New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

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

(View all)

39 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 Votes
39 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 Votes
39 months ago
If this is true, I will be seriously considering switching from AT&T. I don't mind being on contract, but not being able to use my phone when I travel has always been a huge disadvantage.
Rating: 4 Votes
39 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 Votes
39 months ago
mods please make this thread sticky!
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
Geesh, FINALLY we get this... all because the monopoly on GSM iphone distribution in the USA is broken.
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
Soooooo basically... At&t is ****ing lame as usually. Is this correct?
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
I just talked to AT&T and they continue to insist that iPhone4 CANNOT be unlocked, and say it's because of Apple.

I told them I don't believe that, and the no-unlock is AT&T's own policy decision.

My contract is up in June and I will certainly NOT be renewing it.
Rating: 3 Votes
39 months ago
C'mon people...Sprint and Verizon will NOT work on AT&T or Tmobile....it's unlocked for international use...it is extremely easy to unlock it for overseas travel and yet block US GSM use...how would that work in Sprint and Verizon's favor?
Rating: 3 Votes
39 months ago
I have two iPhones 3GS with AT&T. The 2 year contract is over by a few months now. I'll upgrade to the 4S but I want to have the 2 3GS unlocked as both now fully belong to me. I called them to have them unlocked. They flat out refused.

This is the sound of an unhappy customer who will be leaving AT&T for either Sprint or Verizon (I do travel internationally). This is good news for me, and bad news for AT&T. They deserve the same fate as Netflix for screwing around.
Rating: 3 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]