1. thevmax's Avatar
    I have owned the iphone 3G, 3GS, 4, and now the iphone 5. I am not new to the product, the operating system, jailbreaking, etc.
    This story begins with the purchase of the iphone 5 on September 14, 2012, online through AT&T.
    I was and am now an AT&T customer (for better or worse).
    HEY, you gotta pick a carrier, right!

    This actually started because AT&T offered early termination of my iphone 4 contract if I purchased an iphone 5 and signed another contract for 2 years.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but to me early termination means that they are ending the contract and starting over with a new contract for the new phone.
    AND don't get me started on UNLIMITED DATA vs UNLIMITED DATA until you reach the threshold and they THROTTLE your download speeds.
    If a carrier says they are willing to close your current contract early, it is because they want to retain you as a customer.

    Since my iphone 4 was jailbroken, mint condition, with lots of accessories, AND AT&T told me they would unlock it, I went for the bait!
    But wait! I wanted to make sure I had everything up to snuff on the 4, latest Cydia updates, App Store Updates, so I decided to wait until the last minute to activate the iphone 5.
    It arrived on 9/21/12 and I knew that as soon as it was activated, the 4 would no longer have an active sim card, which you need to get the phone activated.
    You can only have one active SIM card per account. (For single user plans.)

    So I did a backup/restore of the 4 while the sim was active ...and to my surprise, no "Congratulations. Your iphone has been unlocked" message ?!
    I called AT&T numerous times over the next couple of days and they said it was unlocked.

    But I wanted to be sure, because I was selling it on eBay.

    After waiting until Saturday, 09/22/12, to activate the iphone 5, I was still in the dark on this.
    But i activated the iphone 5 anyway.

    Now I noticed that the 5 had no cellular data plan unless WiFi was available, no matter what I did.
    Speaking to AT&T a zillion times did not help.
    They suggested the usual, Reset Network Settings, Restore the phone, try Airplane Mode, Turn Cellular Data off and on.
    (Their last suggestion: Horror of Horrors, Reset All Settings, which totally screws up everything as if you had just taken it out of the box.
    Sunday, 09/23/12, I made an appt with the AT&T store and they replaced the SIM card, but still no cellular data.
    I spoke with a level Tier 3 engineer from AT&T on the phone about the problem. He escalated it, and said they would look into it and message me back within 5 days.

    On this day, 09/23/12, an AT&T Customer Service Rep said that no iphones are ever unlocked before end of contract. And of course I told her look on the web, there
    are dozens of stories where this has occurred on a daily basis! She said she would look into it and get back to me, plus suggested going on to att.com/deviceunlock
    and petitioning for an unlock. In the meantime, I had already posted my ad on eBay for a mint unlocked iphone 4. See the dilemma?!

    I called Apple and setup an appointment with my local Apple store over the next couple of days.
    They checked out the phone and agreed that cellular data was not working.
    Final decision was that some data from the backup of my iphone 4 had been pushed into the 5 and
    there was a problem with the APN settings. (Cellular Data Network Settings)

    The solution presented by Apple, fresh install of IOS 6.0 with setup as NEW PHONE, and the cellular data worked without having WiFi on!
    Now, so that we would not clobber what was working correctly, when I got home I had to do a selective Restore from Backup on my computer,
    of the Apps, Podcasts, Music, Mail, etc., back on to the iphone 5. It worked.
    But now my contacts were goofed up. When I selected contacts from the backup, there were contacts that were not mine on my phone.
    I went out to the App Store and bought ContactDel to help me clean them up. This worked.

    But what about the iphone 4? Now without an active SIM card, could I still do a backup/restore and setup as new?
    Unlikely, and the consequences of getting it wrong: bricked iphone, loss of jailbreak, etc! This iphone is on IOS 5.1.1.
    Plus, without active SIM, if the phone is setup as new (to erase old data), even if it was successful, I would still end up with that first screen
    that you get when you setup as new. And this will not go away until you install an active sim.
    So I decided yesterday, Saturday, 09/29/12, to do the acid test. Take the iphone 4 to a T-Mobile store and ask them
    if it was unlocked and if an active micro-sim from T-Mobile would work in it... Viola! It is unlocked.

    Some important considerations:

    1. AT&T did follow through and unlock the iphone 4, even though the customer reps were inconsistent in their info.

    2. I believe the reason I did not receive the itunes msg about being unlocked was due to the backup/restore occurring from
    the computer without replacing the IOS, which is done byh right clicking on the iphone in itunes in left hand column, and not selecting the RESTORE button.
    All this does is replace your backed up apps, music, etc., not the Operating System. It was also not setup as a new phone.

    3. Be careful pulling your data forward from iphone 4 or iphone 3G because there may be some inconsistencies, like the APN Settings.
    (Although I admit this probably wouldn't happen if you have never Jailbroken your iphones.)
    (I say this because there was a time when we could unlock our iphones with UltraSn0W and it played around with the APN Settings.)
    4. It appears that the best way to get a clean restore, is to setup phone as new and then import your backup Apps, Notes, Music, Podcasts, etc.
    10-01-2012 01:49 AM
  2. Fausty82's Avatar
    One point of clarification. AT&T did not offer you an "early termination". What they offered you was an EARLY UPGRADE... which is $250 on top of the full upgrade price ($199/$299/$399, depending on the memory configuration). It may well be a distinction without a difference, because it does get you a new 2 year contract effective with the purchase of the phone, as well as the opportunity to get the old phone on your line unlocked. Technically, an early termination fee is charged when you terminate an unfulfilled contract and walk away from the service provider.

    However, thank you for sharing the pointers... I am certain there are many people doing what you have done - get the new phone and sell your old one in an unlocked state, and these considerations will be beneficial to know/follow.
    10-01-2012 02:01 AM
  3. jerome g's Avatar
    I unlocked my iPhone 4 last year to sell it. AT&T did I it.
    When AT&T unlocks it you must restore and upgrade to he newest firmware.
    You obviously lose the jailbreak, as I did.
    You can unlock it via the AT&T website now so you can follow through yourself.
    Selling it unlocked trumps the jailbreak, check eBay sales.
    10-01-2012 03:24 AM
  4. Caballera's Avatar
    I'm trying to unlock my iPhone 4 now at AT&T but they denied it. I purchased the iPhone 4 from a friend about 1 1/2 years ago. Had it on my Line (Family Plan) that I now have my iPhone 4S that I've been using since it was released.

    This is the email I received from AT&T:

    We cannot complete your request because the service commitment for this iPhone has not been completed or no valid current/ former mobile number is associated with the request.
    10-01-2012 06:11 AM
  5. Caballera's Avatar
    I'm trying to unlock my iPhone 4 now at AT&T but they denied it. I purchased the iPhone 4 from a friend about 1 1/2 years ago. Had it on my Line (Family Plan) that I now have my iPhone 4S that I've been using since it was released.

    This is the email I received from AT&T:

    We cannot complete your request because the service commitment for this iPhone has not been completed or no valid current/ former mobile number is associated with the request.
    After searching on the web, seems AT&T may have thought I was requesting my iPhone 4S to be unlocked and not my iPhone 4 since it's no longer being used and doesn't have an active SIM card. I'll have to give them a call to see if they'll unlock it.
    10-01-2012 07:45 AM
  6. anon(4698833)'s Avatar
    ame likes this.
    10-01-2012 08:24 AM
  7. Laelipoo's Avatar
    For the record, you just need a SIM card in the phone to pass the activation screen. It doesn't have to be an active one (I just restored my parents' iPhone 4 s and I could easily complete the "activation screen" and get to the home screen.

    Beamed from a galaxy far, far away using Tapatalk!
    10-01-2012 09:08 AM
  8. thevmax's Avatar
    YES, AT&T did offer me an early termination! I did not pay the $250 early upgrade fee.
    I should know, it's my contract, my bill.
    And There is no way I would have considered an early upgrade with the $250 charge.
    Besides that, most AT&T customers know that if they have been good customers (pay on time, no prior balance due),
    that AT&T will allow the cancel of the current contract if it is within about 3 or 4 months of ending.
    This is called customer retention.
    They allowed me an "early termination" , their term, not mine.
    But the stipulation was, that I had to sign a new contract for 2 years with the new iphone 5 before they would let me out of my old contract.
    I paid $399 and the tax.
    And they unlocked my iphone 4.
    11-08-2012 01:18 AM

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