switch AT&T 3G to authorized Euro carrier?

SkyyBoy

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Jul 4, 2007
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#1
I have a 16gb 3G iPhone that was purchased from AT&T on launch day. I am now planning to move to Europe. AT&T has agreed to let me out of the contact due to the move.
When I arrive in Europe, can I sign up for an "authorized" iPhone plan with an "authorized" European carrier and still use the phone purchased from AT&T?

In other words, is the SIM-lock on the iPhone tied to AT&T only? Or, will iTunes authorize the phone once I sign up for an official iPhone plan from an official iPhone carrier in Europe?
 

juzcallmeg0d

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Jun 13, 2008
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#2
you should be able to use the phone, but you will need a new SIM card from the new carrier.

iPhone 3G's are on sale all over the world so it shouldnt be a problem
 

Amahk

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Jul 21, 2008
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#3
you will be able to use the phone however you'd need a new sim card from your provider AND AT&T must unlock the phone after they've let you out of the contract. Make sure they unlock the phone.
 

jimmyrules712

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Sep 21, 2007
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#4
you will be able to use the phone however you'd need a new sim card from your provider AND AT&T must unlock the phone after they've let you out of the contract. Make sure they unlock the phone.
You sure they will actually do that?

I don't think they would with the V1.
 

juzcallmeg0d

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Jun 13, 2008
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#5
You sure they will actually do that?

I don't think they would with the V1.
i assume they will, since he's aready talked with AT&T and they are agreeing to let him out of his contract because he's moving out of the country. im pretty sure i just saw someone say earlier that when your contract ends, AT&T must give you the unlock codes if you ask for them. so if he's ending his contract, then it should be able to be unlocked.
 

Amahk

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Jul 21, 2008
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#6
i assume they will, since he's aready talked with AT&T and they are agreeing to let him out of his contract because he's moving out of the country. im pretty sure i just saw someone say earlier that when your contract ends, AT&T must give you the unlock codes if you ask for them. so if he's ending his contract, then it should be able to be unlocked.
Yip, my response was based on this premise. If AT&T are letting him out of his contract(for whatever reason) then they should be supplying him with the unlock codes. If they aren't then he'll either have to wait for a 3rd party(illegal) unlock or he won't be able to use the phone at all.

I've unlocked every phone I've had while under contract with AT&T and they did the unlocking themselves by supplying me with the code. I do this since I travel a lot to the caribbean(home sweet home) and I like to use a local SIM. I called yesterday to see what a CSR would say(yes yes I already knew the answer) and she tried numerous times but it wouldn't even give her the option to make an unlock request. Then she asked if I had an iPhone and profusely apologized since AT&T wouldn't be able to unlock the phone.

I have no idea why this is so, since it's a normal smartphone now. It's subsidized by AT&T just like any Blackberry. No idea why they won't unlock the phone :(
 

jimmyrules712

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Sep 21, 2007
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#7
Yip, my response was based on this premise. If AT&T are letting him out of his contract(for whatever reason) then they should be supplying him with the unlock codes. If they aren't then he'll either have to wait for a 3rd party(illegal) unlock or he won't be able to use the phone at all.

I've unlocked every phone I've had while under contract with AT&T and they did the unlocking themselves by supplying me with the code. I do this since I travel a lot to the caribbean(home sweet home) and I like to use a local SIM. I called yesterday to see what a CSR would say(yes yes I already knew the answer) and she tried numerous times but it wouldn't even give her the option to make an unlock request. Then she asked if I had an iPhone and profusely apologized since AT&T wouldn't be able to unlock the phone.

I have no idea why this is so, since it's a normal smartphone now. It's subsidized by AT&T just like any Blackberry. No idea why they won't unlock the phone :(
My only reason for doubting is because they haven't treated the iPhone like a normal smartphone before...

You can use any normal smartphone with AT&T and the data plan is optional, only with the iPhone is it 'required'. There's a bunch of other ways in which they give it special (and usually more restricted) treatment.
 

Amahk

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Jul 21, 2008
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#8
My only reason for doubting is because they haven't treated the iPhone like a normal smartphone before...
quote]

Oh I fully agree with you. I Just wish I knew why. Are they subsidizing the iPhone more than any other iPhone and thus making sure we have the data plan is how they intend to recoup their losses? Ahhh well.
 

SkyyBoy

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Jul 4, 2007
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#9
AT&T will *not* give me the unlock codes.
That's why I was wondering if it was locked to AT&T specifically (like all the other phones AT&T sells), or if the activation process through iTunes would activate the iPhone if I was using a different "authorized" carrier with an appropriate "authorized" plan.
Thanks!
 

jimmyrules712

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Sep 21, 2007
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#10
AT&T will *not* give me the unlock codes.
That's why I was wondering if it was locked to AT&T specifically (like all the other phones AT&T sells), or if the activation process through iTunes would activate the iPhone if I was using a different "authorized" carrier with an appropriate "authorized" plan.
Thanks!
I honestly don't know how it all works. If I were you I would go to an Apple store and explain the situation and see what advice they give.

If you're still up the creek then sell your iPhone on ebay, you'll get more then you paid for it, and then just buy a new subsidized one in europe.
 

dddkkksss

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Jun 29, 2009
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#11
How to switch your iPhone to a EU carrier with a LEGAL UNLOCK

This took me hours on the phone and seems to be something they don't like to give out.

STEPS:
1. End you contract with AT&T in the US. There is a fee for breaking the contract.

2. Take your iPhone to an Authorized iPhone carrier in Europe. It seems to be Vodafone in most countries. They are authorized by Apple to unlock the phone and will insert a SIM card that works with their network in Europe. You will not lose your service contract with Apple if your iPhone is still under Apple care.

Here is a list of Apple stores in different countries in case you want to check this info with them.
http://www.apple.com/support/contact/phone_contacts.html