If you’re a Verizon customer, you already have your iPhone 5 unlocked out of the box, but what about on AT&T’s GSM network? If you have bought iPhone 5 for the subsidized price of $200 by signing a two-year contract, you’ll not able to unlock the device until your contract is completed. For such customers, AT&T will unlock iPhones once the customer’s 2-year contracts have expired, upgraded with one of their upgrade policies or have paid early termination fee.
However, AT&T customers without contract obligations pay full price to buy iPhone 5 and get it unlocked for free, but the process requires filling out a web form, sending a fax, and endless waiting more than a week. AT&T’s own forums are filled with such requests and commiserations and they only suggest tedious solution and ask to fax a copy of the paid invoice to them.
To request an iPhone unlock, just complete our simple online unlock request form and we’ll take it from there. Requests may take up to 5 to 7 days to complete. For additional information, refer to Apple’s article about unlocking iPhone.
But it seems that AT&T’s off-contract iPhone 5 can be unlocked painlessly with iTunes reset that bypasses lengthy process. Here’s the step by step method to unlock off-contract iPhone 5 for free:
How to Unlock Off-contract iPhone 5 using iTunes Restore
STEP 1: Plug in your iPhone 5 to your computer (Windows or Mac with iTunes 10.7 installed).
STEP 2: Launch iTunes and then click your AT&T iPhone 5 when it appears on the left-hand side. You’ll be taken to a screen that has the option you see below.
STEP 3: Hit the Restore button. Soon after a confirmation screen will appear stating that the device has been unlocked.
STEP 4: Voila! You have now permanently unlocked your AT&T iPhone 5
To confirm if the iPhone has been unlocked, just swap out the AT&T nano-SIM in your iPhone 5 for another GSM-compatible nano-SIM (like T-Mobile’s Nano SIM or any local GSM SIM card). You can optionally cut a micro-SIM card into the shape of a nano-SIM by using the AT&T SIM card shipped with the iPhone 5. If you notice T-Mobile text on top left of the iPhone device, your device stands unlocked.
Once unlocked, you will be able to use your iPhone 5 with any network carriers worldwide without any restriction such as on T-Mobile’s EDGE network, or on a prepaid international SIM while traveling abroad.
There are couple of factory unlock services available which are offering a permanent unlock for in-contract or off-contract iPhone 5. The cheapest among them is offered by developer @chronic, who is currently unlocking iPhone 5 permanently for $30 with fastest turn around time.
We have independently verified the process listed above and were able to unlock off-contract iPhone 5 within minutes with iTunes reset. But we fail to understand why AT&T is asking such customers to go through the trouble of filing a request online when it could easily be done by customer itself.
Did you get your iPhone 5 unlocked? Share your experience with us. Source [TC]