Wireless carriers conventionally have a policy of shipping out smartphones at hugely discounted prices. However, these devices come with long-term contracts binding that device specifically with the carrier offering it. AT&T has been the one of the official carriers of Apple’s iPhone. It earlier had a policy of not unlocking an iPhone even after a given contract expired. However, now the company has announced a u-turn on that policy.
This issue has been raised frequently by the users in the past. AT&T refused to unlock those iPhone devices whose contract had expired. This was naturally taken with a pinch of antagonism by iPhone users since this meant even after the contract ended, they couldn’t use the device with other carriers. The issue created a lot of noise which even led Apple to be involved at one time.
Now, however, much to the relief of AT&T iPhone users, the company has announced that starting from coming Sunday, it will be officially unlocking such iPhone devices whose contracts have expired. According to AT&T, “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.”
This essentially means that if you have been using an iPhone device which had AT&T as its official carrier, and if your contract with the company has expired, you will be able to switch to other wireless carriers since the company will officially unlock the device.
Image courtesy Yutaka.