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AT&T confirms it will unlock off-contract iPhones on April 8

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Fri April 6, 2012

ATT officially unlocking iPhones at last

AT&T confirmed with Electronista Friday that it will start unlocking iPhones. As of April 8, customers that are either out of contract or bought contract-free will have the option of derestricting the phone's SIM slot much like the already-unlocked iPhones sold at Apple retail stores. The only other condition was to have a healthy account.

"Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones," a spokesman said. "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."

The initiative follows a number of complaints that led to Apple's Tim Cook taking action and arranging for a handful of case-by-case unlocks. Other carriers worldwide have been offering after-sale iPhone unlocks, most notably in Canada, but AT&T until now has declined to do it, even for customers who paid the unsubsidized price.

More incentive exists for AT&T to unlock phones now that its spectrum refarming gives a real chance that its 3G network, and future 4G LTE network, will work properly with existing iPhones. A SIM unlock was previously only useful for those either willing to limit themselves to 2G data or who were traveling and wanted a much less expensive local SIM card instead of AT&T's roaming plans. [original leak via Engadget]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    About time

    SSIA

  1. davesmall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    +5

    about time!

    This is long overdue but better late than never. It will greatly aid foreign travel. It will increase the resale value of used iPhones being sold internationally (can you say eBay?).

  1. rtamesis

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2000

    0

    How about the original iPhone?

    Can they be unlocked too?

  1. efithian

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +2

    3GS

    So where can I use my 3GS which is being used as a meat timer for the grill ;-)

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