@ MANTAGON - I also chatted with Jonathon S approx 15 minutes ago and received a NO. Apparently they (Sprint) are now starting to get their CSRs on the same page after giving out the wrong information for the past week.
When I told him that my account has never been authorized for international service because I have always had a spending limit, the answer was I would not be able to use the phone outside of the US on any GSM network!! This is insane, especially considering I've signed up for a 2 year contract.
TO Sprint, I guess this is the end of our 12 year love affair - CIAO....and hello AT&T or pre-paid carrier. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that you're definately going to lose plenty more customers over this. While it's nice you are the only carrier still offering unlimited plans, if I purchase an unlocked Iphone from Apple, I will still not be able to activate service on your network anyway. So what benefit is there for me to stay when I can only use my so called "world phone" in the continental US? Where is the logic in this?
I am quite PO'd after spending over $1K pre-ordering 3 Iphones that you failed to make an official annoucement or post anything on your website regarding this ridiculous policy change. I guess the joke is on me especially when I remained a loyal customer and waited for you to get the Iphone all these years!
Thanks for the extensive discussions from both community members and sprint representatives on my question. Looks to me that the current sprint policy won't do any good for sprint customers as well as sprint itself.
Here is my ideas to solve this problem:
- As long as the sprint customer is paying the monthly plan, it is allowed to use the iPhone 4S with local GSM carrier sim card in international travel by calling the sprint international service to set up a window, for example, six weeks. After six weeks, the phone won't work oversea and you need to call sprint international service again if your travel is extended.
This will benefit both sprint customers and sprint itself:
- The sprint customers won't have to be bothered by the sprint worldwide roaming charge, which definitely prevent sprint customer to using it at all. And sprint customers do not have to pay somebody else to unlock the iPhone in a dangerous way.
- While sprint customer is traveling oversea, he/she is still paying sprint the monthly plan while not using sprint network. What a easy money for sprint.The longer travel of the customer, the better for sprint.
- This is only good for customers stick with Sprint so it helps to keep the current customers happy and attract new cuscomers.
- Sprint may also charge a fee for the unlocked period, for example, $10/month. I think most international travelers won't bother it too much because of the convenience.
- Basically, iPhone(and also smart phones) is not only just a phone, it is an information/communication center, an aid, a secretary, a part of ourself. It goes where I go. Sprint shall open its mind to meet this requirement and capitalize on it in a smart and constructive way, rather than force its customers to pay for expensive international roaming that is too old an concept and deemed useless so it is avoided by almost all of its customers.
I Just talked to a rep who told me they are still waiting answers from higher up or Apple. He promised to notify me if he gets an answer before Friday.
Let's see what happens.
Thanks, I'll be anxiously watching this thread until Friday so please keep us posted.
@ Sprint (and anyone closely following this thread) I urge you to think about this:
With the release of the unlocked Iphone 4s next month, don't you think it's in your best interest to unlock the GSM/SIM portion? As Apple has stated, the unlocked versions will not work on Sprint or Verizon, so is it worth it to lose your customer base whom you have already locked in for 2 years to have them go contract free to AT&T and T-Mobile? You decide.
From Apple's website:
The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S. When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.
It appears Verizon may allow for overseas SIM card use with the iPhone 4s as reported by CNET (see the last part of article):
".....A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman said that all Verizon "world" phones are locked as the default. However, customers may request to have the SIM unlocked when they travel overseas and use a local country SIM. They need to call Verizon Wireless before they leave the country and ask to have the SIM unlocked. There are some stipulations. You have to be a customer in good standing for 60 days (your bill has to be paid) and the phone you want unlocked needs to be active on the account."
It seems that the Sprint iPhone comes locked as a default as well (according to the conversations people have had with Sprint customer service on this thread), thus the Sprint iPhone will not accept foreign SIMS when traveling. However, the question remains: will Sprint allow customers to unlock it? Sprint has in the past allowed for this, but with the arrival of the iPhone, they may have decided to change this policy.
C'mon Sprint; if Verizon will allow their iPhone customers to unlock their phones for overseas SIM usage, so should you!
I hope Sprint revises the policy to allow unlocking the Iphone 4S GSM portion upon request. I travel to countries in Latin America where Sprint only offers Voice & Text (but no data) through their GSM partners.. Why would I want an Iphone for only voice/text while travelling?
I will be getting my Iphone 4S on Friday/Saturday and keep it for 1 or 2 weeks until Sprint clears this out... If they decide to keep it GSM locked, I would sadly return the Iphone and go to AT&T where I can get a factory unlocked version.
Quick reminder to all... Sprint Return policy is no longer 30 days... it's 14 days. http://www.sprint.com/landings/returns/
An article on Macworld suggests the Sprint phone will be unlocked:
"...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.)"
I emailed the Macworld author of the above article and asked him where he got the information that the Sprint iPhones will be unlocked. He replied, "Straight from Apple". Let's hope that's true.
and the saga continues!!! Here's to hoping Sprint does the right thing and not anger or scare away new or existing customers.
P.S. - Sprint nobody is going to use your international roaming, noone can afford it, you are much better off making your customers happy and unlocking the SIM for international bands.
engadget just had the following update
Our source article was incorrect, and Sprint has told us that its SIM will not be unlocked, adding that the card will not even be removable.
Our SIM does not come out of the device - I believe the same is true of Verizon's iPhone but you would need to confirm that with them. Customers can sign up for one of our international rate plans and use this phone all over the world. When traveling internationally, there is a setting that must be turned on within the device to connect to GSM. The phone will work with a SIM that is provided within the device out of the box. International voice and data charges are on a pay-as-you-go basis and vary based on the country where the customer is using their phone; a list of rates is available at www.sprint.com/international.
Seriously?? Sim is not even removable????
wow!! And the saga continues. I've never heard of an unremovable SIM. LOL
The real question is why did it take a slew of published articles to get Sprint to make an official statement on this? I think that purposely misleading your customers up to the day of launch is bad, bad business!!