The subject really says it all. Should I keep the sim as if i were on AT&T, or leave it for the buyer? I left Sprint and went to AT&T and sold the 4S on eBay.
I'm sure you've already sent the phone out, but if you listed the SIM card as part of the deal you almost have to leave it or the buyer will probably have an issue with it. That said, I always take the sim card out of phones that i sell that i have used. ALWAYS. While they may not be useful for your next phone, it makes me feel more comfortable to remove them and either store them or destroy them.
The only function of the Sprint sim in the 4s is for international roaming service at Sprint's very expensive GSM partner roaming rates. No sim needs to be in the phone for it to work on the Sprint network. If you never activated the Sprint sim (activating the phone does NOT activate the Sprint sim; this requires a separate call to Sprint International Services) the sim is not tied to your account and there is no reason not to include it with the phone when you sell it. The buyer is probably never going to need it, but there is no reason not to give it to them.
If you DID activate the Sprint sim during your ownership of the phone I would not include it when selling, as it might still be tied to your account. (I don't know for sure that it would, but I would err on the side of caution.) In this case, just explain to the buyer that you made use of the Sprint sim and therefore aren't including it. Should the buyer wish to use Sprint international roaming service on the 4s they would need to obtain a new Sprint sim -- which Sprint will be more than happy to send to them.
You should've left the sim in the phone. the sims are mated to each phone. On sprint, as mentioned in previous posts, the sim is only used for international roaming. In addition the Sprint iPhones do not store contact information on the phone sim. I hope your buyer doesn't travel to other countries expecting to use his iPhone, or else he may have some issues.
Message was edited by: PhysicsGuru
PhysicsGuru -- your reply is complete nonsense. The Sprint iphone 4s most assuredly DOES store contact information on the phone. My wife removed the Sprint sim from hers the day she got it, and has used it "simless" for months with hundreds of contacts and no issues. The ONLY purpose of the Sprint sim is for international roaming using Sprint's GSM affiliates, it has NO function in the U.S.
The only "issues" the buyer of the OP's phone would have overseas is if they intended to use Sprint's very expensive roaming service, and if so they could easily get another sim from Sprint.
Smithchampaign, you are correct that a SIM can store contacts, but on CDMA networks SIMs are not a necessary to connect on our network. Usually with Sprint phones a SIM card lies inactive until they are necessary for international travel. Based on your last post I decided to do a test. My iPhone uses iCloud to manage my contacts across multiple devices and I have 300+ contacts. I have never taken my iPhone overseas, so I have never activated my iPhone's SIM. I shut down my iPhone and swapped my sim card into a demo phone we have here at the office. Powered up the demo iPhone. The demo iPhone has 0 contacts. I navigated to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Import SIM Contacts. After import the only contact that was added was the number to Customer Care.
Apple from day one has been pushing ATT to go SIM-less and now have their iCloud inititive, so I suspect that even if you used your iPhone overseas that your iPhone still wouldn't save your contacts to the sim on a CDMA iPhone. Did you perform a test and discover otherwise? If so, I would be iterested in discovering the variences.
I found a help article on apple.com to support this. It states:
While iPhone does not use the SIM to store contact names and phone numbers... You can use your old phone's SIM card (if your old phone is not an iPhone) to transfer the primary phone number for each of your contacts from the SIM card.
I was responding to your original statement "in addition the Sprint iPhones do not store contact information on the phone" which implied (to me) that you were saying the Sprint sim had to be used to store contacts i.e. that there was no local storage of contacts on the phone itself. If that's not what you meant, my apologies. I have no idea under what circumstances, if any, the Sprint iphone does store contacts on the Sprint sim, since my wife has never had it in her phone and doesn't plan to use it. She will be using the (now unlocked) phone in Europe this summer with foreign sims.
Nice catch! I can see why you thought that. I updated my previous post as well. My wife will be doing a rotation in New Zealand in January. I'll need to get her phone unlocked was well.