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As a gesture of goodwill to customers, Apple has convinced one of its carrier partners AT&T to unlock the older iPhone 3GS for customers to use when travelling outside of U.S. A customer had approached AT&T personally prior to reaching out to Apple CEO Tim Cook who is similar to the late Steve Jobs and adds personal touches of customer service to his responsibilities.

The unnamed customer reported to 9to5 Mac, said that while Cook himself did not respond to his request, Cook’s office worked with AT&T regarding the issue and followed up with the customer after the unlocking was complete to ensure that the process was complete before letting the cat out the bag, even if it was to the person who suggested it in the first place.

To perform the unlocking procedure, AT&T acquired the customer’s IMEI number, which is an unique serial number issued to every phone with a SIM card giving instructions on how to perform the unlock through the iTunes software. In the past however, AT&T has usually placed the blame on Apple when the issue about unlocking devices arose. Now that story does not hold much water as it seems that AT&T is very familiar with the obtaining and the unlocking procedure.

Prior to this AT&T advised customers to jailbreak their devices if they were going overseas but Apple which was fighting jailbreakers in court were not happy with that that decision and as of late last year, Apple had begun to sell unlocked GSM iPhone models so that customers could travel with them and not be bound by any AT&T contract. AT&T has not provided customers with a legal method to SIM unlock their iPhones since it first launched the iPhone so this would be the first known incident.


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