AT&T Unlocked A Customer's iPhone After Getting Special Instructions From Tim Cook
This is really an exception, by now all of our reader know that AT&T don’t unlock iPhones issued on contracts from their network. Yes there are other ways like jailbreaking and unlocking it with ultrasn0w, hardware unlock like Gevey SIM or IMEI “unofficial” official remote unlocking services. But if you call AT&T folks just to unlock your iPhones even if your contract is over–they won’t. A 9t05Mac reader also an iPhone 3GS owner has a little different story. AT&T unlocked his iPhone 3GS on special instructions of non other than CEO of Apple Inc. Tim Cook himself. So how did this all happen? Well, you know that Steve Jobs at times replied to emails which Apple customers sent him and Tim Cook also followed his tradition and replied to some emails after joining Apple as CEO.
The story is pretty interesting, the guy with an iPhone 3GS which was originally locked to AT&T wanted to used it in Canada on pay as you go plan. Like any other average joe he tried contacting AT&T support which resulted in a usual negative response from AT&T customer support. They told him that only Apple can unlock his iPhone 3GS he then contacted Apple regarding this issue and they bounced him back to AT&T saying “only the carrier could authorize the unlock”. This is nothing new, hundreds of iPhone owners are tossed between Apple and AT&T on daily basis but the truth is that AT&T CAN authorize your iPhone’s unlock. Anyhow, tired of being tossed around he wrote a very detailed email to CEO of Apple Inc. Tim Cook regarding his iPhone unlock issue.
Though he didn’t get any response from Tim himself but he got a call from AT&T Partnership Operations which confirmed that Tim Cook has requested your iPhone to be unlocked. The representative than noted his iPhone’s IMEI number and unlocked his iPhone just like that. But this is not it, Tim Cook’s assistant called him to confirm whether AT&T has unlocked his iPhone or not. WOW!
Mid day my wife sent me an e-mail at work saying “Um, Tim Cook’s special assistant just called and she wants to know if AT&T has unlocked your phone yet??? Why does Tim Cook care about your phone?”
Here’s the complete email which he sent to CEO of Apple Tim Cook:
My family is immersed in the Apple brand. All 4 of my children (aged 2 to 8) have been using iPod touches, iPhones, iPads, and iMacs since they were a year old. Our television is a 27” iMac using eyeTV. My kids talk to their grandmother every second day via video Skype on the iMac. All of our computers are Macs (we have 4 in the house). Apple has touched every aspect of our lives and made it richer!
My company recently moved me to Canada for a work assignment for a few years. My wife’s iPhone 3GS had finished its contract with AT&T so I bought her an iPhone 4 the day we moved to Canada. I took her iPhone 3GS and I contacted AT&T to see if I could have it unlocked so that I could use the phone with a Canadian carrier with a “pay as you go” plan for casual use (I’m forced to use a Blackberry for work, but I hate it so I’d like to use the iPhone for phone calls). This is where my problems began.
Basically AT&T told me that they couldn’t unlock it, only Apple could. I called Apple (but was routed through Apple Canada) and they told me “ask to talk to a supervisor at AT&T because the customer service rep won’t know the process, but AT&T definitely can unlock it”. So I called them back and the supervisor was adamant that they couldn’t help me. “Just jailbreak your phone” was their advice.
I didn’t want to jailbreak my phone, I like Apple’s curated experience and I don’t want to stray from that. However after several more calls to both AT&T and Apple, I made no progress. So I’m turning to you for a final plea.
I love Apple and will continue to buy your products regardless of what happens with this situation. However, I did pay $600 some odd dollars for this device (even though I bought it on contact and they say its subsidized, I’m basically paying for the device in my monthly payments) and I’d like to be able to use it.
My thanks to the Apple team, keep innovating!
We will keep you updated on this, stay tuned!