AT&T Begins Unlocking Out Of Contract iPhone’s Today, Good News For T-Mobile Refarming

Note: Not really sure why this is confusing people, but you have to be an AT&T customer for this to work. They won’t unlock it for just anyone.

AT&T has made it official beginning today, Sunday, April 8th that the company will allow customers who have fulfilled their two-year contracts to unlock their iPhone for use on any GSM network. AT&T gave the following statement to 9to5Mac: 

“Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones. 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.”

If you paid the no commitment price for the iPhone on AT&T’s network, they will unlock your iPhone as well.

So why is this important for T-Mobile users, current and future? With T-Mobile’s “challenger strategy” focused heavily on refarming their network to “harmonize” T-Mobile’s spectrum bands bringing them in line with international frequencies, part of that focus is eye’ing unlocked iPhone owners. AT&T’s announcement remains mildly shocking given their unwillingness to unlock the iPhone on their network for years, a stark contrast from T-Mobile’s open-unlocking policy. Still, this is good news for customers who wish to keep using their iPhone but want to do so on a network that doesn’t have AT&T’s…troubles. I hope that T-Mobile takes note of AT&T’s new unlocking stance and markets toward these customers working to bring them into the Magenta fold.

Editors Note: If you don’t care about the iPhone on T-Mobile, don’t comment…do not make this an Android vs iOS war. Comments will be deleted!

9to5Mac, Macworld

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  • Lol

    first =)

    • David

      No so fast!

  • Younggodde

    David I have an iPhone 4s n its unlocked but u can’t receive picture messages. Any ideas?

    • David

      Try this:

      Let me know if that doesn’t work!

      • Younggodde

        thanks. I’ll keep u updated if it works.

        • Younggodde

          David I tried it and it didn’t work

  • Minhieminh

    So does this mean if I got a refurb from the Apple Store (which they have no way of proving I received for trading in a contracted/no-commitment phone) I could theoretically call and have this unlocked? Thanks for all the help. :]

  • MacRat

    I’m waiting to hear reports from actual users going through the process to see if it was straight forward, or the user has to jump through lots of hurdles to discourage unlocking.

  • dan

    I had ATT before and got Iphone 4 but switched over to T-Mobile.  Wonder how i would get my Iphone unlocked with them since i no longer have a wireless account with ATT.  Dave you see anything about that? if a person doesn’t have or no longer has an account with att?

    • David

      I don’t see anything about that, it’s worth a phone call though.

  • Gouv

    This could be a good oppurtunity for tmo, especially when the refarm is done.

  • Jarrod

    Could I have the person I bought my iPhone from call the AT&T people and have them send me the unlock through iTunes?

    • Tomdt24

      Should work. In fact, there is no code to unlock. When the phone’s IMEI number is updated on Apple servers for an unlock, you need to just run the backup-restore process. All the AT&T mail will tell you is to go ahead and follow the process.

      Btw, the process I mentioned here is a simplified version of what might be happening. The exact process might be different. But the essentials remain same. No code, server update followed by phone update (which connects to server).

  • oxfdblue

    How about TMo and Apple getting together and just offer a damned TMo iPhone already. I can’t wait until my current TMo contract is up.

    • Get_at_Me

      Easier said than done. Apple demands a lot of carriers to sell their products.  I’d love for tmo to carry the iphone officially, but its a huge financial risk for the company. With all other national carriers selling the iphone now, the market has become saturated.  Its assumed that tmo would have to commit a large sum of money to carry the iphone in hopes that it can steal customers away from other carriers….I’ve said before in other posts that the iphone can be a churn reducer for tmo, which is very important to the companies overall success…..I just don’t think tmo wants to bet the farm to carry any one particular device

      • LC

        It’s very true…Apple wants high demands and it certainly us a financial risk. Take a look at Sprint, they won’t be making any money off of the iPhone until 2015 because of the stipulations Apple demands if the carriers. It’s kind of insane, really.

      • SparklingCyanide

        I absolutely agree, but what puzzles me is how carriers much MUCH smaller than T-Mobile can afford the risk to do business with Apple?  I mean they’ve all been popping up on an almost weekly basis these regional carriers now or soon to be offering the iPhone.  so frustrating.  I mean look how much Sprint had to pay, it nearly crippled their company’s finances so how could a small company as the regionals take such a risk as well?

        • Hemingwaysaylor

          Maybe they’re doing different deals with the smaller carriers

      • Hemingwaysaylor

        I don’t quite understand why the iPhone costs carriers so much than other high end phones?  Is an iPhone at 650 or so that much more expensive than a top of the line Samsung phone?  They all seem to be sold at 199?  All I know is that everyone I know has the iPhone and they all love it and make fun of me and the ongoing problems I have with Android.  Not to mention I havent met anyone on Tmobile for years.  Ive tried to be loyal but I can’t deal with the terrible customer service anymore…I know another carrier might be just as bad but its a matter of principle at this point

        • Get_at_Me

          Apple has complete control over its devices (hardware and software)…so they call the shots. Theres no other phone maker who is so self sufficient. Apple does license its property out like other companies do…..carriers could band together and “band” together and refuse apples outrageous demands….afterall, an iphone is useless without a network to run on. If carriers stood up to apple, things could change.

  • SparklingCyanide

    this is an excellent opportunity, especially before T-Mobile gets their official version of the iPhone which will happen soon with all that is going on.

  • iWinroid

    I second and approve of the disclaimer added at the end. There’s more bickering about what PHONE OS is better here than there is drama in the “reality” shows girls make us guys watch…

    • SparklingCyanide

       I agree, I think all of the OSes are good in their own ways and I like them all for different reasons.  No reason to play the field and support one and ONLY one, that makes absolutely no sense.

      • Frigadroid

        Agreed I wouldn’t mind having one or more of each, then I can accessorize like I do with my watches. In the summer time when you dress for a hot climate it’s easier to conceal a lcp and iphone compared to a dell venue & sr9c.

  • aj

    My tmoile contract is up 2013feb. I want the iphone very badly but hated the 3gs on tmobile because of data speeds and i have no WiFi . My question (s) are do you think tmobile will have an iPhone by then or will the ATT iphones ever be faster and use tmobile 3/4g rather then 2g. I was thinking of going to sprint with unlimited iPhone use. Thoughts would be appriciated !!

    • Augie363

      I heard calls drop alot on sprint network but the internet browserr is very fast

    • Get_at_Me

      U can use an unlocked iphone (new or used) with one of tmobiles non contract monthly 4g plans….if u can get past the idea of getting the iphone with a subsidy, this is probably your best bet.

      • aj

        Well I would be willing to re sign my contract if I had the iphone. But in my past experiences and what tmobile has told me, it only works on tmobile 2g and that is why it is very slow. Am i doing something wrong ? And I have had sprint and yes.I have had more dropped calls then any carrier I’ve ever had, but I rarely talk on the phone. Like once a week or less (i text even my boss !!) So im not too worried about that. My upgrade so I could get a phone and sell it for and unlocked iPhone 4s but I don’t want it to be slow and sending pictures is a pain in the a even with the.code thing

        • Scarfacemario

          I would recommend u see sprints speed on the iPhone on YouTube or try it out first if u really want sprint becuase its a disaster u might not see that much of an upgrade.

        • LC

          T-Mobile will be restructuring their network so that non T-Mobile phones will be able to use our 3g service. That way you can keep your service and then use an unlocked iPhone at faster speeds.

        • Get_at_Me

          The spectrum refarming will fix the slowness issue…..right now, tmo and att use different frequencies for their highspeed data networks…..after the refarm, the frequencies will be the same so att iphones will run at 3g speeds on tmos network

        • aj

          Ah ok well that’s good. But when is that happening

        • Get_at_Me

          I think its already begun in some parts of the country… understanding is that it should be complete by the beginning of 2013

  • Priapism

    Any word on when the spectrum refarming will be announced and then when we expect it.   

    Also why the black out on the news of the 7Year ATT/Tmo UMTS roaming agreement.    Tmo have the infrastructure in place with those data roaming policy changes….when are they going to turn on the 3G Voice roaming on AT&T’s network…when, when, when.

  • Arijit

    Bad news ! I called AT&T to unlock my iPhone4 that I bought from AT&T with their service around Mar 2011. I had to terminate the contract as we moved to Canada on Feb 12. I paid the early termination fees as I had a 2 years contract with them. I do not owe AT&T anything now – and hence I thought I’m eligible.

    But when I called them, they told me that they are only unlocking iPhones that were purchased two years ago. They asked me to call after March , 2013 to unlock the phone. Anybody experienced the same?

    • Deacon

       if true that’s ridiculous

      • Arijit

        That’s what AT&T told me. Was anybody able to “CALL” AT&T like I did and heard otherwise?

        • 21stNow

          I heard otherwise, but I used online chat this afternoon.

        • Tomdt24

          Call again. I had the same scenario. Took an iPhone4 under contract but terminated (with necessary payment) about a year back. I called and told the rep to check the account as it should show full termination charges were paid. He did, said I was eligible and gave me a case number.

          Got the mail next day and unlocked the phone the very same day.

          In my case, the rep was not aware of the conditions fully, but agreed to check up when I requested. 

    • yeah

      I would just call again, a lot of time its the person you get.

    • Whiskers

      Jailbreak/unlock that thing by a local tech.
      Most will come to your house and do it for about $40.00 where i live and you can find them on Craigslist listings all day long.
      Screw AT&T , it’s your phone so do it now and enjoy it.

  • Scarfacemario

    Loving the picture.

  • jobber99

    The iPhone 4 came out less than 2 years ago. If one got an iPhone 4 first day, they’d still be under contract and thus can’t get an unlock yet…until the next iPhone is released. Is that right?

    • Arijit

      Right as per what AT&T told me. Has any iPhone4 owner really called AT&T ??

      • Jeff Mansell

        Yes, I have a 4 and they took my IMEI number, told me it was eligible and gave me a case number. Supposed to call me in 24-48hr with instructions on how to unlock. I bought it off craigslist and currently using it on T-mobile with a Gevey.

        • ghulamsameer

          But you have an AT&T account, right? They didn’t poke around in your info to make sure of everything? I’m sure I have an AT&T account and I have a phone I bought from a friend. Was it that easy?

        • Jeff Mansell

          I haven’t had an ATT account for 9 years. I even told them I got the phone from a friend. Didn’t seem to care. Been T-Mobile for a long time! Depends on the tech I guess.

        • Stefan

          Can you please describe your entire process? I want to unlock mine because I’m not on Att anymore either and want to use it on T-Mobile. Who did you call and what did you say? Thank you so much

        • dan

          same for me. i would like to know. can you explain what number you called. what you said

        • Jeff Mansell

          The number was 1-800-331-0500 with the option 0 to speak to a rep.

        • Phastdriver

          You must got a good CSR because I tried the 1800 number and the CSR I got told me I had to be an AT&T customer to get my iPhone 4 unlocked.

        • Jeff Mansell

          See my reply to Dan above, it was an easy process.

        • Arijit

          When I called AT&T they took my info and called me after 2 hrs only
          to tell me that they can’t unlock my phone due to the reason I
          mentioned. Please update what they say when they call you back. Please
          don’t forget. Keeping my fingers crossed.

        • Jeff Mansell

          I sure will!

        • dan

          who did you talk to? CS? tech? since i am calling and they want all these additional information in addition to IMEI number. seems like hassle. wanted to see what you did so when i tried again i would have better chance of getting this done.

        • Jeff Mansell

          Im assuming I was speaking to a CSR. It was the after hours tech support number though. I told them up front I didn’t have an AT&T account and just told them I had an iPhone 4 I wanted to unlock. The rep asked for the IMEI number and put me on hold. Came back a couple times and apologized for the hold then the 3rd time asked for my name and phone number. She said an unlock tech would call me in the next 24-48hr with directions for the unlock. I called back this evening and spoke to another “CSR” and asked about the email option. He said I was supposed to be asked if I wanted to be contacted by email or phone. Makes no difference to me. Hope this helps. Happy Easter!

      • 21stNow

        I called and was told that I would get an email by April 16th to let me know what the unlocking procedure would be.  I got the iPhone 4 near release and have recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy Note.  The contract with the iPhone 4 should be fulfilled at this point.  We’ll see on the 16th.

        • Alex

          I just got mine unlocked by at&t. I am in the military and under orders to go overseas. They requested by IMEI code and told me to backup and restore from backup through iTunes. They requests that apple unlocks your iPhone, there is no special code or anything you need to do, its all through iTunes. They also told me that my iphone 4 and 4s are still under contract but since im being deployed on active duty they said that I qualify for the unlock =)

      • Sri

        I am an iPhone4 owner and went off contract few days back. I called the AT&T CSR and they said I was eligible for the unlock and their unlock team will call me in 24 – 48 hrs. I was even give a Case Number that they had opened for the unlock.

        • Islander

           How is that possible? The contract is for 2 years! And iphone 4 was released on June 2010

    • Islander

       You are absolutely correct my friend! I got ny 3GS unlocked and the Rep told me that iphone 4 is not eligible unless you have terminated the contract.

  • Belindadawn

    i have an iphone 4 locked that i bought on ebay.  it is firmware 02.10.04.  how do i unlock it to use on tmobile?

    • Budhu168

      look on craigslist in your area for jailbreaking and unlock service.

  • Fabio

    AT&T is extremely late with this. One of the reasons I left AT&T for T-Mobile, was because of AT&T’s refusal to unlock an old iPhone 3G in which I had finished my two year contract commitment.

    Even tho AT&T has now decided to do this (which is shocking), I am going to stick with T-Mobile since their rate plans are waaaaay much affordable then AT&T’s.

  • Jakestavo

    My sis has an Iphone3 or 3s I cant remmember, How is Tmobile Refarming going right Now?

    • Fabio

      Interesting I was just wondering the same thing! Does anyone know what’s going on with T-Mobile’s refarming project? David, are there any news?

  • Platypus

    I got my iphone 4 that I purchased off ebay unlocked this am by att tech support. I still have an att blackberry under contract on a business account. I gave them my acct info and my imei and 1 hour later my phone was unlocked. Too bad I can only get tmo edge on it since they haven’t refarmed anythinbg in miami yet.

  • Ef Jay

    No one can answer the most important question, when will the refarming start and where will the new bands be in use. Until that is answered Tmobile is still not a good option for any user with a non-Tmobile device. 

    • SparklingCyanide

      there’s been talk about it being mostly re-farmed by 3rd quarter 2012. if in fact that happens the new iPhone could launch this fall on T-Mobile with HSPA+ and later when their LTE network goes live they can just update the phone’s to take advantage of that since the hardware would already be in there for LTE most likely.

      • Hudi Grossman

        if this is true that is awesome!! :) where has this talk been?

      • Justamazing87

        Expect in July that the companys message will change. Not those corny commercials…and expect value but more about quality.

  • Johnny

    Just so much irony on Tmobile badmouthing the iPhone and yet the story above encouraging that they go after ATT iPhone customers who have fulfilled their contracts.  Ive been so disappointed with the decrease in Tmobile customer service that I will be getting an iPhone on another network this Fall.  Ive had enough with Android problems but most of all, am so disappointed in Magenta and the totally rude reps Ive dealt with recently.

    • SparklingCyanide

      Yes but if you recall Verizon had done the very same thing to Apple before they had gotten the iPhone also.

  • UMA_Fan

    I’m wondering why at&t is doing this?  Unless this is something Apple is demanding since it is not an exclusive device anymore.  This opens the floodgates of churn from at&t to T-Mobile once spectrum refarming goes into effect.

    It would be great to know how Apple views T-Mobile as a company.  You would think they would have a great relationship since they’ve worked with Philip Humm before to bring the iPhone to T-Mobile Germany.  Also T-Mobile USA always seemed a like-minded company to Apple.  Since its clear Apple will not make a version of the current iPhone compatible with T-Mobile I wonder if Apple will give T-Mobile some kind of extra perk when they make the next iPhone since they were left out.  Businesses usually don’t care about things like this but it would be nice if Apple gave them some kind of plus since they were ‘left out.’

    Maybe the next iPhone could launch on T-Mobile a month earlier than the other carriers or something. THAT would make a difference considering how die hard some iPhone owners are. Even a two week lead would help T-Mobile. People would switch JUST to get the new iPhone NOW.

    • Chatter

      I would be shocked if Tmo got any exclusive on the next iphone. That is not how Apple works. No doubt it would be good for Tmo if it happens the way you describe it.

    • ChadBroChillz

      You must be Drunk with Magenta flavored Kool-Aid.  Pretty sure Apple is forcing this, because Tim Cook’s office is tired of getting calls from people wanting to get their devices unlocked. It has nothing to do with Tmobile. Also If tmobile wanted the iphone, they could have paid the same as sprint to get theirs. Sprint is going to get an LTE iphone, and they are using different bands than ATT/Verizon. Apple would not give tmobile an extra month perk. It would hurt their sales, while only benefitting tmobile, and last time I checked apple is not a charity. 

      While ATT being forced to unlock iPhones will help tmobile’s numbers after refarming their spectrum. You should probably realize that tmobile and subsidized iphone is not going to happen. They are focusing on mid range devices, i.e. One S.

      • UMA_Fan

        Historically speaking, T-Mobile getting the HTC One S over the One X is the exception, not the rule.  Remember, they are supposedly getting a version of the One X as the next G phone.  It would be like how they got variant of the Desire Z, Desire HD, AND HD2 in 2010 also the Sensation AND the Amaze in 2011.  No other US carrier got such great handset variants from HTC.  HTC loves T-Mobile, one of their main US offices is in Seattle where T-Mobile HQ is.

        Apple getting demand from customers doesn’t drive anything.  How many Apple customers do you think ask them for a flash player?  Apple doesn’t do something because it ‘gives in.’  Apple makes calls because they believe in it too.

        You’re right in saying T-Mobile exclusivity for a month is incredibly unlikely.  However, the regional carriers that are going to sell the iPhone on April 20th will be selling the iPhone $50 cheaper than the national carriers. Maybe T-Mobile could get something like that going on.

        I think the whole AWS 3G thing is a bigger deal than people realize.  Apple is adamantly not internally redesigning the iPhone 4/4s to accommodate T-Mobile bands.  However since the 4s had both cdma AND gsm inside it does seem like Apple snubbed T-Mobile by not including their bands into the hardware.  The 4S with the exact same hardware would have been game changing on T-Mobile because they could have rightfully claimed they have the best coverage of the fastest iPhone data speeds all for a fraction of the price of at&t/verizon.

        If you look at the FCC documents from the merger, at&t feared T-Mobile as a competitor.    Apple has to keep their carrier partners happy to an extent.  At&t and Verizon could have persuaded Apple to keep an iPhone off T-Mobile until an LTE variant for all we know.  Once that LTE iPhone comes out, there’s going to be little to get a Verizon/At&t customer to switch to T-Mobile other than price.

        • ChadBroChillz

          True, BUT HTC has said they are stopping that. they are not coming out with a new device every month. HTC just gave Sprint their own Variant to the One X, so I could argue that they love sprint more than tmobile. The One X as the next g series is a rumor, but even if it is true, Tmobile would get the phone after ATT”s and Sprint’s version has already come out. 

          Apple supports unlocking, heck they sell unlocked iphones. This is not customers driving apple to do something. Apple has already approved of unlocking. ATT has been the one giving the customers the finger, and customers have been calling Tim Cook’s office to get them to help with the unlocking. Check 9to5mac, they have stories of people getting their phone unlocked by calling Cook’s office prior to this news. I am pretty sure Tim Cook’s office is tired of getting calls from people trying to get their phone unlocked, so they pushed ATT to unlocking contract free devices. 

          If Tmobile sells the next iphone, they could lower the price if they wanted. C-Spire has done this prior to these new regional carriers. Hell Claro, PR regional carrier, sells the iphone for 99 dollars on contract.  The only problem is that now tmobile has to subsidize the device even more, and I doubt they could afford it. They are already raising the rates of their high end android smart phones( Galaxy S 2/ HTC amaze were like 250+ on contract initially).

          The whole AWS thing is smaller than you think. The Verizon iPhone 4 has a completely different antenna design than the GSM iphone 4, and it was thicker than it. It needed its own special cases, and even Apple’s band cases did not fit it originally. All apple had to do to support AWS was add one antenna. Way smaller than making a separate iphone for one CDMA carrier. 

          Cmon man, you cant believe that last part. If that was the case, then ATT would still be the only iPhone seller. No was they would prevent Tmobile from getting the iPhone, but let Verizon, who is a bigger competitor get it. Lets not forget that Sprint has the iphone, and now regional carriers are in the mix. Tmobile is the only one stopping them getting the iPhone. Coverage would be another reason to not switch to T-mobile.

        • Fabian Cortez

          All apple had to do to support AWS was add one antenna. Way smaller than making a separate iphone for one CDMA carrier.

          It’s actually much simpler than that and has nothing to do with the antenna.

        • ChadBroChillz

          Can you go into further details? 

        • Guet

          Galaxy s 2 is 229 not 250.

      • Justamazing87

        Okay one s is midrange …lol…. Fastest processor to date on a mid range phone I see I see lol … The one x is better its higher end but to say the s is midrange when dual core is still the standard is…..

        • UMA_Fan

          True the average consumer won’t see a drop in quality from the One X to the One S apart from screen size.  From a techie perspective the only place the One S is lacking is 720p resolution over qHD.  In fact, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would prefer the smaller super amoled screen of the One S along with its superior build quality.

    • Vic

      Maybe if T-Mobile is willing to shell out a few billion to Apple, they might get that one month exclusive. There is no reason for Apple to due an exclusive on T-Mobile because that would do nothing but hurt them.

  • Chatter

    The reframing cant come soon enough for me! And hope it happens in my area. I have been patiently waiting for iphone on Tmo.

  • UMA_Fan

    Isn’t it crazy that there’s STILL no word on WHEN at&t data roaming goes into effect and why it’s taking the FCC so long to approve the spectrum from at&t to T-Mobile?  The FCC just did an extensive study of the spectrum holdings of both at&t and T-Mobile during the merger talks.  

    This is something that should clearly be rubber stamped. Isn’t even the possibility of the FCC suing to block THAT the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard of? Approve it already!

  • Od312

    Doesn’t mean a damn thing for me until I can get 3g speeds on an iPhone using tmobile’s network. Until then, who cares if they unlock the iPhone. Anyone can run an iPhone before this idiotic announcement. .

  • tmotech

    Just saw you were specifically asking about voice roaming. My mistake, but I’m curious. Do you see a big benefit to being able to get voice roaming services on AT&T? I just use wifi calling or switch to 2G if I’m having problems with voice.

    • Priapism

       I will see a huge benefit with the AT&T Voice access.   with Tmo in Reno NV there are significant dead areas.    Places where AT&T does have very good coverage yet no Tmobile at all.    So I expect that this will significantly improve my coverage.  

      I work in IT and there customers whose routers which do not support SIP Transforms which renders WiFi calling completely useless.  So what happens is that with WiFi calling; You connect to the WIFI.    You register with WIFI Calling, and you will not recieve a call.   So The Router (does its job) eats the incoming packets.    (I use google voice) I will receive the voicemail notification…but I never had a chance to recieve the call.     There are times where I must answer the phone and voicemail is not what I’m looking for.    

      I still refer to my beloved G2 as a Phone first…and Internet/content consumption is secondary to me.

  • cutienoua

    I had call and they were very nice! They unlocked 3 iphone 4 for me.
    I am a Tmobile customer!

    • dan

      how did you do that? who did you talk to and what did you say. i am trying to get mine unlocked but been unsuccessful.  they put in 2 request and said they will have to call me back in a couple of days. can you tell me what you did and said to them. which department you talked to.

  • Jarrod

    I just got off the phone with them they were nice and very helpful, since I didn’t hold the account I think they have to go verify the account of that person. She said it would take 5-7days to check out but she said some people have had it performed 30mins after the phone call. All report back for the amount of time it took. The reason I called them to unlock it is because I had a jailbreak for it but it was very buggy and wouldn’t recognized the sim sometimes.

    • Silveredmiles

      what number did you call?

      • Jarrod

        The after hour call centre, here is the number. 1-866-801-3600

  • Magic Johnson

    OK, I have an old iPhone 3G that is not being used on any AT&T contracts, it’s just sitting in my closet. Can I bring this to AT&T to unlock ?

    • Islander

       Yes. I did exactly the same thing. Took 3 reps and 3 hours! good luck.
      What ends well is well. I have an unlocked phone now. Tested with another SIM and it works great!

  • Tomnewtn

    spoke with a technician working on a TMobile transmitter near my office Friday. He confirmed that they’ll be receiving the equipment to provide 3g for iPhone on TMO later this year. I never mentioned iPhone to him either. I just asked about 1900 freq, and he immediately brought up the iPhone and what they will be installing. Of course, there is widespread ear speaker failure in the iPhone 4 and 4S, and Apple is mum about it, so not sure why anyone wants one when this problem isn’t being addressed by Apple.

    • Tomnewtn

      This was in Seattle area by the way. 

      • Johhnybgood

        thanks for the info. i would like to know -and hope T-Mobile will tell us soon- if they will have the 1900 freq nationwide or just “selected” markets. i would just buy a new unlocked 4S (Apple also sells unlocked 4Ss for $750) and use it with T-Mobile if thats the case. 

        • Jarrod

          Me personally I would wait for the next one and also then you will have better knowledge if you will have this in you market.

        • Tomnewtn

          I like the 4S, and Apple is sending me a new replacement overnight ( I have the 32 gb ) and it works well on TMO 2g actually. The Apple service guy was very helpful….one reason I like to buy from Apple.  I’ll give the 4S to my wife if I decide to buy the new one this fall (unlocked from Apple as well). She is using a new Lumia 710 and loves it, so maybe she won’t want it!

        • Kotb

          Apple Iphone 4S is $649 at the Apple store UNLOCKED, for 16GB model, and $549 for for the Iphone 4, NOT $750

        • 21stNow

           Apple iPhone 4S 32GB unlocked is $749 at the Apple store.  I would assume that Johhnybgood wants the 32GB capacity since that is the price that he quoted.

    • Jarrod

      Later this year…. That seams kinda long. If you see him again can you ask when we will start to see it in other areas wide spread?

      • Tomnewtn

        He said quarter 3, and since he was working on one of those repeater stations, perhaps it was for that. Not sure, but if I see him again, I’ll see what I can learn.

    • Jarrod

      From my understanding there wasn’t a need for new equipment because they already use transmitters for that frequency and they would work with it the only thing they had to do was connect it to a 3G base station which they already have unless they are waiting for multi mode stations which I couldn’t see why.

      • Lester Walters

        Yes, new 1900mhz (UMTS) radios will need to be added to the existing UMTS base stations. Current radios are 1700/2100mhz.

  • Guest

    I just got off the phone with them. My contract is due to expire August 1 this year 2012 and I have an iPhone 4. She said I have to wait until my contract expires… That doesn’t seem right. Anyone had the same response??

    • Islander

       That’s is true. Basically they are not unlocking any iphone 4 or iphone 4s (As most likely these phones are still in contract) I got my iphone 3gs unlocked but man it took 3 hours as their system is new for doing such things and they are still struggling

  • Khoo

    What if I bought one in US from Ebay and am not a citizen. How will that work for me?

    • Jarrod

       All you have to do is goto a store or call them, as long as the account has met the terms of completing or paying the EFT.

  • Hudi Grossman

    Anyone know about this possibly working to unlock a Nokia Lumia 900 so i can use it on magenta. I am not a at&t customer.

    • 21stNow

      This has nothing to do with a Nokia Lumia 900.  The Lumia will remain locked until the exclusivity ends.  The iPhone remained locked to AT&T for over a year after exclusivity ended.

  • TMoFan

    I was shocked when I read this on Engadget. This is a huge gift to MVNOs, not just T-Mobile. Perhaps at&t is trying to soften their image of corporate greed.

    The refarm can’t come soon enough for T-Mobile. Their focus should be on getting it complete asap. Every thing else comes second.

    • UMA_Fan

      It could be more of an apple demand since there is no exclusivity deal on the iPhone anymore, there’s no need for at&t to have draconian unlocking policies.

  • Jack

    Ok so AT&T rep told me if you are within the contract, apple will provide you with the unlock code, if it’s out of contract apple will provide you with the unlock code. Basically, I called AT&T for nothing and ive had my iPhone with them for 22 months, the rep was ridiculous by the way, barely spoke any english, kept saying “it’s all tentative until next next week”). All I could gather was that they are still working things out but I’ll call back tomorrow and talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    • Tomdt24

      What the hell? I called from India and got a perfect English speaking rep who opened a case for me :-)

      Are you sure your experience with the request did not color your perception of the rep?

  • Mrstrat

    Plurals don’t use apostrophes.

    • k-mack

      it’s not a plural its possessive so would need an apostrophe.

      • Mrstrat

         In the context of the headline, it’s a plural.

  • asr

    I have a used iPhone 4, bought from someone else.  Just called to have it unlocked and the woman told me I need the social security number of the contract owner.  Anyone else run into this? Why can’t they just look it up via IMEI number and call it good? 

    • TheRealArabist

      Most of the time it the last 4 digits of there number ;)

    • Brent Matthies

      As it says in the article at the top of the page, AT&T is offering this only to AT&T customers. I assume they want that information to verify the identity of the owner of the phone. If they don’t verify that the owner is requesting the unlock, they could inadvertently unlock phones that were lost or stolen.

  • Cam

    i bought a iPhone 4 16GB the day it came out. Although I have Verizon I have been using it as an iPod. My question is could I get it unlocked for Verizon?

    • ChadBroChillz

      Sadly no. The Verizon iPhone 4 and the ATT iPhone 4 are different, and the ATT iPhone 4 does not support CDMA. And from what I understand. unlocking is only for gsm carriers. You cant have an ATT iphone and go to a CDMA carrier with it. 

    • Gpscontroller

      no it is gsm 

  • JBrowne1012

    This is wrong and should be illegal. AT&T should have to unlock the device without any form of commitment. This is the reason why I will never be part of death star network. magenta forever till business do us part. 

  • conservative_motorcyclist

    Any non-AT&T customers have any luck getting their phones unlocked by calling customer service? I’d LOVE to do this to my two 3GSs. Ultrasn0w doesn’t seem to like it when I connect to non-t-mobile towers with a weak cell signal when I travel to the boonies…(it gets “confused” and just says “no service” until I reboot. )

    Speaking to that, does anyone know if the new roaming agreements with AT&T will open up US Cellular’s roaming network (310-730) to us?

    • Brent Matthies

      Why would a roaming agreement between T-Mobile and AT&T open up another provider’s towers? That doesn’t make any sense. Regardless… US Cellular uses CDMA technology, not GSM/HSPA. Their network is completely incompatible with any and all phones that are designed for T-Mobile or AT&T.

    • Houstonb Sa

      I have 2 iPhones. Both purchased from Craigslist. I called AT&T on Tuesday the 10th. All they asked for was the IMEI number on my iPhone 4 and a call back number and email address. Thursday the 12th I restored my iPhone 4 and got the message that my phone was now unlocked.
      I called today and did the same for my other iPhone 3G.
      I’ve never had a number with AT&T.

  • Fabio

     Maybe, have your friend give AT&T a call. :)

  • Hurlamania

    1900 is what T-Mobile uses for there 2g service that’s why I phones get 2g only and why if your in a poor signal area your phone reverts to 2g or if you have a non 3 or 4g phone you get 2g service. It is already there. It is just not used for the 4g or 3g signal. All T-Mobile is doing is reallocating that frequency to say 20% 2g and 80% 3 & 4g. It is already there broadcasting in there coverage area. They’re not adding it just restructuring it’s use. So don’t keep wondering if it’s coming to your area it’s there already.

    As for the iPhone why would T-Mobile want to sell it now and sign a billion dollar deal. They don’t want to do subsidies as it is. So if an iPhone will work to it’s fullest then goto apple and pay full price and use it on T-Moble.
    T-Mobile is giving you that option. They could make a deal with apple but they would make up for the cost by raising prices.
    Stop if you have a iPhone on T-Mobile or want one to work fully and enjoy low value pricing this is your option and it’s the best of all other options. If you want a subsidy on a iPhone goto att and get one and pay double in your monthly bill. It’s all math.
    Buying a iPhone from apple and using it on T-Mobile is the cheapest option of any carrier.

    • ChadBroChillz

      It depends on how long you keep the device. If you change devices yearly, It is probably cheaper to go subsidized on sprint or att.

      If we compare 450mins, unlimited txt, unlimited any mobile, and 2gbs of data on each we get
      ATT: 89.99
      Sprint: 79.99
      Tmobile: 59.99( 49.99 500 min value plan+ 10 dollar unlimited mobile

      The unlocked iphone is 450 dollars more than a subsidized iphone. 

      If you compare ATT to Tmobile, it is cheaper to go with ATT if you keep you device for under 15 months.
      If you compare Sprint to Tmobile, it is cheaper to go with Sprint if you keep your device for under 22 months. 

      If you buy your device from Ebay or Craigslist, it will likely lower the amount of months to break even, but on the flip side if you are a data hog, then it will be smarter to go with sprint’s unlimited data plan. 

      • Dustin Roe3

         have you actually ever noticed a worse experience when you hit the 2G throttle limit. For most people who want to check their email, Facebook, twitter, etc it doesn’t make a difference. Even Netflix movie quality is the same at the lower speed. back haul and network traffic are more limiting than throttling unless you happen to be one of the few people that want to change out 2-3 GB of apps for new ones every few weeks all at the same time.

        • ChadBroChillz

          You have never been throttled have you? I can tell by the way you act like throttling is nothing. I used to think the same thing, but it cripples almost everything. You go from getting speeds around 7000+kbps to 60kbps. And you think people will not notice that difference? they throttle you to a hair above Dial-up(56kbps).  Netflix is unusable. Email, facebook, twitter, and  browsing take way longer and sometimes times out before the page can load. 

          Now I will say most people will not hit their data cap, but again in my original post I was referring to data hogs who use more than 2gbs a month. 

        • Daniel Campo

          Agreed. I’ve been throttled once and Pandora became virtually unusable. Browsing the web? Forget about it.

          Email was about the only thing that could be done decently while being throttled…

        • Vic

          i agree, i got hit also many times, i cant believe how slow it got… at one point i was comparing it with sprint speeds… but would it get better with wifi? if i use an unlock iphone with wifi? i never tried it but kinda tempted

      • Hurlamania

        All carriers require a 2 year commitment before a new subsidy. so over 24 months given you pay $199 down for a cheap iPhone on att and 30 bucks more a month you pay a total of $920 over 24 months.

        • ChadBroChillz

          You are correct the att person would pay 920 dollars more over 24 months, but then again at least he would have a phone, since you did not include the 650 that it costs to buy the comparable iphone unlocked from Apple. 

          I was just pointing out when the plans would equal out. And while they make you sign a two year agreement, ATT and Sprint let you upgrade every 20 months. 

        • DJSA

          Which means your 15 month argument is moot unless the ETF at 15 months is low enough to not cross break even boundary…

  • maclifer

    Small side thought – T-Mobile, please don’t ever bend over to pay the “deal” that Sprint got in getting the iPhone.  That will kill T-Mobile USA and just screw up all of us who already enjoy T-Mobile’s great service and great pricing… if they ever decided to pay the piper, all of us would be socked with increased rates.

    • SparklingCyanide

       I agree while it will be beneficial for the iPhone to appear on T-Mobile(which I’m sure it will starting this year), I hope they don’t take the deal that Sprint got.  Sprint is truly hurting because of all the money they shelled out for it.

    • Charlie LaFountain

      If you desire a unlocked uPhone, gobto SimpleMobile. Less complicated billing, and unlimited everything except speeds.

      It’s prepaid though, so you’ll have to look around for data settings, which (cough cough) are the same as T-Mobile APN and MMS settings

      • UmustLikeSM

        Are you a simple mobile spokes person? Lol

  • jay_max

    If the refarming allows iPhones 3G/4G access on TMO’s network, wouldn’t the same be true of the Lumia 900?  (sort of kind of maybe off-topic, my apologies).

    • SparklingCyanide

       yes, that’s absolutely true.  Att and T-Mobile’s networks will be completely compatible and eventually our LTE when activated will be compatible with Att and Verizon’s as well on AWS of course.

  • fixxmyhead

    are there any sites where ur comments dont get deleted and u can say ANYTHING cuz thats where i wanna be

    • David

      Sorry if I delete unnecessary attack comments that provide absolutely no value or substance to the conversation. Calling someone four letter words because that’s the very best argument you can make for your “position” just begs for deletion. You want to not have comments deleted, argue on the merits and stop attacking people. I’m not saying you, but people in general. For the record, I HARDLY delete comments, but lately the conversations have gotten out of hand so a few have gotten deleted, yes.

      • fixxmyhead

        its cool. i just wanna find a place where u can say anything where stuff wont get deleted. u know keeping it real

        • iZK

          open your own blog, simple

    • ghulamsameer

      This is probably the first time David has deleted comments on a larger scale, and he even warned you. 

  • Rapist on BAIL

    If you don’t care about the iPhone on T-Mobile, don’t comment…do not make this an Android vs iOS war. Comments will be deleted!”

    About time someone stood up to the iPhone hate, while it is supported by T-Mobile itself. Thank you, David. I myself will be more than happy to switch back to unlocked iPhone as soon as it is supported by T-Mobile’s high speed network. Hopefully that day will come very soon. If not, the I guess I will switch carriers which I don’t really want to do. Long live the iPhone on T-Mobile. =)

    • Navas_ed

      I was told today by a Tmobile tech who I happened to be delivering parts too in Redwood City, CA that he is part of a team that is currently working on Tmobile towers to upgrade speeds for jail broken IPhones.

      Tmobile is doing this because They will be getting the iPhone at Tge end of this year, great news since I hate AT&T….

  • Rapist on BAIL

    If you don’t care about the iPhone on T-Mobile, don’t comment…do not make this an Android vs iOS war. Comments will be deleted!”

    About time someone stood up to the iPhone hate, while it is supported by T-Mobile itself. Thank you, David. I myself will be more than happy to switch back to unlocked iPhone as soon as it is supported by T-Mobile’s high speed network. Hopefully that day will come very soon. If not, the I guess I will switch carriers which I don’t really want to do. Long live the iPhone on T-Mobile. =)

  • Ckci0925

    so i can buy a iphone n get switch to my t mobile number 

    • Charlie LaFountain

      Yes, but it’s real slow speeds. T-mobile developed it’s own 4G network type with Nokia and Siemens. It’s not compatible with the uPhone. You can only send email. So it’s like a 2001 blackberry, with a camera in it.

  • witor

    Ive an iphone 4 locked to AT&T. before the latest upgrade i was able to use it with tmobile. would i be able to unlock it with just going to AT&T store and asking for unlock? i called the reps yesterday and they told me to take it to the store. is it gonna be possible? if anyone has done please advice.. thank you:)

  • Diva411

    Sorry guys but new to all this but I have a question. My BF has an iPhone. I would like to use it on my T-Mobile service.  I understand that he would have to have AT&T unlock it, but are you saying that I will NOT be able to receive or send text msgs? What WILL I have available to me?

    • Sneax673

      You are able to send and receive texts. The only thing that might not work are mms but is fixable through jailbreak