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Sprint to Make All Devices Launched After February 11, 2015 Unlockable

sprint_logo-250x124 In an updated unlocking FAQ found on its website (via Android Police), Sprint has stated that it will make all of its devices released after February 11, 2015 unlockable for use on other domestic networks such as AT&T or T-Mobile.

The move is a part of the agreement that the five major U.S. wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission signed in December in order to allow customers to unlock their devices and switch carriers if they wish.
I've been told by another carrier that Sprint needs to unlock my SIM slot in order to use my phone on the other carrier's network.

For eligible devices, Sprint will unlock the SIM slot, to the extent that a device SIM slot is capable of being unlocked. It is important to note that not all devices are capable of being unlocked, often because of the manufacturers' device designs, and that even for those devices capable of being unlocked, not all device functionality may be capable of being unlocked. Specifically, devices manufactured with a SIM slot within the past three years (including, but not limited to, all Apple iPhone devices), cannot be unlocked to accept a different domestic carrier's SIM for use on another domestic carrier's network. Sprint has no technological process available to do this. In accordance with Sprint's voluntary commitment contained within CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service (“Unlocking Commitment”), Sprint is working to ensure that all devices developed and launched on or after February 11, 2015 are capable of being unlocked domestically.
Last year, the Library of Congress ruled that it was illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their phone unless given permission by their wireless carrier. However, the Obama administration filed a petition with the FCC last September asking that carriers be required to unlock mobile devices, which was then followed by the agreement [PDF] between the FCC and the five major U.S. carriers.

Sprint's move to implement domestic unlocking in all of its future devices will likely be followed by similar moves from other U.S. carriers, as all wireless providers pledged last December to implement the changes within 12 months.

Related roundups: iPhone 6, iPhone 6s (2015)

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
If you've signed a contract with a carrier, I don't see why it matters to them if you want to pay another carrier as well. You still have to make the monthly payments.
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago
In Australia, all phones are unlocked when buying on a 2 year contract. Put it this way, your original carrier doesn't care what you do with your new phone, as they will still get the 24 x $60 a month ( or whatever plan you are on)
Rating: 6 Votes
14 months ago
What a total LOAD! The fact that I'm using my Sprint iPhone 4S on T-Mobile with hardly any problems tells me that Sprint is flat out LYING. In fact, as far as I know, the ONLY iPhone that can not be unlocked from Sprint right now is the iPhone 5. The 4S, 5c and 5s can all be unlocked. (although with a LOT of hassle) Sprint needs to just unlock them. I am NEVER going to Sprint again after my last experience with them.

Luckily, I was able to sue them for $850 for inferior service and devaluation of my devices by their refusal to unlock. I just wish they would have actually came out and defended themselves on the stand instead of settling outside of court less than 24 hours before we were supposed to duke it out. What wussies.

Oh, well. They probably won't be in business much longer. I'm usually getting 7-12mbps on T-Mobile's 3G network and my uncle is seeing over 40 Mbps sometimes on his 5S. I can actually see T-Mobile becoming a huge threat to AT&T and Verizon over the next 3 years as they keep building their infrastructure so aggressively. I'm excited to see that happen. I LOVE COMPETITION!



WakeUpNow
Rating: 4 Votes
14 months ago
US carriers seem terrible...

In the UK you can get your phone unlocked on any network at any time, you just have to ask (and pay a one time fee on some networks, like EE)
Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago

Given the above, I'm confused about this information- am I misunderstanding it? Sprint are saying that iPhones Cannot be unlocked?


Agreed, it's totally rubbish! I'd imagine it's true if the CDMA models with no SIM card slot, but in the UK I'm with Three and have had no issues with any sims and when I have I just call them and they either remotely have unlocked previous handsets or give you the unlock code, for Sprint to say it's not possible is an utter lie!

If your in the UK Three as an operator is the way forward I've been with them since they were founded and yes their old service was pony but in the last 5 years they've been so impressive, I spend no more than £19/month ever get unlimited data including tethering, 5000 texts and minutes to any number and pretty much everything else is included, I think them getting visual voicemail would be a nice touch though, on the speed side of things I would consistently max out the cellular radio on the iPhone 4 and on my current iPhone 5 (is my 3rd one having dropped one and another having a shoddy wifi radio) I can hit 48mb download speed on 4G and my friend on O2 thought he was getting a fast download speed at 20mb HAH! I screen shotted my speediest mobile app speed and he couldn't understand why O2 throttle you...

It looks like I work for Three I don't I'm just a satisfied customer
Rating: 2 Votes
14 months ago

Last year, the Library of Congress ruled that it was illegal (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/12/12/u-s-carriers-and-fcc-come-to-agreement-over-consumer-unlocking-of-mobile-devices/) for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their phone unless given permission by their wireless carrier.


Just curious - since when did the LoC start passing laws or ruling like a court?:eek:
Rating: 2 Votes
14 months ago

What a total LOAD! The fact that I'm using my Sprint iPhone 4S on T-Mobile with hardly any problems tells me that Sprint is flat out LYING. In fact, as far as I know, the ONLY iPhone that can not be unlocked from Sprint right now is the iPhone 5. The 4S, 5c and 5s can all be unlocked. (although with a LOT of hassle) Sprint needs to just unlock them. I am NEVER going to Sprint again after my last experience with them.

Luckily, I was able to sue them for $850 for inferior service and devaluation of my devices by their refusal to unlock. I just wish they would have actually came out and defended themselves on the stand instead of settling outside of court less than 24 hours before we were supposed to duke it out. What wussies.

Oh, well. They probably won't be in business much longer. I'm usually getting 7-12mbps on T-Mobile's 3G network and my uncle is seeing over 40 Mbps sometimes on his 5S. I can actually see T-Mobile becoming a huge threat to AT&T and Verizon over the next 3 years as they keep building their infrastructure so aggressively. I'm excited to see that happen. I LOVE COMPETITION!



WakeUpNow


You settled a case out of court for a mere $850? How much did you pay the lawyers? :eek:
Rating: 1 Votes
14 months ago

You settled a case out of court for a mere $850? How much did you pay the lawyers? :eek:


Nothing. I filed the case myself. Pretty easy to do when you google the proper steps in your state. It cost me $85 in my county in Utah. Other places is as little as $25 to file a small claims case with your local courthouse. :)

Plus, I was suing them for a total of $850. I was pretty surprised when they offered to settle for what I was suing them for. Lol

WakeUpNow
Rating: 1 Votes
14 months ago
There was thread last year which detailed which carriers use which technologies and, importantly, what you can actually do for each iPhone/carrier combo with regard to flashing or unlocking.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1637205
Rating: 1 Votes
14 months ago

Verizon told me that my 5s was unlocked as soon as I activated it (they ship locked and when they're added to the V network they are automatically unlocked). I have not tested it though. Also, I bought without a contract, so that might be a factor.


I bought a Verizon 5S in December and used it weeks later in Europe with a rented GSM SIM... worked beautifully! Didn't rent one with LTE though, I guess for that to work it would depend on the bands used. See https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

It's my understanding that the Verizon iphone is the only iphone sold right now that fully works on all major US carriers (because it sports GSM, CDMA, and LTE tech).


Close.... the Verizon 5/5C/5S support all major US carriers.... except Sprint! Sprint requires specific device programming to access their CDMA network that can't be overwritten with one of their SIM cards/ giving them your MEID. It's been this way for awhile, Verizon and Sprint phones aren't generally interoperable without hacks.

(The 4S is also GSM-unlockable on Verizon if your account is in good standing, you just have to ask them. No more than one unlock per line per 6 months is the policy I believe)
Rating: 1 Votes

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