AT&T iPhone 4 international usage without unlock?

0 votes
asked Apr 17, 2012 by littleghettoazn (176 points)
I just got off the phone with AT&T and I requested to talk to a supervisor cause they wouldn't grant me a unlock to my iPhone cause I'm ~5 months away from my "2- year contract"...  I will be traveling in the next couple of days thats why I'm looking to get my phone unlocked so I could use it on my trip...  The supervisor told me cause its a "quad-band" phone it will work with international providers... That this was a big "PLUS" on how cool the iPhone is...  and that its only LOCKED domestically.. HOWEVER, my understanding was that 1) its locked under AT&T meaning no provider other than AT&T can the phone be used on.  2) quad-band just means it works with different signals or bands which means you can use it on different networks IF THE PHONE IS UNLOCKED????..

then i called applecare and some lady was pretty rude... (first time I've ever felt an apple employee was rude) although she didn't really know what i was talking about she said yes you can use it overseas.

I always see people posting that "oh my iPhone from the states is just an iPod touch right now cause its at&t" or something to that sort.

Can anyone provide me with information on if what AT&T and Apple just told me is true? That I don't have to unlock my phone to use a provider in Asia or anywhere in the world other than the states?

3 Answers

0 votes
answered Apr 18, 2012 by littleghettoazn (176 points)
Went to the local Apple store and talked to an "expert" he said exactly what i had stated.. "quad-band" means you can connect to different tower signals (ex. att and tmobile are gsm but have different signals) NOT meaning you can go out of the country and use the phone..  LOCKED means LOCKED... Therefore, AT&T is giving out wrong information (this was a supervisor i talked to)...

and if you don't meet the criteria for AT&T's new unlock ordeal... don't even bother as a customer since 1998 i can't even get them to do anything.  oh and be aware even if you do qualify they said it takes up to 7-10 days to get a response from no other than  APPLE.. not even AT&T...
0 votes
answered Apr 18, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
Exactly. It's completely locked, unless you pay to unlock it or jailbreak it to unlock it that way. I tried to go to the Dominican Republic with a UK iPhone, because my iPhone 3G is a UK version for some reason, locked. I jailbroke it to unlock it that way. And yeah, it will take 7-10 days, who knows? It might be 2 hours. Don't get all worked up. Jailbreaking you can do it for free, but you risk your warranty.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by littleghettoazn (176 points)
I know jailbreaking can solve this whole problem.. however the firmware I'm on right now only has tethered jailbreak...  and I'm just spreading the word on what they told me on how the whole unlocking of iPhones works now.

and my main problem is that a supervisor was 100% positive that the cool thing about an iPhone is that it can work "quad-band" if you go out of the country it will work... YES, it will work if its unlocked.  If a supervisor doesn't even understand this then i think theres something wrong.  Not only is he informing customers like me wrong information but also his customer service reps that ask him questions on unlocking. And if i didn't know better i would of taken his word and went on my trip and been stuck with purchasing a prepaid sim THINKING that i could use it.. Hence, it will be a waste cause 1) it won't work.. and 2) i have to spend more money just to get a phone there for my already paid sim card.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
No, no. He's in the right though. He said it'll work when you go out the country, it means it's compatible with their bands. He never said it's unlocked out the box. I think you're twisting his words a bit.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by littleghettoazn (176 points)
no I'm not.. i clearly asked him for an unlock for my phone.. he said i don't need an unlock if I'm going out of the country. then i asked him AGAIN cause it didn't make sense.. so I'm not twisting anyones words.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
Well then, explain the situation to AT&T corporate, see what they can do. Phone number: (201) 967-3000. I'm not on AT&T, so I wouldn't know how this goes. On T-Mobile however, with an iPhone, they'll help you as much as possible, but I haven't had much luck with AT&T.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by littleghettoazn (176 points)
as i said.. i wanted to get my iPhone unlocked cause I'm going to be traveling out of the country.. they wouldn't grant me the unlock cause I'm still 5 months away from fulfilling my 2 year contract.. then i asked to talk to a supervisor.. he stated i can't get the unlock and since I'm going out of the country i don't need an unlock. and thats one of the cool features of the iPhone.. and that whole thing about only being locked "domestically" is not true.. its locked to att and no other provider in the world other than att. not just cause I'm not in the US a random provider will work.
commented Apr 18, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
How about when going to your destination, checking over there if you can unlock it? When I was in the Dominican Republic last year, and I brought my US iPhone 4 instead of my 3G, Orange Dominicana, my provider overseas, unlocked it for me for a small fee. See if it can be done there.
0 votes
answered May 24, 2012 by Yvanz (1 point)
It's true that you can use the iPhone internationally without jailbreaking it, and it does work "quad-band". What they don't tell you is that it can get  very expensive, even with AT&T's international plans. I lived in Indonesia for the better part of last year and while I had a local phone, I did have the international plan for my iPhone 4, which I used occasionally for everything but talking. It is very cool that the iPhone will find and use  whatever tower and cell company is available. There were many times when I had service but friends and their specific phones (even my local phone) didn't. But again, you do pay out the nose for this! Hence I'm on here researching unlocking options, as I had many friends who unlocked their iPhones to use them abroad. Good luck!
commented May 24, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
But you get better rates out of a local SIM rather than AT&T's international plan.  A local SIM would charge you less per minute, for example AT&T charges you $1.39/minute to connect and talk via Claro Dominicana or Orange Dominicana (just to name examples), vs on a local SIM it's RD$0.15/minute. I travel most of the time and I like taking unlocked phones and local SIM's to get the most out of my money.
commented May 25, 2012 by DJ Scooby Doo (9,656 points)
P.S- I looked up the rates for (just an example) the Dominican Republic. You'd obviously choose the Local SIM because it's cheaper.
I enclosed a picture of both tarrifs side by side. Oh and when AT&T says that Orange has spotty coverage on the island, that's pure BS. I get 3-5 bars everywhere I go, even in the remote places I get 2 bars and GPRS/EDGE.
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