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Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Can't wait to hear if it works in the U.S. unlocked or not!  I have a few friends that have purchased the iPhone 5 from Sprint with the intent to use them on other carriers after their contract is up in a few months or whatever (their story, I have my iPhone 5 with Sprint and fully intend to stick with my contract til the end), but they got disappointed when they heard the iPhone 5 was strictly with Sprint and could only be unlocked for international use.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Can't wait to hear if it works in the U.S. unlocked or not!  I have a few friends that have purchased the iPhone 5 from Sprint with the intent to use them on other carriers after their contract is up in a few months or whatever (their story, I have my iPhone 5 with Sprint and fully intend to stick with my contract til the end), but they got disappointed when they heard the iPhone 5 was strictly with Sprint and could only be unlocked for international use.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

I'm sad to report that the iphone 5 that is supposedly unlocked did not work with a tmobile or att nanosim. I haven't tried it yet with an international nano sim, so I can't tell for sure if it is unlocked.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Thanks for providing this info. Bummer :-/

Master

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

In response to jaleesa.gordon ~ the problem one will encouter when trying to use a Sprint iPhone 5 on another US based cellular provider is not going to software but hardware.  And the information can be found on Apple's website for the specifications of the iPhone 5.  There were 3 models of iPhone 5 made by Apple.  One for GSM which is mostly AT&T and TMobile, one for CDMA which is mostly Verizon and Sprint, and another GSM model designed for international use only.  You can see the differences in radios or frequecies in the Cellular and Wireless section of the specs page.  GSM and CDMA are different technologies and are not compatible.  A comparable analogy would be like trying to Bluetooth something to a device that is Wifi only.  There both wireless but different technologies with different wireless languages.  Not to mention, even the LTE Bands (4G frequencies) are different from GSM to CDMA as well. 

Hope this helps,

Tom Deaver

Social Care ~ Sprint.com Communities

Available ~ Friday, Saturday, Sunday

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Tomdeaver, I don't know if you are ignorant or a liar. Apple made 3 phones, yes. The sprint one is the same one as the Verizon one, but locked.both sprint and Verizon phones can work with GSM networks. The hardware is there and the software is there.

For all the fellow curious: when I tried the ATT nanosim on the "unlocked" sprint iPhone, my phone did register with the network. It showed 4G,the problem is that then it said it needed to be activated (i had to rnable wifi) and probably talked to apple servers and then I got a message saying that I had to use an authorized sim...me thinks this was added by sprint/apple to block US usage

By the way,omdeaver's (bad) analogy of wifi/blurtooth used to be true, but it is no true anymore for all phones

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

No prob. I'm hoping it could still be used in the US, but maybe in other smaller operators (probably not on MVNOs though)

One guess is that apple gets the info of the serial number/imei and cross checks the imsi/network info with a list of "forbidden" ones for that iPhone. So if a smaller operator had diff imsi ranges/service areas, then its possible sprint has not blocked it, but since the mobile country codes are well known, then the hopes are small

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

isn't there some new fcc rule that phones can no longer be locked or upon request must be unlocked?

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

I have read all of the pages in this thread and nobody made mention of the sim card removal tool. The box that was shipped to me by Sprint with the iPhone id not contain one. Did anyone receive one when they opened up their box?

Journeyman

Re: Sprint's iPhone 5 Unlock Policy

Not really, otherwise ATT and T-Mobile phones would be unlocked. Really the only ones unlocked are version lte phones. Supposedly the FCC made it A condition for Verizon to sell unlocked phones and to sell odd spectrum in order to get more of the spectrum they wanted...so FCC can use leverage, but so far it doesn't look like they can force every on to do it