AT&T to provide free unlock codes for everyone! …except iPhone users

iPhone literally locked to AT&TIt seems that all it takes is a class-action lawsuit to get some companies to start treating their customers right.

As a settlement of said lawsuit, today it was announced that AT&T will provide customers with a free unlock code for their device after only 90 days of service. Now, now, don’t get too excited yet: it’s not quite as clear-cut as it may seem.

The “90 days” doesn’t apply to “handsets for which AT&T has an exclusive sales arrangement with a manufacturer of less than 10 months”. If you have one of those handsets, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a much-less-reasonable 10 months before you can get your mitts on an unlock code.

“But what about those devices that have an exclusivity period of more than 10 months, like my iPhone?” I hear you ask. First of all: you’re a sharp little button, aren’t you? Second of all: stiff. AT&T aren’t obliged to offer you an unlock code at all. Ever.

Now that I’ve got the bad news out of the way, here are the actual terms stating who is eligible, as stipulated by AT&T:

(1) Customers with postpaid accounts who have completed a minimum of 90 days of active service and are in good standing and current in their payments.

(2) Customers with prepaid accounts who have provided a detailed receipt or other proof of purchase of the handset.

(3) Customers who own handsets for which AT&T has an exclusive sales arrangement with a manufacturer of less than 10 months will have to wait until the 10-month period expires before they can receive an unlocking code.

If you want to opt out of the settlement or object to it, you have until June 4, 2010 to post mark your filing. The final approval hearing will be held July 2, 2010. For more information, visit

Customers will also be limited to 5 unlock codes a year, so don’t think this is your ticket to an ebay-funded retirement just yet.

[via Boy Genius Report]