On Friday, a rumor surfaced that AT&T was going to start unlocking out of contract iPhones for its subscribers. This is a big departure from the typical trials and tribulations you have to go through to unlock the handset, so we had to test it out.

I’m an AT&T customer, with an iPhone 4 that’s been out of contract for quite some time, so I decided to give the carrier a call. And sure enough — at least judging from my experience — the company appears to be unlocking old iPhones…

I started off by dialing 611 from my current iPhone, and navigated my way through the automated system. After a few minutes I landed in the tech support department, with a customer service representative who obviously hadn’t gotten the memo yet.

But once I convinced her I wasn’t crazy, she did some quick research on her end and came back on the line asking for my iPhone’s IMEI number. And after making sure the handset wasn’t on the nationwide lost or stolen list, she submitted my request for unlock. I was told I would get an email with my device’s unlock code and further instructions within the next two weeks.

All in all I spent about 20 minutes on the phone, which wasn’t too bad all things considered. But if I would have known that the unlock request could have been submitted through AT&T’s online chat service, I probably would’ve gone that route.

Regardless, it looks like we can confirm that AT&T has indeed started unlocking out of contract iPhones. Especially since Jeff was able to successfully submit a request as well.

Have you tried unlocking your old AT&T iPhone?

  • I called AT&T, they said they were making a case for my iPhone 4 and I would be contacted on April 16th about my unlock eligibility. We’ll see what happens.

    • same with me. they said they will send an email on April 16 if my ip4 is eligible for an unlock. i hopen it is eligible and not a hoax

      • Anonymous

        hi, my name is matias. I’m from Argentina. I do not want to bother. Can you help you unlock the iphone? I have no account on at & t. Greetings from Argentina.

      • Me too !! I have an iphone 4 locked to AT&T baseband 4.11.08…. you think that I can make a request on the AT&T online support and they will unlock it ?? i would really appreciate some help

      • Thanks right. I have unlocked my iPhone just in 10 minutes by Calling this number

  • Finally !

  • Ronald Weaver

    For years I played the unlock game. I always feared my bad credit would equal 500 to 900 dollar deposit. Nope I couldn’t have been more wrong. I went to the AT&T store after loosing my unlock and guess what no deposit. 90 dollars a month unlimited everything except data. I’m now much happyier with 3G. Screw edge it’s slow soooo slow.

  • Raul Bottazzi

    Is it possible also for devices bought through eBay ? How to ask for the unlock?
    How get AT&T’s online chat service? I’m from Italy and have no proof of the eBay purchase.

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t tell them you bought it on Ebay. Do you currently have service with them? if not I would think they certainly will not unlock it. That’s the scam I was refering to in my post. Not that you intend to scam them. I believe there will be a huge influx of people who don’t currently have service that will be looking for unlocks an AT&T will change the rules.

      • I just submitted a successful request to unlock my iPhone 4 that was brought from ebay. At first they said they I am not eligible until April 2013 which is my contract ending date. So I told them I got this phone from ebay not from AT&T; then, they wanted to know the phone number of the original person who brought this phone. Luckily, the person who sold this phone gave me all those information at the time of transaction as it was necessary to transfer the warranty in my name. After verifying the information AT&T rep said she is submitting the request and I will get a detailed response by April 16th. So I believe I will be FREE on April 16th 🙂

      • Raul Bottazzi

        Submitted the unlock request on 10, received unlock confirmation on 13.
        De-activated via SAM, activated with my Vodafone SIM: “Congratulations!…..”
        Tnx AT&T&!!!

  • Anonymous

    thay wouldnt unlock my iphone 4 said it was under contract when i upgraded to 4S on same line .

  • Anonymous

    Ok….My experience. Decided to call tonight (sunday) incase there was a long wait so I dont eat minutes. I u8se voip apps but they are not 100% dependable and i didnt wanht to wait on line for 20 only to get a dropped call.

    Here goes…….Called the 611. gave info to tech and was told a case number was submitted and I should recieve amn unlock code in 3-5 days. I am not under contract. I have had a 3g, 3gs, 4 and 4s and I buy my phones off Craigslist then resell tyhem when I upgrade. I wonder if this will make a difference even though the tech said nothing. I have NEVER ever had a contract with AT&T because as you know if you own your phone and don’t subsidize you just move your sim card fom phone to phone. I walked into at&t and they even gave me a free micro sim. That being said i wonder how this will turn out.

    I have been a iphone customerr since 2009 (before leaving verizon) an under a non-contract month to month. Will i recieve consideration because I am a 3 year plus customer? Here’s the question. This could cause a problem and I wanted to get it done quickly before people who buy like me start running into AT&T and start asking for unlocking only to cancel after a month. Seems like it could turn into a scam.

    I’ll keep you guys posted.

    • Your minutes do not get used when you dial 611

    • Anonymous

      hi, my name is matias. I’m from Argentina. I do not want to bother. Can you help you unlock the iphone? I have no account on at & t. Greetings from Argentina.

  • At PC World some one commented on the article saying that he received unlock code within 30 minutes. Guess it was done instantly as there were not much requests pending that time. Few minutes ago, I submitted a request via online chat (which is way faster than waiting on 611) and got a relative unlock date after a week; that is 16th of this month.

  • Gracias

  • so after reading this i thought, how much will there stock go up from this? gotta do some researcb.. be back lol

  • Anonymous

    I guess I’m not following — iPhone 4 (GSM) was released on June 24, 2010 — how could it possibly be out of contract?

  • I just got of the phone with them and they said that I will be emailed the details on how to do it

  • Im on T-Mobile. Bought the phone in 2010 off someone. Now I fear if it is on the Lost/Stolen IMEI list. I wonder if there is a way to check and if its even possible to do a factory unlock through AT&T

    • Well I can tell you I called this morning. Im on T-Mobile too, I explained to her that I didnt had an account with them and that I bought the phone from someone with an AT&T account (I never told her I was with T-Mobile tho) she asked me if I had the phone number of the person that sold the phone to me and I told her I didn’t. She asked me for the IMEI and I gave it to her…couple of minutes later she gave me a Case# and asked me for my email…she said that in 48 to 72 hours I should receive my unlock. I guess she checked my phone wasn’t stolen or reported lost. We’ll see in about 72 hours…. 🙂

    • You can look at the global imei database via google type in imei status check

  • ok

  • Im in the philippines and i bought this iphone 4 off a friend who got it from att. i called att earlier today and they said my phone was eligible for an unlock. i just need to wait 24-48 hours and they gave me a case number. i just gave them the imei and the original owner’s name and the information was enough. the tech support rep who assisted me was very kind

  • and with new iphones ?

  • Amber Starr

    I just got off the phone with an AT&T rep. At first she stood by that they were only unlocking 3G and 3GS phones. After me being polite, but persistent, she found that she was incorrect and the IP4 are also included. I have never been and AT&T customer. If the phone was bought outright or the previous customer can not be found in a contract it should be eligible. She told me if any other rep had incorrect information to tell them to look at their “urgent alerts” regarding iPhones.
    Sidenote – you might just get lucky. I bought mine used on Craigslist and damaged it. I went to my local Apple store and they gave me a new one as a “one time courtesy replacement”. Because it was never activated on a contract it appears I bought it outright.

  • Hi, I’m Brazilian and I want to do this but I have to have a AT&T wireless account, and I can’t do this. Somebody help me!

  • Anonymous

    Hi guys, are there anyone of you could unlock my AT&T iphone? I cannot do that from Italy. If someone are interested I can pay for that 30$ via PayPal, once activated. Please write me if you’re interested lucacant70[AT]gmail[DOT]com
    Thanks a lot and hope to hearing from you soon! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hi guys, are there anyone of you could unlock my AT&T iphone? I cannot do that from Italy. If someone are interested I can pay for that 30$ via PayPal, once activated. Please write me if you’re interested lucacant70[AT]gmail[DOT]com
    Thanks a lot and hope to hearing from you soon! 🙂

    • Raul Bottazzi

      Luca, puoi chiamare questo numero
      001 800 335-4685 con Skype (gratis)
      Se te la cavi un po’ con l’inglese ce la puoi fare. Io in pochi minuti (30 sec. di attesa e max 10 min. di dialogo) ho spiegato di avere acquistato su ebay nell’agosto 2010, mi hanno chiesto l’IMEI, il mio nr. di telefono, la mail e il fax di prova dell’acquisto (la ricevuta di PayPal nel mio caso). Mi hanno dato un “case ticket”, dicendomi di aspettare una conferma via mail. Io ci spero…

  • I have a question? I have an unlocked iPhone 4 with att! I wonder if I can do the (jailbreak). I will not lose the unlock the I did with att!?

  • Anonymous

    Any idea how to do this if you are not a customer anymore? I don’t even have their sim right now. I bought the iphone4 for a company plan, but I don’t work there anymore and the plan went back to them, so it is quite possible that the original plan is still in use, but with a different device.

  • i called at&t on April 22, and waited for a week for an email about my unlock. after a week they told me that they a large number of unlock request so my request will be delayed. next i called again, the CSR said i need a proof of purchase for my iPhone 4. so i faxed it to them even i’m from the Philippines. so after receiving an email stating that i am not eligible for the unlock because i don’t have an at&t account or have been on a at&t. they said that they only unlocking iPhone’s who has an at&t account. WTF??!! i purchased my iPhone “no commitment” as stated there in their website that it is also eligible for an unlock.. WTF AT&T!!! i have a very bad experience on this unlock. thou i’m using the SAM unlock of course it’s much better that i have the official unlock. Effin pissed of to at&t right now!!!

  • omid