The iPhone is the only phone NOT covered in the unlocking class action lawsuit. You will soon be able to "legally" unlock any other AT&T or Cingular phone that you bought with contract between 1999 to 2010.  (Source: The Huffington Post)
AT&T still won't let Apple's "magical" phone free

AT&T has reportedly reached a proposed class action lawsuit settlement over a case over its practice of locking phones to its network.  The practice makes the phones unable to be used on other GSM networks (like T-Mobile) even after the user's AT&T contract expires.

The new settlement entitles those who purchased handsets with an AT&T or Cingular contract from March 12, 1999 to April 2, 2010 to a free unlocking code.  According to Top Class Actions, other groups may be entitled to an unlocking code as well.  The site describes these scenarios and possible conditions, writing:
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.

There is one major exception to note, though -- the Apple iPhone does not apply to this settlement.  AT&T reportedly was absolutely unwilling to compromise on this point.

Apple reportedly has an exclusive contract with AT&T until 2012.  Recently there have been rumors that the contract may have been renegotiated and/or extended.  While this would likely make the contract even more lucrative to Apple, and bring in even more profits, it would be a virtual death sentence to Apple's hopes of remaining competitive with Google's Android in terms of market share.  Android is available on every major network in America -- AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.

Returning to the settlement, the full settlement description can be found here [PDF].  You can also visit for more info.

If you wish to opt out of the settlement or object to it, you must postmark your comments by June 4, 2010.  A final settlement hearing will be held on July 2, 2010.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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