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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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™. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.