What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

Mentor

What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.

Message 1 of 22 (958 Views)
Professor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

No one here knows. Only AT&T knows and they're not telling, and don't have to.
Message 2 of 22 (947 Views)
Professor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

Probably reluctant since Apple puts so many financial demands on the carrier for the right to sell the phone. It might also still be in the at&t/Apple contract, since Apple wouldn't allow anyone (in any country) to unlock them. At&t may be operating under an old contract.
Message 3 of 22 (937 Views)
Master

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

No one here knows why. They just don't. The flames are not more from the perspective that the question to unlock an iPhone gets asked so much that it shows that someone took the time to find this place but does not read the thread they hijack to ask the same question over and over.

I would not expect any answer what so ever from ATT on this. There are reports that an email to Tim Cook with the right request may get some action.

Yes we agree it is possible to officially unlock an iPhone. I do not think anyone has said it can't be unlocked but that ATT and Apple up until the recent reports have chosen not to unlock ATT iPhones. So please don't confuse our answers of not possible as in not technically possible but rather not able to due to their policy. It is all in ATT's hands and for now the policy is no they don't but there is some hope.
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Message 4 of 22 (930 Views)
Expert

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


JulienPDX wrote:

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.



you have a misconception here -  the att unlocked phone will not work on either of these carriers, they are cdma, att is gsm. Please show where this statement that you claim is documented on either att's or apple's site - it don;t work that way, once the phone is unlocked it is unlocked, only a jailnroken phone will relcok if you update the phone to the latest generation of the apple supplied IOS, you need to JB it again

 

No one ever said it was "technically impossible" it is possible but att will not do it, only they know the reason and they are not divulging it, it is a need to know basis and the general public don;t need to know. there are terms of some contractual agreements that only the parties that enter the contract are allowed to know

 

It can be

 

1. the original contract agreement between att and apple explicitly forbides it for different reasons, one that comes to mind is playing the people currency game and buying a att iphone in the US, unlocking it then taking it to a international carrier that handles gsm and putting it there or selling it for a profit to someone on fleabay, in short it is removing profit margin from both the carrier's pockets and the international apple division

 

2. they don;t want to, and there is nothing that requires them to by any govermental agency in the US

 

3. they enjoy seeing thousands of posts wanting to unlock the att phone they bought without researching the documented fact that they do not unlock it

 

for now and inthe foreseeable future the phone will not be unlocked by the carrier, not even sprint or verizon unlocked the gsm portion of the phone except for international use and imposes heavy restrictions on it

 

 

Message 5 of 22 (923 Views)
Mentor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


wingrider01 wrote:

 

for now and inthe foreseeable future the phone will not be unlocked by the carrier, not even sprint or verizon unlocked the gsm portion of the phone except for international use and imposes heavy restrictions on it

 

 


Can you please clarify these "heavy" restrictions?  What are they?

 

I've reviewed their requirements and they don't  appear that onerous to me.

Message 6 of 22 (919 Views)
Expert

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


New Reality wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:

 

for now and inthe foreseeable future the phone will not be unlocked by the carrier, not even sprint or verizon unlocked the gsm portion of the phone except for international use and imposes heavy restrictions on it

 

 


Can you please clarify these "heavy" restrictions?  What are they?

 

I've reviewed their requirements and they don't  appear that onerous to me.


guess we have a different meaning of "heavy" requirements, you opinion, my opinion. Take it you don;t carry a verizon or sprint iphone? I do, one from both carriers and att

Message 7 of 22 (914 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

I agree with windguru's explanation above. In 2007, when Apple released the first iPhone, AT&T was the exclusive carrier and it's very possible that Apple didn't expect to sell on Verizon and Sprint now in 2012. The terms of AT&T's contract with Apple is different than Verizon's or Sprint's. Smiley Happy

Posted from my iPhone 4S on AT&T, the nation's fastest 4G network.
~Sunshine Smiley Happy
*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 8 of 22 (902 Views)

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

First, you do realize that there are only a couple of paid AT&T staffers in here, and they're here to keep the peace and address simple account issues. Nobody with any authority or the ability to speak on behalf of AT&T is going to waltz in here because you're demanding an explanation for their corporate policies. They have no incentive to get into a flame war with people who disagree with the way they do business. So, don't hold your breath waiting for that answer.

 

Additionally, the unlocked phones that Apple sells won't work on Verizon or Sprint. Straight from Apple's website, "The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S. When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint."

 


JulienPDX wrote:

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.




Message 9 of 22 (885 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?

They don't need to give you a reason, they only need to disclose it before sale. Which they do.

 

You, the consumer, can then make an informed choice.

*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 10 of 22 (881 Views)
Scholar

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


JulienPDX wrote:

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.


What might help in understanding AT&T's attitute is to remember that they are not interested in selling phones, they sell a service.  The only reason they provide a phone is to get you hooked into a service.  I'm certain that they have concluded that unlocking the iPhone after termination of your two year contract, makes it more likely you will jump ship after your contract ends.

Message 11 of 22 (780 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


E the P wrote:

JulienPDX wrote:

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.


What might help in understanding AT&T's attitute is to remember that they are not interested in selling phones, they sell a service.  The only reason they provide a phone is to get you hooked into a service.  I'm certain that they have concluded that unlocking the iPhone after termination of your two year contract, makes it more likely you will jump ship after your contract ends.


Except ATT will unlock other phones, only the iPhone is the exception. As you noted, ATT is interested in selling service, not phones. However, Apple is very much interested in selling phones. Seems to me Apple has the most to gain by keeping iPhones locked because newly unlocked iPhones would be a hot commodity on the secondary market and would compete directly with Apple. I honestly do not know if the decision to not unlock iPhones is solely ATT's or not but I firmly believe Apple is/was very much involved in that decision.

*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 12 of 22 (774 Views)
Scholar

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


sandblaster wrote:

E the P wrote:

JulienPDX wrote:

Before I get flamed, I just want to point out that I'm fully aware of AT&T's "Policy" regarding unlocking iphones.  I don't need a lecture about the policy; what I'm looking for is an actual explanation of "why" that makes sense and justifies AT&T's "need" to keep iPhones, for which a contract has been fulfilled, locked to their network.

 

I filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this issue and was contacting by an Executive Customer Service person.  He never actually told me why, he just continued to dance around the topic and find 10 different ways to state the policy to me.  I didn't appreciate that, I dont need him to re-state the policy -- I needed him to explain WHY.

 

Yes, I know I can spend 600+ dollars at Apple and buy a phone that isn't locked.  But why should I do that when I can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, fulfill the contract and then unlock it?   And further, it's documented that if you use the "unlocked" phone that Apple sells, it will become "locked" if you take it to Spring or Verizon; thereby defeating the purpose.  

 

I want an actual explanation, and don't feed me any lines aobut it being technically impossible; because all the jailbreaks that have been released in that past that functioned as carrier unlocks, have told me otherwise.  So, c'mon AT&T, let's hear it.


What might help in understanding AT&T's attitute is to remember that they are not interested in selling phones, they sell a service.  The only reason they provide a phone is to get you hooked into a service.  I'm certain that they have concluded that unlocking the iPhone after termination of your two year contract, makes it more likely you will jump ship after your contract ends.


Except ATT will unlock other phones, only the iPhone is the exception. As you noted, ATT is interested in selling service, not phones. However, Apple is very much interested in selling phones. Seems to me Apple has the most to gain by keeping iPhones locked because newly unlocked iPhones would be a hot commodity on the secondary market and would compete directly with Apple. I honestly do not know if the decision to not unlock iPhones is solely ATT's or not but I firmly believe Apple is/was very much involved in that decision.


Good point, I forgot that AT&T unlocks other phones.  You are right that Apple might be the cause.

Message 13 of 22 (771 Views)
Mentor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


sandblaster wrote:
Except ATT will unlock other phones, only the iPhone is the exception. As you noted, ATT is interested in selling service, not phones. However, Apple is very much interested in selling phones. Seems to me Apple has the most to gain by keeping iPhones locked because newly unlocked iPhones would be a hot commodity on the secondary market and would compete directly with Apple. I honestly do not know if the decision to not unlock iPhones is solely ATT's or not but I firmly believe Apple is/was very much involved in that decision.

I would think the vast majority of iPhones are distribued by the carriers at subsidized prices.  While Apple does sell unlocked devices the price is prohibitive for the typical user.   Since many other global carriers do have consumer friendly unlock policies for the iPhone this may indicate AT&T's policy is an artifact of their original contract with Apple when they had the exclusive in the USA.  

 

At some point AT&T will have to change.  In 90 days millions of iPhone 4 handsets will begin dropping off the 2 year contract commitment, people with a GSM unlock requirement will have the option to dump AT&T.  

 

The GSM unlock capability of Verizon and Sprint will allow the global traveler significant flexibility where the current AT&T policy is prohibitive.  

 

Time will tell, how many customers jump ship in the next 90 - 180 days will tell the story.

 

Message 14 of 22 (753 Views)
Mentor

Re: What is the actual reason for NO UNLOCKs of iPhone?


wingrider01 wrote:

guess we have a different meaning of "heavy" requirements, you opinion, my opinion. Take it you don;t carry a verizon or sprint iphone? I do, one from both carriers and att


But you haven't answered the question.  What are the "heavy" requirements?

 

If you mean one can't surf and talk at the same time, is that' heavy?

 

Are there additional contractural requirements that make it "heavy"?  

 

I don't see Verizon's unlock policy or requirements that I would deem onerous or "heavy".

 

 

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