Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

Tutor

Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

I have an iPhone 3G with a 2 year contract that began in Jan. 2009.  When this contract expires, if I buy a new iPhone, will my old one essentially be an unlocked iPhone that I can use overseas by purchasing a SIM card?

 

Along those lines, how much would it cost to buy out this contract, and would that leave me with an unlocked phone? 

 

Thanks for any input.

Dan 

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Message 1 of 17
Professor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

The 3G phone is still locked but all they do is pull the sim card out and put it in the 3G(S) iPhone if you get one and you can sell it to someone and AT&T edits the information stored on the iPhone to make it their number.

You can wipe the old one if you wish before giving it away and AT&T will unfreeze it at the store for the new user.
Message Edited by josephz2va on 08-02-2009 02:30:19 PM
Message 2 of 17
Master

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


dbcyclist wrote:

I have an iPhone 3G with a 2 year contract that began in Jan. 2009.  When this contract expires, if I buy a new iPhone, will my old one essentially be an unlocked iPhone that I can use overseas by purchasing a SIM card?


When your contract expires the iPhone will still be locked to AT&T.  AT&T and Apple will not provide an unlock code.

 

 

Message 3 of 17
Tutor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

Thanks for the reply.  Not wanting to give up easily, my wife is going to get an iPhone when her Verizon contract expires, and we're going to France next month where we could buy an legally unlocked phone (albiet, for a very high price).  Can this legally unlocked phone be used for voice and data with any US carriers (preferably ATT because their coverage is better in our area)?  If the carrier is not ATT, will all the iPhone features still be supported?

 

Thanks,

Dan 

Message 4 of 17
Expert

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


dbcyclist wrote:

Thanks for the reply.  Not wanting to give up easily, my wife is going to get an iPhone when her Verizon contract expires, and we're going to France next month where we could buy an legally unlocked phone (albiet, for a very high price).  Can this legally unlocked phone be used for voice and data with any US carriers (preferably ATT because their coverage is better in our area)?  If the carrier is not ATT, will all the iPhone features still be supported?

 

Thanks,

Dan 


 

Yes it will with all the features as long as you call and give at&t the necessary info about the iphone you have.
Message 5 of 17
Master

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

A legally unlocked iPhone could be used with AT&T and T-Mobile.  Verizon & Sprint have a different type of technology that is incompatible with the iPhone.  An unlocked iPhone would be incompatible with T-Mobile's 3G (because it runs at 1700MHz and not 850/1900 MHz), meaning even a 3G or 3GS iPhone would be limited to 2G (EDGE) speeds on T-Mobile.

 


dbcyclist wrote:

Thanks for the reply.  Not wanting to give up easily, my wife is going to get an iPhone when her Verizon contract expires, and we're going to France next month where we could buy an legally unlocked phone (albiet, for a very high price).  Can this legally unlocked phone be used for voice and data with any US carriers (preferably ATT because their coverage is better in our area)?  If the carrier is not ATT, will all the iPhone features still be supported?

 

Thanks,

Dan 


 

 

Message 6 of 17
Tutor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

For this upcoming trip, I think I'm just going to order an unlocked cheap phone from Amazon and buy a French SIM card when we arrive.  Can I test the phone by putting my ATT SIM card from my iPhone in just to test it, or will that screw up possibly both phones?

 

Thanks

Dan 

Message 7 of 17
Guru

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

It won't hurt anything to swap the SIMs.

 

Unlocking your phone to use it on a network of your choice is legal.  But nothing says that AT&T has to provide you the means to do so.  I find it curious that AT&T will unlock other phones for its customers, but not the iPhone.

Message 8 of 17
ACE - Professor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

Both the FCC and Department of Justice are currently looking into the practices of wireless providers.  To those who strongly believe that AT&T should unlock an iPhone after the customer has completed the initial two-year contract, I encourage them to contact to contact both entities.

 

fccinfo@fcc.gov

 

Antitrust.Complaints@usdoj.gov

 

 

Message Edited by cousintim on 08-03-2009 06:34:54 PM
*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 9 of 17
Mentor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

Even if you were to successfully unlock the iPhone and violate Apple's waranty, you wouldn't be able to use it on any carrier within the US unless they have SIM cards like T-Mobile. Reason being, is that Verizon and Sprint both use CDMA network which isn't compatible with the iPhone, so good luck in getting this to work. You're technically stuck with AT&T untill Apple decides to create the LTE iPhone that will be available to all the Carriers in the world not just a select few. Keep in mind, Apple wants a global phone, not a North American phone which is basically what Verizon and Sprint are, just a North American network able network.
Message 10 of 17
Mentor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


Jaygto wrote:
 Keep in mind, Apple wants a global phone, not a North American phone which is basically what Verizon and Sprint are, just a North American network able network.
I don't know where you got CDMA is only in North America. It is currently in 103 countries and territories.   http://cdg.org/

 

Message 11 of 17
Expert

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


koko11 wrote:

Jaygto wrote:
 Keep in mind, Apple wants a global phone, not a North American phone which is basically what Verizon and Sprint are, just a North American network able network.
I don't know where you got CDMA is only in North America. It is currently in 103 countries and territories.   http://cdg.org/

 


 

That coverage list is a bit off as they include goverment use for communication purpose not like the regular Cell structure.
Message 12 of 17
Mentor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


Sheik HF1 wrote:

koko11 wrote:

Jaygto wrote:
 Keep in mind, Apple wants a global phone, not a North American phone which is basically what Verizon and Sprint are, just a North American network able network.
I don't know where you got CDMA is only in North America. It is currently in 103 countries and territories.   http://cdg.org/

 


 

That coverage list is a bit off as they include goverment use for communication purpose not like the regular Cell structure.
Ok I don't know anything about that but my point is CDMA is not just in North America but World Wide. 

 

Message 13 of 17
Contributor

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires

Sorry to revive this old post but is their any news on this issue?  My contract expires in 2 months.  I now live in Germany and would like to use my phone with T-Mobile.

 

CEB

 

Message 14 of 17
Guru

Re: Unlocking iPhone when contract expires


Tampa_TDI wrote:

Sorry to revive this old post but is their any news on this issue?  My contract expires in 2 months.  I now live in Germany and would like to use my phone with T-Mobile.

 

CEB

 


Nop. AT&T and Apple still don't unlock US iPhones. You would need to ask assistance with a third party to unlock it.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 15 of 17
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