Tutorial Of How To Unlock Fire Phone
The greatest disadvantage of Fire phone is that (as of now) it’s available only in the US and it’s locked to AT&T or O2 network. What it basically means is that you cannot use it if you live outside the US or if want to use a different carrier.
That is a pretty serious limitation. It took me a lot of time and effort to unlock Fire phone so that I could use it in Europe (and with a different carrier).
In this quick tutorial, I will tell you what you should do to unlock your Fire phone (if you bought it from Amazon, AT&T or O2). You don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Just follow these simple steps!
UPDATE: Fire phone is now available unlocked, but there are many people (including me) who bought it locked (either to AT&T or O2) and really need this tutorial. If you are planning to buy Fire phone, buy an unlocked one. Unlocked Fire phone gets software updates more quickly and doesn’t have any AT&T or O2 software preinstalled.
How Do You Unlock Amazon Fire Phone?
The only way you can unlock your Fire phone is with a special 8-digit unlock code.
You are eligible to get the code if you meet the requirements imposed by either the carrier or manufacturer (e.g. you paid the whole price for the phone). The specific requirements according to AT&T are listed here.
If you meet these requirements , you can ask for the unlock code which carrier or manufacturer is obliged to give you. In theory it’s simple. In practice it isn’t.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and take a look at different scenarios.
How To Unlock Fire Phone (AT&T) Bought From Amazon
If you bought Fire phone without contract…
Fire phone on Amazon is by default locked to AT&T. If you bought your Fire phone for the full price without contract, you are eligible to have it unlocked.
The easiest way is to directly contact Amazon and ask them for the unlock code. All you have to do is write them the message (using your Amazon account) in which you ask them for the code.
They will then contact AT&T and give you the code. I received the code (together with detailed instructions) after a few hours.
When AT&T won’t help
You can also ask AT&T for the unlock code but they will help you only if you live in the US and have already turned your Fire phone on (activated the SIM card) in the US.
I live in Europe and I wanted my Fire phone to be shipped to Europe. Both Amazon and AT&T refused to do that. Fortunately, I have family in the US and Amazon shipped Fire phone to them and they shipped it to Europe.
It didn’t ask my family to turn my Fire phone on. I wanted to be the first one who FIRES it.
It was a serious mistake because when I turned it on in Europe, the SIM card obviously didn’t work. I didn’t know my AT&T Wireless Number that (AT&T Wireless Number is generated when the phone is turned on for the first time) is necessary if you want AT&T to help you with anything.
AT&T won’t help you if you don’t have an AT&T account which you need to log in to chat with their agents or if you want to ask for the code via their unlock website.
To create your AT&T account, you need to know your AT&T Wireless Number. As I said earlier, your AT&T Wireless number is generated only once you turn on your brand-new Fire phone.
If you don’t turn your Fire on in the US, you won’t be able to generate your AT&T Wireless Number and AT&T won’t help you with the code.
I talked to them over phone and via e-mail and they couldn’t give me the unlock code based only on the IMEI Number. They wanted me to give them my AT&T Wireless number which I didn’t know.
It became a vicious circle and it was Amazon which finally helped me, asked AT&T for the code and gave it to me.
FINAL ADVICE: Turn your Fire phone on in the US and create an AT&T account, so you will have access to various settings and AT&T will be able to identify you (and help you). If you don’t manage to do that, ask Amazon directly for the code (they have to and can help you with that) and don’t let them dismiss you (they dismissed me once).
If you bought Fire phone with a service plan…
If you bought Fire phone with a service plan (and thus paid less for it than the whole price), you will be limited to AT&T at least for some time.
You must meet certain requirements if you want to have your Fire phone unlocked.
The most important requirement is “The AT&T Mobile Device has been paid for in full.” It means that you must wait by the end of your service plan before you can ask AT&T for the unlock code or pay it in full earlier.
Anyway, if you bought Fire phone with a service plan, create an AT&T account because you will need it to ask for the unlock code via the Internet.
FINAL ADVICE: Turn your Fire on for the first time in the US and create and AT&T account which will be very helpful if you ever need help from them.
How To Unlock Fire Phone Bought From AT&T
I guess not many people know that you can also buy Fire phone directly from AT&T, not from Amazon.
I suppose that the phone will be by default optimized for your AT&T account, not for the Amazon account (like it’s when you buy it from Amazon through your account).
I talked to the AT&T representative and they told me these two things:
- Fire phone is not locked if you buy it for the whole price directly from them.
- They can unlock it once you meet the requirements for the unlock if you bought it with the service plan (https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/).
FINAL ADVICE: If you bought your Fire from AT&T, all you need to do is contact them directly and they will tell you what to do next (you need to know your Wireless number). You can contact them here: http://www.att.com/contactus/.
What If You Bought Your Fire Phone Locked To O2
Some of my visitors told me that they bought a locked Fire phone locked to O2. Apparantely, there were many problems connected with unlocking an O2 Fire phone and a ton of people compained about it.
Here is what I suggest you should do if your Fire phone is locked to O2 and you want to have it unloced:
- Contact Amazon and request an unlock code from them. If they don’t give it to you, move to the next point.
- Contact O2 and submit an unlock request using this form. You can also use a live chat on their website.
Let me know if it worked!
What To Do Once You Have An Unlock Code
Hurrah! You finally did it. Either Amazon, AT&T or O2 sent you the unlock code and you are about to unlock your Fire phone. Here’s what you need to do!
Before you unlock your Fire phone, make sure that:
- You have your SIM card from your current service provider.
- Your current service provider is compatible with the following networks: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of 4G-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20), carrier aggregation (AT&T only).
- Your phone is turned off.
To unlock your Fire phone, follow these steps:
- Using a paperclip (or similar tool), open the SIM tray (located below the Camera / Firefly button) on your Fire phone.
- Insert a SIM card from another wireless service provider into the phone.
- Press and hold the Power button to turn on your Fire phone. After you turn on your phone, you should see a prompt to enter the unlock code.
- Enter your unlock code XXXXXXXX, and then tap Unlock.
- After a successful unlock, you will see the message, “SIM Network unlocked.”
- Note: Make sure you enter the unlock code correctly into the field. If the unlock code is entered unsuccessfully five times, the phone will be permanently locked to AT&T’s network.
- Enjoy your unlocked Fire phone! 🙂
Share Your Thoughts Here!
Have you successfully unlocked your Fire phone? Did I forget to mention something important?
Do you use Fire phone outside the US? Fire phone is still a new and unknown phone so I would appreciate any thought, suggestion or opinion.
Feel free to contact me or leave me a comment in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you! 🙂
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- How To Update Fire Phone