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Sprint iPhone 4S to be SIM Unlocked, Verizon After 60 Days

Macworld reveals an interesting fact about the CDMA iPhone 4Ss that wasn't immediately obvious. The Sprint CDMA iPhone 4S comes GSM-unlocked, while the Verizon CDMA iPhone 4S can be unlocked by request after 60 days.
Sprint plans to sell the iPhone 4S with its micro-SIM slot unlocked; Verizon’s will be initially locked, but if you’ve been a customer in good standing for 60 days, you can call Verizon and ask for an “international unlock.” (A Verizon spokesperson told me that this is Verizon’s standard policy for all world phones—it’s just the first time it’s manifested itself on an iPhone.)
This is welcome news to those looking to travel internationally. In those situations, customers can buy a local SIM card to use during travel, eliminating costly roaming charges.

Macworld does a great job breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of world roaming on the various U.S. carriers. AT&T iPhone 4Ss will apparently still come locked.

Sprint and Verizon iPhone 4Ss should start arriving on Friday, October 14th.

Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago
http://appadvice.com/appnn/2011/10/surprise-cdma-iphone-4s-comes-with-an-unlocked-sim-slot


The days when CDMA iPhone users were at a disadvantage when traveling internationally are long behind us. As just discovered by Macworld, the iPhone 4S is even more of a worldphone than we originally thought.

According to them, not only can your Sprint or Verizon CDMA iPhone be used internationally on GSM networks, but the SIM slot that it comes with is actually unlocked, meaning you can pop in any SIM you want. That’s right, when you’re traveling to other GSM countries, you’ll be able to buy a local micro-SIM card (or a normal one and cut it), and pop it into your iPhone 4S.

While Sprint will be making this a standard, Verizon will still be locking the iPhone 4S SIM slot for new users, and will only grant what they call “international unlock” for folks who’ve been good and around for at least 60 days.

The big unknown, of course, is whether you could actually pop an AT&T micro-SIM into such a device. We’ve tried to find out, but haven’t been able to figure that out yet. If it’s the case, that would be a very interesting feature. After all, since you’re paying for the contract, why should the carrier prevent you from doing what you want with the phone, right? But that’s a whole other debate.
Rating: 11 Positives
33 months ago

There's a big difference.
Any cellphone can be unlocked in the past 4+ years but the iphone here. So I wouldnt be surprised if our US money hungry carriers wouldnt lock it to their own GSM sims only.


A major reason to use GSM is to be able to swap in local SIMs on long trips.

Verizon has always unlocked the GSM side of their World Phones for customers in good standing. There's no reason to think they would change in this case.

AT&T, like about half the world's GSM carriers, refuses to unlock the iPhones they sell. Worse, they won't even unlock it after it's paid off. They don't want their users jumping to carriers like T-Mobile.

Verizon and Sprint is no better in that regard, of course. They don't let the other's CDMA phones onto their network, for the same reason: they don't want to make it too easy to jump carriers.
Rating: 6 Positives
33 months ago
So the CDMA iPhones are the actual world iPhones while AT&T is stuck with international roaming (that is until a software unlock comes out).

Fudgin' lucky CDMA users lol

And GSM unlocked is fully GSM unlocked. You can't restrict it. It'll take any sim you put into it.
Rating: 5 Positives
33 months ago
mods please make this thread sticky!
Rating: 5 Positives
33 months ago
Soooooo basically... At&t is ****ing lame as usually. Is this correct?
Rating: 5 Positives
33 months ago

So what happens if you swap out the "roaming" SIM with another from an international carrier?


it won't work?

there has to be a reason why sprint is buying so much phones. they plan to make money on them somehow
Rating: 4 Positives
33 months ago
Geesh, FINALLY we get this... all because the monopoly on GSM iphone distribution in the USA is broken.
Rating: 4 Positives
33 months ago

No, it wont work in the US.
Its just for international roaming.


Uh, highly doubt that. I don't believe that sort of "partial" control is possible on a SIM unlock. It's either unlocked or it isnt
Rating: 4 Positives
33 months ago

mods please make this thread sticky!


AGREED! This is KEY information for those of us waiting to select a new iphone carrier in the USA
Rating: 4 Positives
33 months ago
If a Verizon phone comes with 100% unlocked GSM, that is reason alone for me to switch to Verizon from AT&T.
Rating: 4 Positives

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