How to Unlock your AT&T iPhone

So you want your iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or whatever version unlocked?

Just a few minutes ago, I tried following the steps found at Unfortunately, AT&T is no longer unlocking iPhones over their chat system. After trying on two separate occasions, I was informed by AT&T’s chat representative to call their customer support center to verify whether my iPhone was eligable to be unlocked.

To have your iPhone unlocked the phone must be out of contract. AT&T is starting to filter out more of these iPhone unlock requests by also requiring that you provide the phone number that the iPhone was under contract with. In my case, the phone line was eligable for an upgrade so my iPhone 3GS was no longer under contract after the upgrade had been used.

So, after preparing to deal with a begrudged AT&T representative, I called the customer support number (AT&T Customer Support). In my experience, tech support representatives are the most reasonable people to deal with over the phone, so I went through the automated phone system to get tech support. Sure enough, I got a layed back tech support representative who was very willing to help. After simply stating that I have an iPhone that is out of contract and providing the IMEI number and phone line that it had previously been used with, he submited a request to Apple to have the phone unlocked. He assured me that it would take up to 24-hours for the request to be processed.

He also provided insturctions over the phone that were also emailed to me on how to backup and restore the iPhone. Upon doing so, a message would be received stating that the iPhone has been unlocked. On a side note, he mentioned that on occasion this message will not appear and offered to have a phone call scheduled for the next day to see if I needed help with the final steps.

So here is a list of things to have ready before you call…

  • Your phone’s IMEI Number (found under Settings > General > About)
  • The phone number that the iPhone was previously used on
  • An active AT&T phone number
  • An active AT&T account number

What do you think?