(Last Updated On: August 20, 2020)
If you bought a used AT&T iPhone with unpaid bills, can you change the status from unpaid bills (financed) to clean? What if it’s under contract?
Most of us would try to get the best deals online especially when buying a used iPhone but before we get into the solutions for your iPhone, let’s discuss some basic information on the contract that’s setup between AT&T and iPhone.
History of AT&T and Apple iPhone
Since AT&T was the earliest partner for Apple, essentially it was the first carrier to operate on the iPhone. The history goes a long way back since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007.
Are you in a hurry? Unlock your iPhone with unpaid balance, financed or or with outstanding balance here.
The partnership between AT&T and Apple hasn’t been smooth. There have been many instances when Apple wasn’t very happy with AT&T’s network infrastructure but meanwhile AT&T felt that there was lack of partnership spirit in terms of solving network problems.
In 2007 after the iPhone was introduced, AT&T was overwhelmed with the data demand on the network.
Apple was asked to add data restrictions option on the iOS. AT&T asked to not allow YouTube to be running on 3G data but instead on WiFi, lower quality video and must of a short duration only.
Apple didn’t want that and insisted that AT&T should upgrade their network.
It was quite serious up to the point that Steve Jobs was considering to redesign the iPhone to be made compatible on Verizon’s network that’s using CDMA.
Despite having very high profits, AT&T’s reputation was diminishing.
AT&T Wireless Plans
AT&T has setup two wireless plans which are described below:
- The plans start at $70/month AT&T Unlimited &More
- $80/mo. for AT&T Unlimited &More Premium
- AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested.
- Prices after discount with Autopay and Paper billing.
- AT&T unlimited plans are perfect for heavy streamers who want to watch their entertainment virtually anywhere. Get unlimited data, talk, and text, and 30+ live and on demand channels at no extra charge.
- Plans start at $45/mo for 1 smartphone line with 1GB of Shareable Data.
- Price includes plan charge of $25/mo. + device access charge.
- Price is for 1 line after discount with AutoPay and paperless billing
- A great value for families who mainly talk, surf the web, and text. Plus, eligible AT&T Signature Program members may get additional monthly savings.
Alternatives to 2-year contracts
AT&T no longer offer 2-year contracts for smartphones, tablets, wearables, or basic feature phones so if you’re purchasing a new device or basic phone, you need to choose from the following options:
- AT&T Next® and AT&T Next Every Year for smartphones
- Installment plan for tablets, wearables, or basic phone
- Pay full price of the device
This is a combo offer by AT&T but you need to purchase two iPhones at the same time.
Drawbacks of Contract iPhone
Here are some drawbacks if your AT&T iPhone is under contract.
Phones that under contract are usually cheaper in the beginning but if you take into monthly payment, it will cost more.
For example, getting Verizon’s contract phone with 2GB data will bring the TCO (total cost of ownership) to almost $3000.
You are bounded with a contract that will last for two years and in case you terminate it earlier, there will be a fee that you need to pay.
Using it at another country will drive the cost of owning it even more.
Limited Phone Options
Some carrier offer very limited choices of phones so in this instance you can only rely on whatever’s being offered by the network provider.
Some contract phones can’t be used on other network type such as GSM, for example, an earlier version of Verizon iPhone can only work on Verizon network.
Customers have to deal with many fees such as activation, access and monthly rate fees. It’s something customers have to deal with on a regular basis. Prepaid phones have lesser fees which may be ideal for some people.
AT&T Premium Unlock Service (iPhone or Any Phone)
People tend to look for premium service because they may have already tried to unlock it using a cheaper service.
Premium service supports blocked phone, unpaid bills, financed, outstanding balance and unpaid balance phones.
How to Unlock an Unpaid iPhone AT&T
An unpaid iPhone is normally blocked on the original network but unlocking it will allow the phone to be used on another carrier.
Even if the iPhone is under contract, unlocking is still possible and can be done quite effectively.
The challenge would be if the device is blacklisted due to lost or stolen, which means it will cost more to unlock it, using premium service.
Models Supported for Unlocking Under Contract iPhone
There is no limitation to models supported to unlocking an under contract iPhone, which include:
- iPhone 12 (launching in 2020)
- iPhone SE (model 2020)
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 5 and all earlier models
The bottom line is to know the carrier and status of the device.
Reasons of Network Blocking of iPhone
Due to the drawbacks mentioned above, it can be one of the potential reasons why phones get blocked or blacklisted by the network. Here are also some other reasons why they get blocked:
- Unpaid bills
- Reported missing
- Insurance claims
Many people buy used AT&T iPhones with the hoping to get it unlocked.
It’s really that straightforward because AT&T iPhone with unpaid bills or under contract needs additional cost to unlock it.
Some people don’t really want to get it unlocked; instead they wish the unpaid bills or the in-contract status can be removed.
What else can you do with a device that’s blocked on the network? Well, here are some possible options:
- Unlock the device
- Sell the device
AT&T Phone Unpaid Bill Unlock
If you choose to unlock the device, as long as it’s not blocked on other network, you can use it on Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile (USA network).
However, if it’s blocked on all network, you can still unlock it but you may not be able to use it in USA.
That’s still not the end though, because there are options for you to remove the unpaid bills status and in-contract status remotely.
Fixing the ESN/IMEI remotely would mean “cleaning” it on the network.
Once it has been cleaned, other carriers will update their databases as well which makes it possible for you to use on all network for as long as the device is unlocked as mentioned earlier.
If you wish to consider removing (unlocking) the unpaid bills or in-contract status of your AT&T iPhone, please refer to the service here.
T-Mobile iPhone Unlock
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AT&T iPhone Unlock
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