I bought my Iphone 4S on launch day in Oct 2011. It was shipped home and then forwarded to me here in Afghanistan. I paid it outright, meaning there were no contracts associated to my Sprint Account. When it got here to my forward operating base in Afghanistan, I bought a Roshan SIM card for it. Keep in mind this was in the IPhone 4S' Infancy, and no one knew if they were truly unlocked or not. I took my chances popped in a Roshan SIM and surprisingly everything worked great. THEN... I went on vacation! So while bac kin the US I called Sprint to activate my account with the 4S and that was no problem and it worked out GREAT! Everything was good on this little experiment until I came back to Afghanistan. Now I have a large message depicting "SIM Failure" on my screen. I can re-boot the phone and it will go away and work a little bit, but shortly thereafter the message continues.I have restarted it probably 50 time by now. It works from time to time, so I know it isn't the fact that it is locked or anything, or else I'd be able to make NO calls. Also the Mobile Data isn't working either. There seems to be no solution to this so far, but I am still searching. I am coinfident the CDMA portion will work again when I go on vacation again, but the GSM part is what seems to be jacked now. I may be over my head in this one now!
Contact sprint and have them unlock you iphone 4s also make sure you do full restore after being unlock from sprint then youll get a message on itunes " your iphone is unlock"
contact Sprint to unlock your iphone then you can use sims card from abroad. I did and worked great, came back to uS and reinstalled sprint's micro Sim card and all was easy and simple.
Buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple Store ($600-$650), buy an unlocked GSM flip phone off Amazon or eBay (cheapest setup), or buy a phone overseas (local) and activate there.
Me? If I really needed a phone overseas I'd activate an unlocked flip phone and use my iPhone on WiFi.
International roaming is crazy IMO.
I purchased a Sprint iphone 4S from Radioshack. The sales personnel told me it is unlocked and no contract. But when I tried to use it in Singapore and China, I found out that it cannot be activated with local sim card. I spend 8 months per year travelling overseas and I don't wanna use sprint's expensive international roaming......so what can I do now?
Here is some General Information about unlocking the iphone:
Your account must be over 90 days old. There is no way around this reqirement. You also cannot unlock the iphone if your account has the Account Spending Limit (ASL) program. The ASL is based on your credit ran when your service is setup. You will also get put into the ASL program if your account gets suspended for non payment. If you are ASL, the only way to get out of it is if your account has been established for over 18 months and you have to have 12 months of positive payment history (No Hotlines or Suspensions) to have it removed. Also your account balance must be current. If you are one day past your payment due dat, you will need to make the payment before the unlock can be processed.
If you meet these criteria, your iphone can be unlocked. Call Customer care and ask for the International Department, only they can process this for you. They will submit the iphone unlock request, and it now only takes around 15 to 20 minutes for it to be unlocked. Then all you have to do is hook your iphone up to your computer, back it up to itunes, then restore the phone from itunes and it will be unlocked.
If you ever take the iphone off of your account, the phone will be locked again. It must be active on a line to be unlocked and stay active on that line to remain unlocked.
If you are traveling to a country that has both CDMA and GSM roaming available (like Canada, part of the Carribean - ask the International department they can tell you what is available where) once you get there and put in the prepaid international sim in the iphone, you will need to go into Settings - General - Network and select the carrier that your prepaid sim came from. Otherwise the phone will pull from CDMA and not the Sim card and your usage will be charges to your Sprint account. Sprint Worldmode phones will always pull from CDMA first when it is available unless you change the settings in the phone.
An additional note about using your phone internationally - Always call sprint prior to the trip, as roaming partners and rates change frequently. If you are not using a prepaid sim and are using a Sprint Roaming partner, you will need to have an enabler code added to your line to allow the service, and ALWAYS remember to turn off your Data, it is VERY expensive to use through the Sprint roaming partners. And, if your account is under 90 days old and ASL status, you will have to visit a Sprint Store (not Best Buy or Radioshack) to verify a photo id and have the store reps call into the International Department as a security precaution before adding ANY international Services.
It says that" If you ever take the iphone off of your account, the phone will be locked again.". Does that means that if my contract is over with Sprint and i leave Sprint or upgrade to another phone, the iphone then is lock and could not be use overseas again? If we do not put in the Sprint sim, how do they lock it?
...If you are traveling to a country that has both CDMA and GSM roaming available (like Canada, part of the Carribean - ask the International department they can tell you what is available where) once you get there and put in the prepaid international sim in the iphone, you will need to go into Settings - General - Network and select the carrier that your prepaid sim came from. Otherwise the phone will pull from CDMA and not the Sim card and your usage will be charges to your Sprint account. Sprint Worldmode phones will always pull from CDMA first when it is available unless you change the settings in the phone.
When I went to Canada in November, my phone started up and connected right to Rogers without any intervention on my part once I installed the Rogers micro-SIM. The visible networks were Rogers, Bell and Telus (WIND appeared but only because their 2100MHz allocation is compatible - 1700MHz is not). All UMTS carriers. In fact, if I tried selecting either Bell or Telus, the phone would not connect and fall back to Rogers.
I should note that just before I crossed the border into Canada at Niagara Falls, I turned off all roaming on the iPhone and I left it off.
Thanks for the helpful info.
Just to confirm, I can activate an iphone 4s as an upgrade on an existing line and get it unlocked immediately, it does not have to be on the line for 90 days before it can be unlocked -- correct?
Yes, you can backup on Icloud and it will restore to last known backup. Save everything.
Can you back it up to iCloud?
How does the restore work? I've never done it and don't want to mess it up.
does the backup keep my current settings such as phone books, apps, folders, wallpapers, etc.?