The process of unlocking your iPhone became a little bit easier today in the United States. Today marks the deadline for wireless carriers to adopt the unlocking standards of the late-2013 agreement set forth by the CTIA.

The agreement is industry-wide, and mandates that carriers adhere to 6 rules including clearly posting their unlocking policies online, and offering to unlock postpaid handsets once the customer’s contract has expired.

Here are the 6 rules, as outlined by The Wireless Association:

  • Disclosure. Each carrier will post on its website its clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on postpaid and prepaid mobile wireless device unlocking.
  • Postpaid Unlocking Policy. Carriers, upon request, will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock their devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan or payment of an applicable early termination fee.
  • Prepaid Unlocking Policy. Carriers, upon request, will unlock prepaid mobile wireless devices no later than one year after initial activation, consistent with reasonable time, payment or usage requirements.
  • Notice. Carriers that lock devices will clearly notify customers that their devices are eligible for unlocking at the time when their devices are eligible for unlocking or automatically unlock devices remotely when devices are eligible for unlocking, without additional fee. Carriers reserve the right to charge non-customers/non-former-customers a reasonable fee for unlocking requests. Notice to prepaid customers may occur at point of sale, at the time of eligibility, or through a clear and concise statement of the policy on the carrier’s website.
  • Response Time. Within two business days after receiving a request, carriers will unlock eligible mobile wireless devices or initiate a request to the OEM to unlock the eligible device, or provide an explanation of why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why the carrier reasonably needs additional time to process the request.
  • Deployed Personnel Unlocking Policy. Carriers will unlock mobile wireless devices for deployed military personnel who are customers in good standing upon provision of deployment papers.

Most major carriers already have many of these policies in place, but today’s deadline will force them into a standard. It’s unknown what the punishment for non-compliance is, however it doesn’t seem like that will be an issue.

The practice of unlocking essentially became illegal in 2013, when the DMCA exemption that allowed it expired. The issue has since been taken up by the Federal Communications Commission, and various folks in Washington D.C.

In August of last year, President Obama signed a bill reinstating the DMCA exemption, making it legal for cellphone owners to unlock their devices—particularly without the intervention of carriers—for at least the next three years.

Source: CTIA via The Next Web

  • Dany Quirion

    Lol the US Are always far behind…

    • Chris Gilmore

      We’re too busy with more important things, like freedom.

      • Dany Quirion

        Or starting wars for no reason like always.

      • Héctor Viveros

        Don’t forget spying on our beloved citizens.

      • NP92

        What happens over there matters over here.

      • The thing is that the US have started most recent wars (Iraq for example) to boost their economy.

      • NP92

        Yes and some kids have no idea what thats means.;)

      • Starman_Andromeda

        Didn’t work too well, did it?!

      • Chris Gilmore

        Learn your place in the world.

      • igorsky

        Foreign policy lessons from some snot-nosed punk kid…love the internet!

      • Dany Quirion

        You should just agree with me because its true, the US are the issue in this world

      • So unlocking your phone is not freedom?
        Spying on your own people is freedom?
        I guess you are too busy with more important things, like, not freedom.

      • Serge Bodin

        If you think about it different counties have way more freedom than America. America was once a free country, but not anymore

      • Rupinder

        Well this escalated quick.

      • 9to5Slavery

        LMAO politics and things everything on tv. As seen here.

      • Mike Colacone Saal

        We still have freedom???

      • burge

        But not with your phones.

  • TheShade247

    So does that mean AT&T will unlock my iPhone 4S automatically? As its not in contract anymore

    • Utrarunner5

      probably not. It said that that is one option a carrier might take. Although, for sure you can go into an AT&T store and get it unlocked for free and they have to do it by law now if your out of contract.

      • Gary le

        So lets say i have an old 4s without contract but i am still with att on my 6plus so i can unlock the 4s right. Also is there a certain number of devices allowed including ipads?

      • Utrarunner5

        As long as you bought the 4s from ATT and go to ATT then yes. No there is no number cut off. It’s unlimited. The thinking behind it is that you paid for it in full. So you should be able to do anything including switching carriers with it for no extra cost.
        Although, I have heard somewhere that only certain versions of the 4s are unlock able. I don’t know the credibility of this but I’m positive that the 4s from ATT is.

      • Gary le

        Thanks for the reply btw iwhat if the 4s is from sprint and it has a sim card slot so does that mean this gsm 4s should work with att if its unlocked????

      • Utrarunner5

        yes once it is unlocked. it will work with any carrier from my understanding. Its just that if your going out of the country. Thats another whole issue. But as long as your in the United States you should be fine.

      • André Le Comte

        It has been impossible to get a 4S unlocked by Sprint as far as I can tell. It will be interesting to see if Sprint complies with the new regulations. The support section of their website is currently down for maintenance.

    • credulousgeek

      Dude get it unlocked from ebay it wont be a big charge for you I paid 12 bucks and voila i got it FU so go ahead if you want to

      • TheShade247

        I know about those, but if at&t does it for free than i could use that money for something good lol

      • Gary le

        But u need to wait till your contract expires. Instead ebay sellers can do it since i heard some of them works with the carriers correct me if im wrong people. Btw it is legal i think according to the end of the article:

        In August of last year, President Obama signed a bill reinstating the DMCA exemption, making it legal for cellphone owners to unlock their devices—particularly without the intervention of carriers—for at least the next three years.

  • Vvbreaker

    Unlocking is no more the issue for me. It’s iCloud Bypassing and Activation that a lot of people are struggling with nowadays..

    • What do you mean, iCloud bypassing?
      Bypassing Activation Lock is usually connected with the prior theft of an Apple Device and therefore not something that should be discussed here.
      If someone buys an Apple Device nowadays without checking for Activation Lock etc. (read the iDB article about how to buy iDevices nowadays) that’s their own fault and can be easily fixed (by contacting the previous owner).

      • Vvbreaker

        Many people come to me and ask for the solution because they would buy it from either eBay or Craigslist assuming that it originally belonged to the sellers . Afterwards, they’d try to return it to the sellers but wouldn’t be able to. Also, since they were sold for a cheap price ; hence, more buyers (more dummies)
        Not anyone I know bought locked iPhones from thieves and that’s what they said and told me.

      • Rigs101

        Nothing but a bunch of dumb people with smart phones. Quick google search and there can be hundreds of tips on buying used iPhones

      • Vvbreaker

        They are not my customers, they are my friends and cousins( by cousins , I mean my people from my country). Thanks for the tips though lol

    • Niclas

      Which is a good thing.

    • sleader32

      please how can i network my iphone

  • Martynet

    there is few websites which will unlock any device for few bucks.

    • LordKKK

      what are they i need to unlock my iphone 6 pls help me


      • Martynet

        just google unlock iPhone online…

  • therealjjohnson

    I wonder: I have a iPhone on my account (AT&T) and a dumb phone on my account. The iPhone is an iPhone 6 under contract. I wonder if i replaced the actual phone with any other device, which staying in the same plan, if they would then unlock the iPhone 6 that would no longer be on the account.

  • jake kneller

    So I’m not sure but does anyone think if I change my resolution to iPhone 6 resolution

  • Ariel

    Unrelated – I miss Theme Thursday! Here’s my setup: Amor Theme, stock i7 wall

  • Exstinction

    still need to pay more in Malaysia….

  • igorsky

    I think everyone is making too big a deal out of this. AT&T, for example, already unlocks phones after the contract is up. A better policy would be to allow unlocking for a fee whenever the customer wants, or forcing them to unlock after 1 year. This new policy doesn’t change much. It still allows them to extort money from customers during international travel.

    Best solution: buy your subsidized phone and unlock yourself using a service like Chronic Unlocks. I was recently in Europe for two weeks with a phone that I unlocked and it worked flawlessly. Screw you, AT&T.

    • André Le Comte

      It seems to be impossible for Spring to unlock an iPhone 4S. Hopefully that will now change.

  • sandy collins

    Just called AT&T and got mine unlocked easy

  • yes unlock is very easy now

  • sleader32

    how can i unlock my network on iphone which website is recomeded

  • Deracoock

    i have iPhone 6 n it has i cloud only emergency call i can’t get z apple Id from z guy who sell z it to me what can i do? iz their any solution?