US carrier AT&T will soon be offering iPhone users the option of unlocking their handset from its mobile network.
The company said that from 8 April it would be offering a service in which users will be able to unlock their iPhones for use with other carriers.
The move will allow users to migrate their phones to rival carriers such as T-Mobile or regional providers.
AT&T said that the unlocking service will be limited to users who are currently in "good standing" with their accounts and are not currently under contract with the company.
Users under contract who wish to unlock their handsets will be required to pay an early termination fee.
The service will mark the first time a US carrier has allowed users to unlock their iPhones.
Jailbreaking and unlocking tools have been available for several years, but neither process is supported or recommended by Apple.
Consumers in the US can purchase unlocked iPhones from Apple, but such handsets are considerably more expensive with prices ranging from $649 to $849.
The announcement comes as Apple is preparing to expand the availability of the iPhone in the US.
From 20 April, the company will allow several regional carriers in the US to offer the handset.
The move will improve availability of the iPhone in rural areas which are often left uncovered by larger wireless carriers.
Analysts recently found that iPhone users are in many cases less dependant on their carrier than other handset users.
A report from Comscore reported that in the US and UK iPhone owners were far more likely to connect with Wi-Fi networks than those who use Android handsets.
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