If you’re looking to have your iPhone unlocked from AT&T’s service, you can do so over the company’s online chat and Apple is the one actually doing the unlocking. These new details come courtesy of iPhone hacker and developer Grant Paul, and have been verified by The Next Web in a chat with AT&T.
First, you can do this in-store, but you can also do it in an online chat at AT&T’s website. The process is painless and only takes a few minutes in the chat. The only piece of information required by AT&T is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, which can be found under Settings>General>About on your device.
Once you’ve completed the procedure, Apple pushes the unlock code during the next 72 hours to your email address. Once Apple completes the unlock request, a customer has to back-up and restore and tether the device to iTunes to complete the unlock process. This process is detailed in an Apple support document that was referenced by the AT&T representative we talked to.
Some users, like Juan Tarrío, have been told that a case would need to be opened and that it would be resolved by April 16th, rather than a code being delivered by email within 72 hours. The iMore forums also has a variety of different experiences with the unlock here, so that’s a good resource if you’re having issues.
Multiple device unlocks must be submitted through AT&T customer care and the maximum unlock codes that can be given for any account in a year is 5. For used devices, AT&T will check the account history of the original owner to make sure that the contract has been completed.
Remember that this is a service that AT&T will only perform if you have completed your original contract for the device.
This should allow for users to easily unlock older AT&T iPhones for use with international roaming or pay-as-you-go plans. iPhones will now operate on a handful of other carriers in the US like U.S. Cellular and, in a limited 2G-only fashion, T-Mobile.