Unlocking an AT&T iPhone is quite a hot service and everybody wants it. In past weeks you can easily find many sites offering the unlock service for AT&T USA iPhones. Unfortunately all these services are scam.
In general there are 3 different ways to unlock an iPhone:
Carrier Granted iPhone Unlocking
This is the only official, safe and permanent way to unlock an iPhone. Basically the network who locked the iPhone will official ask the Apple to mark the iPhone as unlocked in iTunes database hence the iPhone got permanently unlocked. Unluckily this service is not available on all networks and sometimes you need to pay release fees ($25 – $250). You can easily see these networks which allow official iPhone unlock at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937 Just locate the country, your iPhone is locked to and see status of “Carrier offers authorized unlocking” column.
As mentioned before this is the only way to safely and permanently unlock your iPhone. The AT&T clearly states on their website:
iPhones are Not Eligible for Unlocking
iPhone cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of contract. If you are traveling internationally, iPhone is a quad-band phone and will work in many countries across the globe.
Therefor there is no way that AT&T units can be ever unlocked.
Illegal Factory Unlocking
The other way to unlock iPhone locked to any network is so called “factory unlock”. Such service is available only time to time when some Apple employee gets access to Apple’s intranet resources and illegally changes the lock flag for your phone within Apple database.
Such service is of course illegal and costs $150 – $350. You have to pay in advance with chargeback free payment option like Western Union, TT etc. In most cases you will end up cheated without money and nobody will even try to unlock your phone. In a case you are “lucky” enough to get your iPhone released this way you will be happy for quite short time only as each time this “factory unlock” service was available when the involved person was stopped from providing the service, the Apple BLACKLISTED all involved iPhone IMEI’s. That means in the end you will end up with completely useless phone blocked from accessing the iTunes!
Always make sure you are purchasing Carrier Granted Official Unlock and never use fraudulent “factory unlock”. It’s very easy to distinguish between Carrier/Network Granted Official unlocking and the fraudulent one – simply see if the unlock supplier offers unlocking for limited networks only – if he offers AT&T or any network unlocking then its fraudulent service unless he says it’s via USB (anyway the sites which claim to unlock iOS 5.1 devices are fake too).
iPhone unlocking via USB
iPhone unlock via USB is not available for all iPhone versions. Only the older versions are supported and you can easily cripple your phone forever. For more info use Google; D