AT&T was the first carrier in the world to offer the iPhone when it was released in 2007. Since then, customers who don’t favor the stay with the carrier decide to unlock the iPhone to change to another carrier such as T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon.
Obsolete AT&T iPhone Unlocking Methods
Hackers have been developing various methods to unlock the AT&T iPhone. It was fun and challenging but most early iPhone users would agree that it was satisfying.
It involves jailbreaking the iPhone and then performing various steps on the device to unlock it.
If you’re looking for software method to unlock AT&T iPhone, unfortunately the solution is no longer available especially if you have iPhone 4S and later.
All the latest models cannot be unlocked using any software method; and even if you find it online it’s most likely fake solution.
Eligibility Criteria or Requirements to Unlock AT&T iPhone
In order to unlock your AT&T iPhone, there are certain conditions required but basically any AT&T iPhone can be unlocked depending on the channel that you use to unlock it.
The full list of criteria based on AT&T’s website is below but only applicable if you’re unlocking your iPhone on the AT&T’s website directly:
1. Your AT&T device isn’t reported lost, stolen, or involved in fraud. 2. You purchased your device with an installment or term agreement and: 3. You’ve had active AT&T service for at least 60 days. 4. You completed your contract (including paying any early termination fees) or paid off your installment agreement at least 24 hours before your unlock request. 5. You have AT&T service and no past due or unpaid balances. 6. Your device isn’t active on another AT&T account. 7. You waited at least 14 days after an early upgrade to unlock your old device (30 days if you have a business account). 8. Your AT&T PREPAID® device has been active for at least 6 months.
The most crucial thing is to confirm that your device is really locked to AT&T as some of the third party services offered can only unlock it if the carrier is correct.
Next is to make sure that if you’re buying a used iPhone, it’s not blacklisted by the carrier because unlocking it will be more costly and normally it cannot be used on the same network or another network.
Blocked AT&T iPhone allows you to use it on a different carrier but not on the same original network.
Unlocking AT&T iPhone with or Under Contract
Most people who own the AT&T iPhone are under contract but many people dislike the package bundled with the original carrier thus causing them to plan to switch carrier.
Under contract iPhone can be unlocked but the cost varies from one model to another. AT&T normally won’t unlock the iPhone for you unless if you have paid the bills.
That means it’s only possible to unlock under contract iPhone using a third-party service which you can find at the end of this article.
Unlocking Latest iPhone XS Max from AT&T
So if you have the latest iPhone XS Max from AT&T, it would be ideal to get it unlocked because unlocking it will increase its resale value and you will own the latest iPhone with the freedom to switch carrier.
The solution to unlock it can be found on the link at the end of this article.
However, if your AT&T iPhone XS Max matches the unlock criteria set by AT&T, you can make an official unlock request. Otherwise, please continue to read for the steps to unlock your iPhone.
How Long does it Take to Unlock AT&T iPhone?
This is by far the most popular question by people who are looking to unlock their AT&T iPhones. The time varies from the model of the iPhone and the status of the device.
As a basic guideline, AT&T iPhone that is considered ‘clean’ on the carrier database can be unlocked the fastest, normally within a few hours to one day.
Clean means the bill is fully paid, it’s not blacklisted and there’s no other negative status such as fraud or insurance claims issue.
Check AT&T iPhone Unlock Status
If you have made an unlock request before, you can check the status on the AT&T website. However, you’ll need the IMEI and the unlock request number. The link is available here. Please allow up to 2 business days to get the status from AT&T.
AT&T iPhone Network Unlock Code
Contrary to popular belief, the iPhone does not need any unlock code compared to other devices. This is because the Apple iPhone database stores the carrier information.
If the unlock request is made and completed, the carrier status will be changed from Locked to Unlocked. In short, you won’t need any unlock code but rather need to make the unlock request from AT&T or use the unlock service solution as stated at the end of this article.
Troubles and Challenges with Unlocking AT&T iPhone
Unlocking AT&T iPhone does come with some troubles and challenges. This is made more complex if the device is bought used from eBay, on the street or online.
Next, if the iPhone is blacklisted due to lost or stolen, unlocking it will cost more and require additional time. It’s also subject to how fast the third party service provider can unlock it.
Normally it takes around 1-7 work days but may require additional 3-7 work days if the server is busy.
AT&T iPhone Unlock Request Denied
For most people, the unlock request from AT&T will be denied because of the eligibility criteria is not met. For this reason the AT&T iPhone can only be unlocked using a third-party service provider which needs to be paid as a service.
If you insist on using the service offered by AT&T, please be sure to go through the eligibility list such as paying your bill in full, check that the device is not blacklisted and you’re the original owner of the iPhone although this is not entirely necessary.
However, if the request is rejected, your best and final solution can be found at the final section of this article.
Steps to Unlock AT&T iPhone
1. Check that you’re eligible to unlock your AT&T smartphone, tablet, or mobile hotspot. 2. Enter your iPhone IMEI or AT&T mobile number. 3. The model number will be displayed immediately after entering the IMEI number. 4. Enter your information as shown on the online form. 5. Confirm the unlock request and simply wait for the next 1-2 business days to get the unlock confirmation email from AT&T. 6. Once you receive the confirmation, switch to another SIM card.
Normally, you will be stuck at Step 4 if your AT&T iPhone or device does not fulfill the criteria by AT&T. In this case, use the suggested solution at the bottom of this page.
The Best AT&T iPhone Unlock Solution
Using a third-party service is the best solution available to unlock any AT&T iPhone because they can bypass the strict requirements set by AT&T.