When 9to5Mac brought you the story about Tim Cook convincing AT&T to unlock an iPhone on a customer’s behalf, we knew it would cause a bit of controversy because of AT&T’s questionable unlocking policies. Confusion among consumers regarding inconsistent policies for unlocking iPhones that have finished contractual obligations is nothing new. As witnessed in our original story, the carriers often make special exceptions for some customers while redirecting others to Apple. In many cases, they simply flat-out refuse to unlock iPhones.
It is not clear if AT&T is getting ready for a full-fledged policy change, but it looks like your best shot at getting an iPhone unlocked is by emailing Apple’s chief Tim Cook. A significant number of readers reached out to us since our original story that confirmed AT&T is continuing to unlock iPhones at the request of Cook’s office.
We have received upwards of six emails from readers confirming an email sent to Cook’s office resulted in a response from AT&T Partnership Operations informing them the carrier would make an exception to unlock their devices. Like the original reader, our tipsters have not received responses directly from Cook, but they did receive an email with instructions to tether their iPhone to iTunes to complete the unlock.
In the emails, most of the readers expressed frustration with not being able to use their iPhone on carriers outside the United States, and AT&T previously refused them. AT&T only contacted all of the readers after they emailed Cook. After confirming the device’s IMEI’s and phone number, AT&T Partnership Operations unlocked at least a half dozen iPhones.
If you have an iPhone you want unlocked for use on different carriers, you might want to start with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
@9to5mac it works .. I did it and in a weeks time my iPhone was unlocked ...this is what Apple is all about :)—
Paramvir Singh Sethi (@ParamvirSS) April 03, 2012
- Vice President of iPhone and iPod Engineering David Tupman left Apple at the end of last year (9to5mac.com)
- Analyst: AT&T & Sprint selling more iPhones than all other smartphones combined (9to5mac.com)
- Tim Cook: 37 million iPhones, we had a ‘decent quarter’ (9to5mac.com)
- Best Buy selling almost as many iPhones as Apple… with four times as many stores (9to5mac.com)