Since the Sprint iPhone 5 uses dual-band chips (CDMA & GSM), I asked Customer Care the question: can I use the iPhone 5 outside the US? Or, does the phone need to be unlocked before I can do so?
The reply from Customer Care: "Due to technological differences it is not possible to activate Sprint iPhone on any other network. However you can use Sprint iPhone internationally with the Sprint's roaming plan."
Anybody knows what the real answer is?
Solved! Go to Solution.
Now I am wondering if they "cannot" or "will not" unlock the iPhone 5.
Either way, it seems that the only way to use the iPhone 5 outside the US is through Sprint's International Roaming plan.
That kind of sucks for those who spend a fair amount of their time outside the country.
Per a USA Today article, "Sprint Nextel said Monday that its iPhone 5s are locked. Customers in good standing for at least three months can ask to have them unlocked for international use only."
I've bought the iphone 16gig sprint for 649$ in New York Apple store last Friday, it's suposed to be the unlocked one outside US for this price right ?... I live in Vietnam and the seller explained to me that the phone will only work with sprint inside US and with local carriers outside ... I didn't put my local sim yet but it seams unclear when I read your post
If you paid full price at an Apple store then you should be able to use the phone anywhere you can get a sim card. That is the whole point of paying full price! Perhaps when you bought the phone it came with a sim card that only works with Sprint in the US, but that should not prevent you from using other sim cards.
There is only one department that can unlock the Iphone that is our Sprint World Wide group. You can contact them at
The Iphone 5 does require a Sim Card even on Sprint for it to work correctly. It will not even activate on the service with out the card.
micmac.vietnam Normally we would unlock the device for international use. Do you have a Sprint Account? If not you need to contact apple to find out how this device is going to perform for you.
I dont have any Sprint account because I don't live in US but Vietnam and it was my first question to the apple seller in Apple Store Fifth Avenue in New York ... if it not works then why they are able to sell sprint iphone 5 at the full price ( 649$+tax) ?
An iPhone does not have to be activated to be sold since the product has many features that will work over WiFi. However to purchase the device at a discounted price, it DOES have to activated on a cellular network and typically requires a 2 year commitment with a cellular company such as Sprint.
As for international use, our SWWC (Sprint World Wide Care) department will unlock an iPhone "for our Sprint customers only" if their account has been in good standing for 3 months. If a customer purchases an iPhone at full price without activating the device with Sprint, we cannot unlock the device for that customer.
Additionally, the iPhone 5 has an all new nanoSIMcard which is not readily available in most countries as of 9/29/12. This is why Sprint recommends activating the Sprint international program in the meantime. For Sprint customers wanting to use other international carriers with their unlocked iPhone 5s should first check with their local carriers for nanoSIM capatibility.
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