iPhones, iPods, & iPads forum


ATT unlocking iphone 4s, NOT!

by Volfbain / April 17, 2012 9:36 AM PDT

I have requested to have my iphone 4s unlocked thru ATT because I had a contract with them. I meet all the requirements, except that I did not buy the iphone thru ATT, so they will not unlock it.

What is the difference where I got it? I had a contract with ATT, not Apple, has anyone else run into this problem?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: ATT unlocking iphone 4s, NOT!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: ATT unlocking iphone 4s, NOT!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Read this ......
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 17, 2012 9:52 AM PDT
Collapse -
Forgot to ask....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 17, 2012 9:59 AM PDT

Where did you get the phone ?? Is it a Sprint or Verizon iPhone ??

Collapse -
iphone 4s
by Volfbain / April 17, 2012 10:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Forgot to ask....

I got brand new from an Apple store and activated it with ATT the same day.

Collapse -
That means....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 17, 2012 12:44 PM PDT
In reply to: iphone 4s

You have an active contract and not eligible according to the posted article about the unlocking policy.

Collapse -
Not new
by Volfbain / April 18, 2012 10:49 AM PDT
In reply to: That means....

I got the phone brand new last summer at the apple store when the phone first came out, my contract with ATT ended Dec 2011. So now apple nor ATT will unlock it. ATT told me that you have to have purchased the iphone from their store to have it unlocked, eventhough my contract was with ATT, that is BS!

Collapse -
You are still in a contract....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 18, 2012 11:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Not new

...even if you got it last summer, you would have had to sign a 2 year contract and the article I posted the link clearly states you cannot have an active contract, it must have been fulfilled in full. Even if you managed to get a 1 year contract, you still haven't met that requirement.

The iPhone 4S has not been available on any cellular carrier more than 12 months. At&t never said they will unlock all iPhones upon request, you must meet certain qualifications and those are clearly spelled out.

Your thread title is entirely incorrect.

Collapse -
Not the case.
by Volfbain / April 18, 2012 10:47 PM PDT

Apparently I have to be more clear, I never said I had the phone for a year. My contract was cancelled (even though I had a 2 yr contract) because I am in the military stationed overseas. So yes I DO meet all the requirements according to ATT themselves, not me. ATT never stated that you had have purchased the phone at their store to have it unblocked. I called Apple, and according to them only ATT can unlock it. So yes I did read the qualifications clearly and my thread is correct, unless YOU (birdmantd) have a solution to this thread do not reply.

Collapse -
Thanks for the clarification of your situation....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 12:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Not the case.

After explaining the situation a little clearer, then the issue may not be that you are in contract, but the system is treating your account like it needs to fulfill the original 24 month commitment. I do not believe there is any requirement to purchase the iPhone directly from At&t. I would call Customer Service and escalate to a manager who may be able to override it.

Good luck. You weren't very clear in your previous statements so it sounded like you were trying to play the system.

BTW: I used to be a CS rep for At&t so I do have a little insight. That is also why I was skeptical of your original inquiry.

Collapse -
It is true....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 12:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Not the case.

....that only At&t will unlock the device and Apple will not do so, even if you bought it from them at the contract price and not the unlocked price.

Collapse -
Definitely let us know if a manager will override
by Pepe7 / April 19, 2012 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Not the case.

It would be helpful to have that info here for anyone else being deployed abroad like you are, and in a similar situation regarding unlock eligibility status.

My gut feeling though is you may have trouble getting them to override since although your contract was technically cancelled, they still might look at it from the perspective of only being less than one year since the handset was acquired. ATT in this regard is like a big slow dinosaur ;).

Right now I believe ATT is simply suffering from overall lack of front line knowledge with their CS reps. I can use the example of my cousins who currently have two eligible iPhones on their family plan the wish to unlock. For some reason ATT refused to unlock the primary account holder's iPhone, but provided an unlock code via email for the second one yesterday. No clear explanation why it wasn't provided other than 'they were looking into it'. Frustrating.

Collapse -
Beg, borrow a sim. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 1:35 AM PDT

Because we tried it and it worked. No unlock was needed as the iPhone 4 we had would work outside of the US with foreign sim cards but not US sim cards.

It's not a well documented area and why an unlock may not be needed. Yes, I read you have the 4s, but try it.

Collapse -
Something's been omitted in that case
by Pepe7 / April 19, 2012 4:23 AM PDT

The primary issue I see with that claim is, the vast majority of foreign GSM/UMTS handsets are still using standard SIM cards, and not microSIM cards like the iPhone 4, 4S, and some of the newer Nokias, etc. Did you cut the foreign prepaid/postpaid SIM card to fit inside the 4?

What you were likely experiencing was either a fluke, or someone actually obtained an unlocked version from an alternate source online such as buy.com, etc. In any case the prepaid SIM would have had to have been cut to fit.

Collapse -
It was simpler than that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 4:28 AM PDT

We borrowed a sim card from the company that we were working for. Their 4 was obtained in that country and the sim was not from the US and worked.

No cutting required.

This area is not well documented but it seems no unlock was required. It was a stock iphone from the att store.

Hope this helps,

Collapse -
Which is it?
by Pepe7 / April 19, 2012 6:42 AM PDT

Your first and last paragraph seem to differ on the origin of the phone in question. Was it obtained in that country, or was it obtained here in an ATT store?

If the iPhone 4 was obtained in that country, the limitations of the different versions sold in the U.S. by carriers here might not apply in that case if the phone had a non-US carrier ROM. The carrier ROM restrictions in Europe won't be the same as here with SIM card swaps & roaming being the norm there forever.

I can tell you with certainty that unless someone mixed up a factory unlocked iPhone 4 with a standard ATT issued 4 it should not work with a foreign SIM since it would still be network locked to ATT. Even a foreign microSIM shouldn't make a difference since the combination of SIM & what's programmed into the phone is where the rubber hits the road.


Collapse -
Sorry for any confusion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 6:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Which is it?

Stock iPhone 4 from att in the usa.
The sim was from the office phone (also an iPhone 4) in Taiwan.

I've heard of this and why we tried it. It's just one of the odd things you learn when you travel.

Collapse -
Keep in mind
by Pepe7 / April 19, 2012 7:29 AM PDT

...that one iPhone is perhaps the exception and not the rule.

Collapse -
(NT) Which is why I wrote to try it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 19, 2012 10:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Keep in mind
Collapse -
Unlock your iPhone without the need of AT&T
by rennie90 / April 22, 2012 7:42 PM PDT

Just unlock your iPhone with the new SAM solution, no need for AT&T or a GEVEY SIM card. Just unlock it for free!

Collapse -
Most of us don't want to jailbreak
by Pepe7 / April 23, 2012 2:54 AM PDT

Sorry, but jailbreaking simply isn't a good option for many of us.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.