As first reported on MacRumors, AT&T has begun unlocking iPhones for customers who:
- Have an account in good standing
- Have an iPhone that’s not currently under an active term commitment
I’ve got an iPhone 3GS and AT&T service that meets both requirements, so as soon as I’d gotten my fill of Easter chocolate, I hopped on AT&T’s technical support chat, and had the following conversation:
Wanda Reese: I will be more than happy to assist you by sending an unlock code request. Wanda Reese: You can find your iPhone serial number, IMEI, ICCID, or MEID in the About screen on your iPhone. From the Home screen, tap Settings > General > About and scroll . Brian Jepson: Thank you. My IMEI is ****. Wanda Reese: Please send me the IMEI number? Brian Jepson: My IMEI is ****. Wanda Reese: Thank you. I will need a few moments please to send the request. Can you allow me the time? Brian Jepson: Certainly, yes. And thanks! Wanda Reese: Apple will release the unlock code during the next 72 hours to your email address. Please send me a contact number and also your Email address? Brian Jepson: My phone number is **** and my email address is ****@****. Brian Jepson: Thank you. Wanda Reese: Please stay with me, I will send you a Ticket number shortly. Brian Jepson: Thanks. I will stay with you. Wanda Reese: Thank you for your patience. Wanda Reese: **** Wanda Reese: Mr. Jepson, please keep the Ticket number. Brian Jepson: Got it, thanks! Wanda Reese: Please allow 24 to 48 hours for completion of the request, you will be contacted by the device unlock team with the results of the unlock code request via email. Wanda Reese: May I assist you with anything else today? Brian Jepson: No thank you; I am all set, and I really appreciate your help! Wanda Reese: I thank you for visiting our technical support live chat today and being a valued and dedicated customer. It has been a pleasure assisting you. Brian Jepson: Thanks! Wanda Reese: I hope you have an awesome day! Brian Jepson: You too, thanks!
A few minutes ago, I received an email telling me “We have reviewed your request and confirmed that you are eligible to have the requested iPhone unlocked.” All I had to do was restore (being sure to back up when prompted) my iPhone, and I was greeted with the delightful message “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked”. I’ll be using it on T-Mobile (which means I won’t enjoy 3G unless/until T-Mobile’s 3G refarming becomes more widespread).
The iPhone is still a long way from being hackable out of the box, and this doesn’t help it in that regard (jailbreaking and unlocking are two different things). But it’s a step toward more customer-friendliness. Coupled with another recent development (the addition of Core Bluetooth, which allows you to talk to Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth Low Energy devices without the customary MFi hassle), I’m encouraged, and a happier customer, too.