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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Tim Cook intervenes w/ATT to have 3GS unlocked!

Tim Cook intervenes w/ATT to have 3GS unlocked!
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Mar 20, 2012, 12:15 PM
 
Who'd of thunk?

Tim Cook convinces AT&T to unlock customer’s iPhone | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

This appears to be the one-and-only iPhone ever unlocked by ATT at the end of a 2-year contract!

Will this break the ATT dam, allowing other out-of-contract iPhones to be unlocked?
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 12:19 PM
 
Good.
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 07:32 PM
 
This means that there will be a flood of 3GSs being shipped to friends and relatives in other countries, who would otherwise have had an iPhone, incrementing the user base to possibly beyond android :O
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 08:24 PM
 
Excellent. Now they just need to do it for every iPhone owner like they do every other phone.
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 09:36 PM
 
I'm glad this single customer got satisfaction, but all subsidized iPhone owners who have completed their contracts on good terms should get the same benefit. Unfortunately, until someone initiates a class action against AT&T for discriminating against iPhone owners and treating them differently from all others wrt unlocking, the policy will most likely not change. We can hope this case is a turning point and that an official AT&T policy change will result, but I think that's highly unlikely.

I'll be calling in asking for the same benefit. The sad and pathetic thing is, I've talked to multiple AT&T customer service supervisors who have said they completely understand and sympathize with us, that they've heard about this issue repeatedly and that they wish they could change this idiotic policy, but they're powerless to affect corporate policy set above their level.

You know, since Tim has enormous pull with AT&T, maybe if we start a united write-in campaign to him showing all the iPhone customers who are adversely impacted by this evil AT&T policy, he'll be able to force AT&T to lift it.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Mar 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm glad this single customer got satisfaction, but all subsidized iPhone owners who have completed their contracts on good terms should get the same benefit. Unfortunately, until someone initiates a class action against AT&T for discriminating against iPhone owners and treating them differently from all others wrt unlocking, the policy will most likely not change. We can hope this case is a turning point and that an official AT&T policy change will result, but I think that's highly unlikely.
Right on, Big Mac.

And I agree, this is not going to allow a flood of unlocks.
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Unfortunately, until someone initiates a class action against AT&T for discriminating against iPhone owners and treating them differently from all others wrt unlocking, the policy will most likely not change.
Is it even possible for them to bring a class action?
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:30 PM
 
Sure. A previous class action forced AT&T to adopt a uniform unlock policy for all phones EXCEPT for the iPhone, which it succeeded weaseled out of including.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:35 PM
 
What I'm saying is, don't their terms of service deny class actions?
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:38 PM
 
If a terms of service agreement could insulate a corporation from a class action suit, there would be nearly zero class action lawsuits in the United States. I don't think that's a factor.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:42 PM
 
Okay, now I feel like I'm really crazy, because I thought there was a Supreme Court ruling upholding such a thing.
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:43 PM
 
Supreme Court: AT&T can force arbitration, block class-action suits
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that AT&T—and indeed, any company—could block class-action suits arising from disputes with customers and instead force those customers into binding arbitration.
Am I misreading how that would impact this situation?
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 01:56 PM
 
If you are, I'm misreading it the same way. I really hope we're wrong, but I don't think so.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 02:11 PM
 
I doubt Apple would put its weight for mass unlocks. After all, they are trying to sell new iPhones all over the world and they don't want the cannibalizing competition from unlocked 3GS imported from their countries of origin.
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 03:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
I doubt Apple would put its weight for mass unlocks. After all, they are trying to sell new iPhones all over the world and they don't want the cannibalizing competition from unlocked 3GS imported from their countries of origin.
That makes absolutely zero sense, considering that refusing to unlock a phone after the contract is up is ILLEGAL in almost the entire civilized world.
     
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Mar 21, 2012, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Supreme Court: AT&T can force arbitration, block class-action suits

Am I misreading how that would impact this situation?
So sue them in small claims court for the maximum amount in your state ($7,500 in California.) There are a few advantages to this: 1, AT&T can't send one of their high priced lawyers; 2, they often send someone incompetent or not knowledgable from their local office; 3, they may not send anyone at all and you win on default; and 4, it only costs a few bucks to file, so it's no huge problem if you lose.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
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Mar 22, 2012, 08:50 AM
 
Thank you for bringing that ruling to my attention. You were definitely right then. This is one notable instance where I'm disappointed by Justice Scalia and must side with the liberal minority on the Court. I guess the only positive is that trial lawyers got slapped hard by this case.

olePigeon, regarding your suggestion, doesn't that ruling also preclude small claims lawsuits in favor of arbitration? And if not, how to prove monetary damages over the denial of an unlock? Go to a different country and purposely rack up a huge roaming bill, then sue when you get home?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Apr 3, 2012, 02:55 PM
 
Here's a follow-up: it's becoming quite popular to email Tim Cook with a complaint about needing an unlock that has been refused by ATT, whereupon shortly thereafter ATT contacts you to authorize an unlock!

The best way to unlock your AT&T iPhone may be through Tim Cook’s office | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

I'm now planning on planning to go to Europe, where my iPhone 4 would be totally hobbled by being locked! Ah, I see a complaint to Tim Cook in my future!
     
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Apr 3, 2012, 03:31 PM
 
As much as I admire the helpfulness of Tim Cook's office, this really seems like an untenable solution as the momentum grows...
     
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Apr 3, 2012, 03:33 PM
 
A part of me would like to believe he's doing this because he knows its eventually going to reach critical mass and AT&T will have to capitulate.
     
amazing  (op)
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Apr 3, 2012, 04:12 PM
 
Well, I say we should help the momentum grow!
     
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Apr 3, 2012, 07:00 PM
 
Email sent to tcook@apple.com

Dear mr cook
I love my iPhone 4 and it is a safe bet to say that I depend on it, in a way that no other phone could replace it. That being said, it is a really bad drag when I am unable to use it when I travel to _____ to see my family. Because iphones are locked to a carrier and won't receive service in another country, i either need to pay for international roaming at exorbitant rates, or get another phone (perhaps android).

This untenable situation repeats constantly. What can be done to unlock my iPhone and use it at my parents house?

I think I speak for all first generation immigrants here.

Very kind regards,

__________
     
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Apr 3, 2012, 08:27 PM
 
Yeah, when the iPhone 3GS first came out I bought an unlocked model in Greece precisely because I knew AT&T wouldn't unlock it if I bought one locked. And I didn't want to pay full price for the non-contract, locked only phones they had available. I did pay a ~$250 premium though, but it was worth it to me.

When the iPhone 4S came out, I dumped AT&T and went with Verizon, who will actually unlock the SIM slot for use overseas with a foreign carrier in as little as two months into your contract. And I plan on doing just that when I go to Greece again in September.
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 02:20 PM
 
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 02:24 PM
 
Thanks for the news, Spheric.

Perhaps the Mayans were right....
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 02:42 PM
 
Holy crap!! I don't believe it. I will be so happy to get my iPhone 4 unlocked! I'm sick of dealing with the whole Jailbreak/Unlock thing.
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 03:20 PM
 
Victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 03:33 PM
 
4S too?
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 03:38 PM
 
Lest anyone think this was just a rumor, it's been fully confirmed by Electronista. Just yesterday I wrote to Mr. Cook with my plea that everyone receive unlocks - maybe I helped influence the decision!

I'm so happy you guys! And I'm really thankful I resisted the urge to upgrade to the iPad baseband, from which there is no return. At times I was tempted to do so, but I assumed that this day could possibly come. I feel somewhat bad for those who did that, but it was the best unlock option for un-unlockable basebands at the time, and anyone who took it should have known the risks.

Godfather, it's any iPhone in good standing with AT&T (active paid service) and out of contract.. Not as good as the standard unlocking policy governing other phones, but I can't complain.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Apr 6, 2012 at 03:47 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Apr 6, 2012, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
4S too?
As soon as there are any AT&T-sold 4S that are out of contract, probably.
     
   
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