Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jul 8, 2013, 04:56 PM   #1
eclipse01
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2011
Will an unlocked iphone 4S (from Sprint) work on Straight talk

i have done some searching but find many saying it will and many saying it won't, so i figured I would just outright ask.
eclipse01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 8, 2013, 05:34 PM   #2
imnew09
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
apparently, unlocked iphones from Sprint only work on the SPRINT network in the U.S.
imnew09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 8, 2013, 05:54 PM   #3
eclipse01
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by imnew09 View Post
apparently, unlocked iphones from Sprint only work on the SPRINT network in the U.S.
yet VzN phones can go anywhere?

that seems strange...
eclipse01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 8, 2013, 05:59 PM   #4
eyoungren
macrumors 603
 
eyoungren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Send a message via AIM to eyoungren Send a message via MSN to eyoungren Send a message via Yahoo to eyoungren Send a message via Skype™ to eyoungren
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
yet VzN phones can go anywhere?

that seems strange...
Not strange. Standard policy. Sprint only unlocks for international use.

Sprint wants you to stay on their network in the US though, so that's why.
__________________
PowerMac G4 QuickSilver - 1.6Ghz DP | Sprint iPhone 5 - iOS 6.1/Jailbroken
Sprint iPhone owners, THERE IS NO DOMESTIC UNLOCK!
eyoungren is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 10:30 AM   #5
eclipse01
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyoungren View Post
Not strange. Standard policy. Sprint only unlocks for international use.

Sprint wants you to stay on their network in the US though, so that's why.
Is it just the 4s or the 5 is like this as well?
eclipse01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 11:16 AM   #6
emoore
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
yet VzN phones can go anywhere?

that seems strange...
I think a Verizon 4S will only work on Verizon. Its the Verizon 5 that can work on other networks. Although the Sprint 5 will only work on Sprint.
emoore is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 11:23 AM   #7
eyoungren
macrumors 603
 
eyoungren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Send a message via AIM to eyoungren Send a message via MSN to eyoungren Send a message via Yahoo to eyoungren Send a message via Skype™ to eyoungren
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
Is it just the 4s or the 5 is like this as well?
Any iPhone on Sprint can only be unlocked for international use. The 4/4S and the 5.

No matter what model of iPhone you have on Sprint, Sprint will NOT under any circumstance unlock that iPhone for domestic use.

NOTE: It's also Sprint's policy that they will NOT activate any non-Sprint phone on their network. So, while you may have a Verizon iPhone 5 that may work on the Sprint network (not sure if that's possible or not), Sprint won't activate it.
__________________
PowerMac G4 QuickSilver - 1.6Ghz DP | Sprint iPhone 5 - iOS 6.1/Jailbroken
Sprint iPhone owners, THERE IS NO DOMESTIC UNLOCK!

Last edited by eyoungren; Jul 9, 2013 at 02:37 PM.
eyoungren is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 02:08 PM   #8
eclipse01
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyoungren View Post
Any iPhone on Sprint can only be unlocked for international use. The 4/4S and the 5.

No matter what model of iPhone you have on Sprint, Sprint will NOT under any circumstance unlock that iPhone for domestic use.

NOTE: It's also Sprint's policy that the will NOT activate any non-Sprint phone on their network. So, will you may have a Verizon iPhone 5 that may work on the Sprint network (not sure if that's possible or not), Sprint won't activate it.
So i'm confused, what is the difference from the ones sprint sells vs like VzN or even ATT?

Does Apple do something to them before they are shipped? Or does Sprint do something to them before they are sold?

If its a matter of Sprint locking them, I thought they legally have to unlock them after your contract is up since you then own the "subsidized" phone
eclipse01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 02:32 PM   #9
eyoungren
macrumors 603
 
eyoungren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Send a message via AIM to eyoungren Send a message via MSN to eyoungren Send a message via Yahoo to eyoungren Send a message via Skype™ to eyoungren
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
So i'm confused, what is the difference from the ones sprint sells vs like VzN or even ATT?
The model used on AT&T and T-Mobile utilizes GSM, which is a wireless network standard. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, which is another wireless network standard. Within GSM or CDMA the carriers operate on different frequencies. So, an unlocked Verizon iPhone may be CDMA, but because it operates on a different frequency can't be activated on Sprint and vice-versa.

This is my basic understanding of it. There are others here who know more specifics and I will most likely be corrected if I've erred in some way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
Does Apple do something to them before they are shipped? Or does Sprint do something to them before they are sold?
Each iPhone (and cell phone) has an IMEI number. The IMEI number of an iPhone that is to be unlocked is entered into a database that Apple maintains. The carriers have access to that database which is how they can unlock an iPhone. Once an IMEI number is entered into that database, the iPhone is unlocked. This was how Apple controlled and locked down the original iPhone to prevent it from operating on any carrier other than AT&T, which in 2008 had the exclusive license with Apple.

Verizon chose specifically to have it's iPhones unlocked from the beginning. I supposed that that means that any Verizon iPhone Apple makes thus automatically has it's IMEI entered in to the database.

Again, just my understanding of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse01 View Post
If its a matter of Sprint locking them, I thought they legally have to unlock them after your contract is up since you then own the "subsidized" phone
Sprint chooses to not have their iPhones unlocked. I don't think they have to "do" anything, it just comes locked because that seems to be the default.

Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile do NOT have to unlock your iPhone at all. It's their network. Unlocking your iPhone is a courtesy extended to valued customers. AT&T and Verizon do it I suppose because, really, where domestically are you going to take your iPhone to? Sprint? Sprint won't activate it and you can't put an AT&T iPhone on Verizon and vice versa. So, other than T-Mobile or smaller MVNOs it's not really an issue for them.

Sprint on the other hand is trying to prevent people from leaving. Taking your iPhone abroad does not really affect Sprint because it's not in direct competition with anyone. But at home it is, so they refuse to unlock for domestic use.

It may be your device, but the current law does not state that the carriers HAVE to unlock, only that they can if they wish.
__________________
PowerMac G4 QuickSilver - 1.6Ghz DP | Sprint iPhone 5 - iOS 6.1/Jailbroken
Sprint iPhone owners, THERE IS NO DOMESTIC UNLOCK!

Last edited by eyoungren; Jul 9, 2013 at 02:41 PM.
eyoungren is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 02:37 PM   #10
Nermal
Moderator
 
Nermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Whakatane, New Zealand
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyoungren View Post
(Stuff)
The Verizon and Sprint phones are, for all intents and purposes, identical. Sprint simply has a policy of not activating phones that they didn't sell (they keep a whitelist of allowed ESNs). This practice is relatively common; Telecom used to have the same policy here and I think Verizon still does something similar in the US.

As for Verizon's iPhones being unlocked, that's a condition that was imposed on Verizon when they got rights to LTE band 13. As far as I know, all Verizon band 13 phones are unlocked.
Nermal is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 02:47 PM   #11
eyoungren
macrumors 603
 
eyoungren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Send a message via AIM to eyoungren Send a message via MSN to eyoungren Send a message via Yahoo to eyoungren Send a message via Skype™ to eyoungren
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
The Verizon and Sprint phones are, for all intents and purposes, identical. Sprint simply has a policy of not activating phones that they didn't sell (they keep a whitelist of allowed ESNs). This practice is relatively common; Telecom used to have the same policy here and I think Verizon still does something similar in the US.

As for Verizon's iPhones being unlocked, that's a condition that was imposed on Verizon when they got rights to LTE band 13. As far as I know, all Verizon band 13 phones are unlocked.
Thanks for that!

I have only a basic knowledge of how all this works so I appreciate the further explanation.
__________________
PowerMac G4 QuickSilver - 1.6Ghz DP | Sprint iPhone 5 - iOS 6.1/Jailbroken
Sprint iPhone owners, THERE IS NO DOMESTIC UNLOCK!
eyoungren is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 05:23 PM   #12
eclipse01
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyoungren View Post
Thanks for that!

I have only a basic knowledge of how all this works so I appreciate the further explanation.
I would not say that is basic knowledge, thanks to everyone for explaining
eclipse01 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 05:37 PM   #13
wjlafrance
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Madison, WI
To set the record straight:

iPhone 4 (Sprint or Verizon) can not be unlocked for any GSM network as it is a CDMA only phone.

iPhone 4S (identical hardware for all carriers) can be unlocked domestically and internationally for GSM usage, however both Sprint and Verizon will refuse to unlock it for domestic GSM usage.

iPhone 5 (Verizon) is unlocked from the factory because the FCC required it to be for Verizon to use their LTE bands. iPhone 5 (Sprint) can, again, be unlocked domestically and internationally, and again Sprint will refuse to unlock it domestically. And then they'll tell you that it's not possible, and then you ask why Verizon can unlock theirs domestically, and then they feed you more lies.

Carriers are scumbags. Every single one of them.

To answer OP's question: Technically possible? Yes. Are you going to actually be able to? No.
__________________
Early 2011 MacBook Pro 17", 2.3GHz i7 (8MB L3), 16GB RAM, 1.25TB Fusion Drive
Mid 2010 Mac Pro, 6 x 3.33GHz Xeon, 16GB RAM, 2 x 1TB HDD
Mac Plus, Mac Classic II, PowerMac G5, and more
wjlafrance is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 9, 2013, 06:06 PM   #14
manybreak
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Mhmm , what about sim interposer solutions ?
manybreak is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Straight Talk + unlocked iPhone vs. Official Straight Talk iPhone - not equal! 1080p iPhone 51 Apr 13, 2014 05:37 AM
Will the iPhone 5S from Net10 and Straight Talk be unlocked? fsmorelli iPhone 0 Dec 11, 2013 10:35 PM
Straight talk - Unlocked iPhone 5 VPrime iPhone 4 Apr 19, 2013 12:48 PM
Straight talk with unlocked apple iphone 4s jlee7628 iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting 2 Feb 6, 2013 10:59 AM
Ordering unlocked iPhone for Straight Talk? puertorioninja5 iPhone 3 Nov 15, 2012 10:32 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:20 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC