phones. However, this is the first time that a carrier is actually cooperating to unlock the iPhone.