Feeds

AT&T to allow unlocking of out-of-contract iPhones

Paid up? Then you're good to go on Easter Sunday

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

Beginning this Sunday, AT&T will let some customers unlock their iPhones, thus allowing them to use another carrier's service – provided, of course, that the carrier's network is compatible with the newly unlocked iPhone.

An older GSM-only AT&T phone would not be able to hop aboard Verzon's CDMA network, for example. When the phone and carrier network are compatible, however, the switch can be made by replacing the micro-SIM card in an iPhone 4 or 4S, or the larger SIM card in earlier iPhones.

An AT&T spokesman confirmed to The Reg that the company's official statement is as follows:

"Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones. The only requirements are that a customer’s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee."

You'll notice a few caveats sprinkled into that statement. Most obviously, the AT&T customer needs to have completed their two-year contract before their phone can be released from bondage. A customer must also be "in good standing", which the AT&T spokesman told us simply means that their bills need to be up-to-date.

What the spokesman couldn't clarify for us, however, is the status of phones in family plans if one or more phones in that plan are still in their two-year contract and others aren't. He suggested that such users simply contact their sales reps for more information.

Despite that one niggling uncertainty, the ability to unlock an out-of-contract phone is good news – and potentially a competitive advantage for AT&T over Verizon, Sprint, and (someday?) T-Mobile.

In addition, it's simply The Right Thing to Do™. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.