Apple CEO Tim Cook Intervenes in Unlocking iPhone 3GS for AT&T Customer in Canada
March 21, 2012 11:01 AM
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Apple CEO Tim Cook
The customer couldn't get AT&T or Apple stores to unlock his iPhone, so he went straight to Tim Cook for help
An Apple user recently ran into some trouble when trying to unlock his iPhone through AT&T, but the customer got some help from the top dog himself -- Apple CEO
An AT&T customer was reassigned to Canada for his job, and decided to buy his wife an iPhone 4 while he took her iPhone 3GS. He was hoping to use the iPhone 3GS on a Canadian carrier's pay-as-you-go plan because he already had a BlackBerry that he used for work, but as an avid Apple fan, wanted his iPhone at his side as well.
When visiting AT&T to unlock his iPhone 3GS, AT&T said Apple was the only one who could do so. When visiting Apple for the same reason, Apple said only AT&T
could unlock the device
. He went back and forth hearing the same answers until AT&T finally told him to just jailbreak the iPhone.
The customer, however, didn't want to do that. He enjoyed the Apple user experience, and desperate from trying to achieve this goal with AT&T and Apple stores, the customer went straight to the head of Apple -- he emailed Cook.
A portion of the email is as follows:
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.
Cook took the message quite seriously, and contacted AT&T about the matter. He instructed the company to unlock this customer's phone. AT&T confirmed the IMEI's for the iPhone 3GS, then contacted the customer to tell him that it would make an exception for him per Cook's orders. The customer was told to tether his iPhone 3GS to iTunes to finish unlocking his device.
It didn't end there, though. After successfully unlocking his iPhone, the customer received a phone call from Cook's assistant making sure that AT&T followed through with the unlock.
"Mid day my wife sent me an email at work saying, 'Um, Tim Cook's special assistant just called and she wants to know if AT&T has unlocked
yet??? Why does Tim Cook care about your phone?'" said the customer.
9 to 5 Mac
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This too needs to be illegal
3/21/2012 11:25:53 AM
If you're out of contract, you've presumably paid back your phone's subsidy. It should be illegal for the carrier to refuse to unlock
phone at that point.
All of these problems would go away if we just recognized phone subsidies for what they really are - loans. You sign up for service with a $600 phone. You pay $100 down, carrier loans you $500 to be repaid over 24 months (2-year contract) at $25/mo ($500 principal, $100 interest).
At the end of 2 years, you've repaid the loan, the $25/mo gets removed from your service charge, and the phone becomes completely your property, unlocked.
RE: This too needs to be illegal
3/21/2012 11:38:22 AM
Completely agree but that will never happen. At&t won't drop their prices. I have an International GS2 and have to pay the full price even though the number its on is way out of contract. Its s scam. Wish there was a class action about this or something. I want it changed.
RE: This too needs to be illegal
3/21/2012 1:46:22 PM
AT&T likes to think of it more as an ongoing lease than a loan, that way they can keep charging you for the phone even after you pay for it over and over. That is one of the reasons I still use my Moto V3 because it is paid off and I don't want to be paying over and over for something new, plus it still works just fine :)
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