Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Mentor

Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

If I recall correctly, in the past, AT&T's excuse for not unlocking the iPhone was that their policy was to not unlock any phone for which they have an exclulsivity contract. I was hoping this would've changed when Verizon got the iPhone 4, but it didn't... I assume because technically the CDMA iPhone 4 isn't the same as the GSM model.

 

But now all 3 carriers are getting the exact same hardware.Sprint has even confirmed that the GSM side of their iPhone 4S will come unlocked, and Verizon confirmed that they'll unlock the GSM side of their 4S after 60 days of service. So will AT&T start offering unlocks to remain competitive? As it stands now, Sprint and Verizon have the competitive advantage for international users, since their customers won't be forced to sell a kidney to get service in other countries.I've always stuck with AT&T mostly because GSM is a world standard, but it seems like they're doing everything in their power to make that a disadvantage instead of a competitive edge.

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Scholar

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Unless I'm mistaken, what they are talking about is unlocking for international roaming, not SIM unlocking.

 

That doesn't imply that you can pop a Vodafone or Orange SIM into the phone and get presto instant local service in the UK, for example. It means that your handy Verizon CDMA phone can access Vodafone's or Orange's GSM network in Britain.

 

You still pay Verizon's or Sprint's declared rates for international roaming, which are ridiculously expensive. It's usually far cheaper to just get a prepaid cell at the airport once you land.

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Scholar

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Did a little research and I stand corrected. They will allow you to purchase a local micro-SIM. Not bad ...

 

You still lose your home number while it's switched though, which can be annoying. I've always just used my prepaid cell (got it from Orange in London) when in Europe.

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Professor

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

[ Edited ]

I'm not sure what Verizon and Sprint are actually doing are the same thing you want.  They are unlocking the GSM side, which isn't their technology.  You want AT&T to unlock the GSM side, which is AT&T's technology.  The equivalent of AT&T doing what Sprint and Verizon are doing is if they unlock the CDMA side so that you can roam with CDMA carriers internationally.

 

Do Verizon and Sprint phones currently allow a person to roam with international CDMA carriers?  Do Sprint and Verizon offer international roaming rates that they would lose money on if a customer went with a local CDMA carrier instead of paying their international roaming rates?

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Scholar

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?


dwill05 wrote:

Do Verizon and Sprint phones currently allow a person to roam with international CDMA carriers?


Do those even exist? As far as I'm aware, most of the world (bar Japan) is on GSM.

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Teacher

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Actually Sprint and Verizon take more risks here. Once GSM unlock, one can use his unlocked iPhone on AT&T, though not on Sprint or Verizon. I have already ordered an AT&T 4S. Had I know this, I would order Sprint or Verizon iPhone. After contract expired, I am free to use iPhone wherever I want. But AT&T iPhone, it will be forever locked into AT&T.
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Professor

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Well, maybe ATT will unlock the CDMA side so people can go to Sprint or Verizon after ATT.
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Teacher

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

To be fair to AT&T, I don't think AT&T lock CDMA side at all from the beginning. What I don't like is AT&T still locking you even after two years.
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Professor

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

If the ATT phones come with the CDMA side unlocked, then there is nothing to do. They are already doing what Sprint and Verizon are doing, then. People are free to take their phones to a CDMA carrier whenever they want.
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Expert

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

[ Edited ]

dwill05 wrote:
Well, maybe ATT will unlock the CDMA side so people can go to Sprint or Verizon after ATT.


The majority of CDMA carriers will not import foreign phones into their databases for use.

 

The article specificly states international travelers, so not sure if that is a requirement or not. In any respect it is not a major issue for Sprint or Verizon in the US to unlock GSM, the people who purchased the phone from them are still locked to their services in the US by a 2 year contract unless they are willing to pay the ETF or full price of the phone. Verizon's ETF is 350 - 10.00 per active month,  Sprints is 350.00 minus their prorate. Kind of expensive just to go to ATT or a limited access for the hpne on T-Mobile

 

http://gizmodo.com/5848931/sprint-and-verizon-to-unlock-the-iphone-4s-for-international-travelers

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Teacher

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

You missed the point here. GSM has wider coverage worldwide. An unlock GSM iPhone is more useful than an unlocked CDMA iPhone. So for customer, he will use Verizon iPhone here locked into Verizon, but have freedom rest of world. If he uses AT&T iPhone, he will be locked into AT&T no matter where he goes.
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Expert

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?


OpenMinde wrote:
You missed the point here. GSM has wider coverage worldwide. An unlock GSM iPhone is more useful than an unlocked CDMA iPhone. So for customer, he will use Verizon iPhone here locked into Verizon, but have freedom rest of world. If he uses AT&T iPhone, he will be locked into AT&T no matter where he goes.


That only benefits international travelers, foreign exchange students / visitors  that want a iphone at a better cost or military. Domestic users are still locked to Verizon or Sprint.

 

Still not a major reason for att to unlock the subsidized phones, You can already purchase a unlocked ATT phone, just not at a carrier subsidized cost

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Teacher

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

Agree. For subsided price, I pay Verizon and Sprint for two years. Then I got a worldwide unlocked iPhone. But for AT&T, even after two years, I am still locked into AT&T. To average customer, which one will he chose? I feel sorry that I have already ordered a 4S AT&T. Had I know this, I would definitely order a Sprint or Verizon 4S.
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Expert

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?


OpenMinde wrote:
Agree. For subsided price, I pay Verizon and Sprint for two years. Then I got a worldwide unlocked iPhone. But for AT&T, even after two years, I am still locked into AT&T. To average customer, which one will he chose? I feel sorry that I have already ordered a 4S AT&T. Had I know this, I would definitely order a Sprint or Verizon 4S.


If that is so important - go for it. If you just ordered the Iphone 4S you have 30 days to return the phone, you can still go to Sprint or Verizon - just investigate the limitations of the CDMA technology. You still have the choice. Who knows maybe in two years the option wil be avaialbel for ATT to do so, but for right now it is not, so you need to make your decision now or wait and see what happens

 

 

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Teacher

Re: Now that AT&T no longer has exclusivity, will AT&T offer official iPhone unlocks?

I like AT&T service. I want a win-win solution here. I want AT&T to unlock my iPhone after two years to have freedom to do whatever I want. Sprint/Verizon give me that freedom now. If I moved away from AT&T, I lose the features you mentioned. And AT&T lose a customer. Lose-lose. That is not what I want. I have iPhone 2G, 3GS, 4, all on AT&T. I want AT&T to unlock them after two years, not at the beginning of contract, but at tail end of contract.
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