Officially unlocking

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fury

Evangelist
Gold
Oct 23, 2007
2,274
238
63
32
Louisville, KY
#1
So, my iPhone 4 contract is up on July 6th. I figured it was time to go ahead and start the ball rolling. I used the AT&T technical support web chat and gave them my IMEI number, told them a bit about the phone, and they said since it's so close they were going to go ahead and issue the unlock.

At first, I was given the impression that this process would be instant, as the agent told me to restore the phone to complete the unlock. Well, I restored it, but no unlock yet. The next chat agent said it may take up to 48 hours, during which time I should just keep trying to restore it until I get the unlock confirmation page in iTunes.

*crosses fingers*

47 left...three restores done so far.

Maybe I should sleep instead?

Incidentally, I was informed that should I need to get the phone replaced by Apple, I'd need to go through the AT&T unlock process again, and have an AT&T sim card to put into the phone, as Apple would be giving me an AT&T locked phone. Considering I had to give them an active AT&T number in order to get through to their chat line, that sounds a little painful. Knowing that I'm technologically cursed, I have a feeling I may run into that situation at some point.

Update 6/20: I just got off the phone with Apple and they have confirmed that it's unlocked in their system, but I have to put a non-AT&T sim in during the setup process, and it will be activated for that carrier. Apparently I'd need to wipe the phone again when I want to switch carrier. Not quite as clean as a factory unlock where you can just hotswap SIM cards and go, but it's better than nothing. For international travel that kind of sucks. I'd have to get the SIM put in, wipe the phone, activate, and restore from backup, which can take several hours sometimes... then do it all over again when I get back to the US.
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#2
Well, I had a unique experience unlocking both my iPhone 4 and my wife's. I put my unlock request in first and approval came through without an issue. However, my wife's was denied because between the time it was requested and the time the reply came back, we had re-upped our contract by ordering new iPhones!

It took a bit of customer service action to get the unlock to go through. So the way I understand it is that the unlock is tied to the hardware and, as Fury said, requires a restore with a new sim to switch networks. I was assured that I could activate our new phones tomorrow (yay!) before doing the unlock restore. I sure hope that's the case or else I'm going to have one awfuly upset eBay customer over in Russia!
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#4
How did you unlock it? We're talking about carrier unlocks here, which happens after you request one once you fulfill your contract terms for the device. No locked 4S is eligible for unlocking at this point as far as I know.
 

Skb2000

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 1, 2010
1,612
90
63
Scottsdale, AZ
www.sherrylbuchler.com
#5
I think it was an accident. I filled out the online request and got back a weird response saying that there was no such number or account on record. Since I have had an iPhone for the past 6 years at least I thought this was rather strange, so I called AT&T. Spoke to a very nice person and she authorized the unlock. All I had to do was reset the phone and I got the unlock notification.
 

FFAP1234

Member
Bronze
Jun 12, 2010
429
12
18
#6
I am eligible for the iPhone 5 with $ 250 credit, so I ordered. My question is; am I going to be able to unlock my iPhone 4S since I'm signing a new contract with AT&T? Thank u : )