AT&T appears to be unlocking both iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S for some customers whose contracts are still in effect. Many customers, with active AT&T contract, submitted a request through AT&T’s Web form and managed to unlock their device within hours. However, per AT&T policy, the company officially unlocks iPhone once their qualifying customer’s 2-year contracts have expired, upgraded with one of their upgrade policies or have paid early termination fee.
“I was also able to get AT&T to unlock my 4S by filling out the online unlock request last week. I’m not even one year into my 2-year contract, so I’m not sure what their policy is,” a poster on ars named DarwinKS wrote.
You can easily unlock your iPhone via AT&T’s website. All is required is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, which can be found under Settings>General>About on your device. Request a device unlock for your iPhone by visiting AT&T’s Device Unlock Portal. Fill out the form with all the required information such as your IMEI number, and click on the submit button.
Wait patiently for an e-mail from AT&T with instructions on how to complete the unlock process. Within next 24 hours, AT&T will send you a confirmation e-mail. As instructed on email, back-up and fully restore your iPhone to be unlocked and then tether it to iTunes to complete the unlock process (You will lose your jailbreak during the process). Soon after a confirmation screen will appear stating that the device has been unlocked. A new SIM card is not required to permanently unlock your AT&T iPhone, though some said they were able to unlock only after inserting a new SIM.
Unlocked iPhone can then be used on T-Mobile, or can be used with a prepaid international SIM while traveling abroad. For users who travel overseas, an unlocked iPhone is perfect as they can use a local SIM card from any pre-paid GSM wireless carrier, rather than paying for expensive service from AT&T.
You can try to get your iPhone unlocked to sell it for more before the iPhone 5 is announced on September 12th. Have you already requested an unlock? Let us know if this iPhone unlock method works for you.