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Rogers first to bring back post-sale iPhone unlocking

updated 08:55 pm EST, Tue December 14, 2010

Rogers and Fido iPhone unlocks rumored in works

Canadian carrier Rogers and its sub-brand Fido have brought back a system that would let customers more officially unlock iPhones after the sale, a possible leak of its strategy has uncovered. As part of a broader move that would let any subscriber out when out of contract, Rogers has let users get an unlock by calling its help line and having them contact Apple. Once greenlit, the phone needs only to be restored in iTunes to remove the restrictions, iPhone in Canada was told by Fido user Argun Tekant.

AT&T and Wind Mobile SIMs worked immediately for Tekant, although an O2 SIM needed a reboot before it would roam on the Rogers network.

The policy requires $50 plus taxes on top of the contract restrictions and periodically has technical limits. Phones sent in to the carrier for a fix might come back locked and would need to be unlocked again, Rogers said. Branded phones running on another carrier also wouldn't qualify under Fido's loaner service, though unbranded ones like the iPhone would qualify for warranty service as long as the buyer could prove it was purchased for that carrier.

Other phones, modems, tablets and other devices also fit into the new policy, which should be active today.

Rogers hasn't commented on the change. Bell, its Virgin Mobile brand and Telus haven't said whether they would follow suit.

The approach could be a major change in attitudes towards unlocking at Apple. Customers can buy iPhones unlocked from the factory in a number of countries, including Canada, France and the UK, but any phone locked to a provider often can't be unlocked even when the contract expires or bought at full price. Apple had to briefly offer unlocks for original German iPhones in 2007, but the method was withdrawn after T-Mobile overcame a legal challenge to its then-exclusive deal. It was also easier to use as it only required a sync, not a restore, to change the carrier profile.

Such steps would be necessary in the US if Apple ever decides to offer the iPhone to T-Mobile. A CDMA model for Verizon wouldn't have this option unless it was a truly universal phone with both GSM and CDMA onboard and could switch network standards.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Why bother...

    Why bother depending on Apple to play nice. We need a law that requires all cell phones to be unlocked for free or a nominal charge when the contract expires. Apple isn't renting iPhones. If you've paid for it, it's yours. The current situation is a bit like a bank insisting on homeowners still making monthly payments after the mortgage is paid off.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    It should be FREE ....

    While I commend the Evil Rogers Empire for actually coming forth on this initiative, they're still s******* it up, by charging $50 for something that we've already paid for - i.e. the contract has more than paid for the phone (a few times over). Therefore, this service SHOULD BE FREE, regardless of who provides it (Rogers or Apple). The customer is entitled to it.

  1. sixcolors

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001


    Not a gift

    it's a law. Ontario law to be specific.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2002


    Ground BREAKING!!!!

    This is pretty amazing... it's a first for any iPhone Carrier! Try getting AT&T to unlock your old iPhone.

  1. iria

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010


    why would ...

    Apple need to offer unlocking if a T-Mo version existed? Just sell two versions, one locked to each carrier.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Why bother...

    Why bother depending on Apple to play nice.

    Oh, but Apple would argue they would LOVE to unlock your phone. But ATT won't let them. Oh, and if you don't like that, I'm sure there's some security reason why unlocking your phone would be bad. Potential to take down the entire cell traffic for the entire San Francisco area (or some such rot). And VV won't work on T-Mobile or any other carrier, because it would require massive upgrades to their systems (sure, that could have been the case for ATT because they have no clue what they're doing and their systems are antiquated and c***, but I doubt it. It had to be due to the complexity involved. Ignore all those European telecoms who had no trouble offering VV or MMS, ATT is a far larger and greater system).

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