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iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

Hello guys,

I had a question about apple's/AT&T's policy when it comes to people who want to use their iphone in countries where carrier lock is not required.
As I understand, If a person stayed in the US for 2 yrs, fulfilled the AT&T contract and now, technically he has paid enough to own(no liability from AT&T) the iphone (as unlocked).If he wants to visit a country and use his iphone, is there a provision that apple/AT&T will provide such customer's unlock code(or factory unlock settings) etc, so that they don't face any issue while using their iphone in any other country?

Same case if someone breaks the contract by paying the consequence amount(399USD).He now owns the phone and paid for the device ,so should be able to use it in whichever country he wish. Also learned in apple forum that apple has no role in unlocking and it all depends on AT&T for the unlocking.

 

Thanks for reading such a long post.Smiley Happy

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Message 1 of 20

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

The analogy of Ford and Chevy is pretty vague.AT&T is not a product like mustang and Corvette. It's just a service provider which can be changed.

The very purpose of locking the phone to a carrier is because you get the phone at a "subsidized rate" . Buying unlock phones cost's 2ice or thrice the carrier lock price.

So the 2 companies gets in to an agreement to make the price lower where both can make profit(Apple by lowering the price and thus making it affordable and AT&T getting customer to use it's service for 2yrs hence confirming the business for 2 years).

Now the point is, after serving the contract, ideally both companies should be happy as they sold their product for the price it intended before subsidizing the product. This is the crux of the situation where Government can challenge the companies. There are many countries which have banned/do not allow carrier locks kind of service,because it's not in the best interest of the consumer .Iphones are sold in such countries e.g HongKong, Taiwan,china etc. This is called free trade and open market.

Technically, you own the phone and you should be able to use it the way you want.Iphone is not dumb to wrk only with AT&T.If unlocked ,it can work with every carrier , unlike asking Ford to manufacture Corvette which is a just a product and not a feature Smiley Happy.

If you know, there are regulations set by the Government for every service  sector.e.g In India if you want to change your service provider, you can retain the same phone number with the new service provider. Thus making the consumer powerful to easily switch carriers in case of unsatisfied service .Before such mandate came from the governemt ,earlier consumers were reserved with their options of change in number might impact their business and contacts.It just feels that here in USA, nobody cares about consumers . One more thing, even Laws gets amended by the constitution , so what's so grt about Apple and AT&T contract??? 

Message 11 of 20
Professor

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

 


0Metalhead0 wrote:
Technically, you own the phone and you should be able to use it the way you want.Iphone is not dumb to wrk only with AT&T.If unlocked ,it can work with every carrier Smiley Happy.

 


 

Sorry, but this is just completely inaccurate.

The iPhone, even when unlocked, can not work with every carrier. There are 4 major wireless carriers in the US; AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. 

The iPhone is only fully functional on AT&T.

It can work on T-Mobile, but without 3G service as TMO utilizes 1700Mhz spectrum for 3G which the iPhone does not support.

 

Verizon and Sprint utilize CDMA.  There is no CDMA radio in the iPhone and therefore it cannot work on their network.

 

 


0Metalhead0 wrote:

If you know, there are regulations set by the Government for every service  sector.e.g In India if you want to change your service provider, you can retain the same phone number with the new service provider. Thus making the consumer powerful to easily switch carriers in case of unsatisfied service .Before such mandate came from the governemt ,earlier consumers were reserved with their options of change in number might impact their business and contacts.It just feels that here in USA, nobody cares about consumers . One more thing, even Laws gets amended by the constitution , so what's so grt about Apple and AT&T contract??? 


 

Yeah, the same thing exists here in the US.   But compairing what is possible in other countries to what is possible in the US because of other countries laws is just silly.

 

There are no laws in the US that require the iPhone to be unlocked.

When the iPhone was first introduced it was made abundantly clear that it was locked to AT&T.

 

You chose to purchase a locked device, deal with it.

You could just as easily purchase an unlocked device (i.e. another phone or an iPhone from another country).

 

Message 12 of 20
Professor

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.


dwill05 wrote:

I'm pretty sure that a federal law requiring cell phone companies to unlock phones on request after the contract is over would outweigh AT&T and Apple's exclusitively agreement as well as the contract.


I agree and that is why I emailed complaints to the DOJ, FCC and Sen. Herb Kohl,  chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee.

 

Dear Senator Kohl,

 

Thank you for your concern about a lack of competition in the wireless industry.  I ask that your review also include wireless carrier handset locking policies at the largest U.S. telecommunications carriers.  As part of your actions, I hope that you can work to require all wireless carriers to unlock customer handsets (specifically the iPhone) after 2 years.  My reason for this request is that the phone, and all of its functionality, should belong to the customer after completing his/her initial two-year wireless contract.  The customer has more than repaid the initial carrier subsidy so he/she should be free to then use the phone without carrier restriction.

 

Specifically, I am writing about AT&T and Apple and the iPhone.  They should be required to treat it as a cell phone and should be required to provide an unlock code or software to convert the phone to an open device.  In my personal case, it is not that I want to quit AT&T and take my iPhone to another carrier.  Rather, I would like the flexibility to use my iPhone overseas by inserting a local carrier SIM.  Once I’ve completed my contract and “repaid” AT&T’s subsidy, I should be able to use the phone as I see fit, not as AT&T and Apple see fit.

 

Another important reason to require iPhone unlocking is that it would be green.  Unlocking would allow previous-generation iPhones to be recycled and repurposed to other users and carriers.  This would provide a longer useful life and keep old iPhones out of landfills.  It would also increase the value of the “used” iPhone to consumer.  That’s a win-win.

Message 13 of 20
Professor

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

Unlocking any phone is not going to make the planet any more "green".  People buy new phones because they want the latest and greatest and that's not going to change.  After a couple of years, old iPhones are going to be dumped or just put away in an a drawer, unlocked or not.  Besides, the cell phone manufacturers and service providers WANT you to buy new phones.  That's how they make money on new hardware and lock you into new contracts.  They have almost no interest in everyone keeping their old phones.  Before anyone mentions being good corporate citizens, the companies are businesses.  They exist to make money by providing something people want, not by being saints.  That's capitalism.

 

Also, how exactly would an old iPhone be "recycled"?  Unlocked or not, it simply isn't usable on Sprint or Verzion because they use CDMA and an iPhone just won't work.  For T-mobile, the 3G won't work because their frequency is different, so how many T-mobile users are going to want an old used iPhone without 3G?

 

It's been 4 years now, and it's well known that US iPhones are locked to AT&T and won't be unlocked.  It constantly amazes me that people buy them already knowing this, and then constantly complain about the fact that they are locked.  There's a simple answer here.  Don't buy an iPhone.  Get something else that can be unlocked.  There are plenty of good phones out there.  Or unlock it yourself.  By the time your contract is over, the warranty is also gone, so worrying about messing up the warranty is a non-issue.

Message 14 of 20
Master

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

Seriously, this horse has been beaten all the way to the glue factory.  Most of the complaints we seem to see here now involve people who are from outside the US who may not realize that neither Apple nor AT&T is compelled to unlock the phone.  

 

I wish the sticky regarding Unauthorized iPhone Unlocking would be modified to read "Want to unlock your iPhone? Read here first!"

Message 15 of 20
ACE - Expert

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

 


0Metalhead0 wrote: The very purpose of locking the phone to a carrier is because you get the phone at a "subsidized rate" . Buying unlock phones cost's 2ice or thrice the carrier lock price.

I do not agree with this assertion. Getting a phone at a subsidized rate is due to committing to a 2 year contract, not because the phone is locked.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 16 of 20

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

 


sandblaster wrote:

 


0Metalhead0 wrote: The very purpose of locking the phone to a carrier is because you get the phone at a "subsidized rate" . Buying unlock phones cost's 2ice or thrice the carrier lock price.

I do not agree with this assertion. Getting a phone at a subsidized rate is due to committing to a 2 year contract, not because the phone is locked.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

I think you are correct.

 

The fear that AT&T has is people buying the subsidized AT&T phone and taking it to another carrier, like T-Mobile in the USA. Carrier locking prevents this for 90+% of iPhone owners.

 

However, the number of people unlocking their iPhone by the use of commonly available software is skyrocketing as determined by the usage of sites such as Cydia.

 

Unlocking the iPhone may, or may not, void the warranty, just depends on how the event is handled (viewed) by the Apple rep.

 

I unlocked my AT&T iPhones for use outside the USA, with in-country SIMs.  AT&T International data and voice roaming charges are exorbitant. I also use an iPhone that was sourced in a country where Apple openly sells factory unlocked" iPhones. When wer're outside the USA the family each has an iPhone and they can call, text, and use data without regard to AT&T's high prices.  In-country SIMs and iPhone plans are "very" competitve in the countries in which I travel.

 

Opinions are like noses, most everyone has one.  But the reality is neither Apple or AT&T will unlock an iPhone (at least today) in the USA,  even if you pay full retail price at the Apple store, with no AT&T contract.  That is the nasty part that many foreign visitors to the USA do not understand when they buy an iPhone in the USA.

 

In my humble opinion, if Apple sells me a phone at full retail,  it should be unlocked.

 

 

 


 

Message 17 of 20

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

Wireless-user wrote Smiley Surprisedpinions are like noses, most everyone has one.  But the reality is neither Apple or AT&T will unlock an iPhone (at least today) in the USA,  even if you pay full retail price at the Apple store, with no AT&T contract.  That is the nasty part that many foreign visitors to the USA do not understand when they buy an iPhone in the USA.

 

In my humble opinion, if Apple sells me a phone at full retail,  it should be unlocked.

Message 18 of 20

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

Yeah, the same thing exists here in the US.   But compairing what is possible in other countries to what is possible in the US because of other countries laws is just silly.

 

There are no laws in the US that require the iPhone to be unlocked.

When the iPhone was first introduced it was made abundantly clear that it was locked to AT&T.

 

You chose to purchase a locked device, deal with it.

You could just as easily purchase an unlocked device (i.e. another phone or an iPhone from another country).

 


 

 

+1

It was more then abundantly clear. rofl

Message 19 of 20
Highlighted
Professor

Re: iphone 3GS usage outside USA after completing the contract.

No matter how much this is debated there is no US LAW that requires the unlocking of phones....prolly wont happen for awhile either, no one phone you may want to look into is the SCIPHONE ++9, now it is a clone and does not use ITUNES/APPLE APP STORE or the iOS, but it is an unlocked dual sim card that BASICALLY functions like an iphone does, I personally would not buy an iPHONE clone, but its an option and you can get them for like $80.00 USD

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 20 of 20
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