If you’ve been itching to take your AT&T Apple iPhone to another carrier — either permanently or just when you’re traveling abroad — it looks like we’ve got some good news. AT&T has announced that they’re willing to start unlocking iPhones for customers. This started as of yesterday.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind. If you’re still under contract with AT&T, they won’t unlock your iPhone. You either have to have completed your term commitment or paid the early termination fee. This is unless you’ve already upgraded to something else and the new device is the one that is associated with your current service agreement. Your account also has to be under “good standing.”
If you’re good with all that, then the unlocking process is actually quite simple.
- Go to Settings -> General -> About on your iPhone to find your IMEI number.
- Use the online chat on the AT&T website or visit a physical store, giving them the IMEI number and telling them you want to unlock your iPhone.
- Wait for the e-mail (up to 72 hours) to arrive that says your unlock is ready.
- Follow the instructions in the e-mail. It’ll likely tell you to plug into iTunes and do a backup/restore cycle.
This is pretty much the same set of instructions that you’d get if you bought an iPhone from another country and wanted to unlock it through that overseas carrier. Even if you have no plans of leaving AT&T, it’s a good idea to go through this unlock process if you can. You know, just in case.