Sprint iPhone on ATT? Still Not Possible?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by redsoxfan320, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2011
    Is it still not possible to use a Sprint iPhone on AT&T assuming that you can unlock the device? I know that I've read a while ago that it wasn't but I am just checking again.

  2. macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Central Florida
    They run on different networks. So no it will never be possible.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2011
    Well I understand that, but does that mean the sim card slot on Sprint and Verizon iPhone for that matter are dead?
  4. macrumors 68040


    Jun 21, 2010
  5. macrumors Core

    Oct 17, 2011
    If the device is unlocked (essentially its GSM side) then it would be possible to run it on essentially any GSM network that the phone supports (you won't get LTE though on those networks as the bands/frequencies they use won't be supported by the phone).
  6. macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    If you you talking about the iPhone 5:

    Verizon's SIM card slot is unlocked for use on any GSM network. It will only get HSPA+ on AT&T. It has different LTE bands than AT&T.

    Sprint's SIM card slot is locked. Sprint will unlock it, but it will only work on GSM networks outside of the US. So, it won't work on AT&T.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2011
    So an iPhone 5 from Verizon will work on ATT just no LTE. What about an iPhone 4S?

  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I am not 100% sure about the 4S. I think it is similar to the Sprint iPhone 5, in that Verizon can unlock it, but it can only be used on GSM networks outside of the US.

    If you need an AT&T phone, buy an AT&T phone. Not sure why anyone would buy a Verizon phone for AT&T unless you are from a European country and only plan to be in the US for a short time and want the iPhone 5 for LTE coverage in Europe.
  9. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yes, but VZW and Sprint are CDMA, so doesn't help OP. T-Mob is the only other GSM provider in the US, but it's 3G data is not compatible w/ ATT, only voice. You can still get 2G on an unlocked ATT iPhone w/ Tmob, but 2G! Yikes.
  10. scaredpoet, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The iPhone 4S is a different matter. At the time the 4S came out, Verizon wasn't actively trying to play nice with the government on net neutrality rules and spectrum issues. So they will only unlock the 4S for GSM carriers outside of the US.

    Short answer: No, the 4S won't work on AT&T because Verizon treats the two phones differently.


    In this case that doesn't matter. While those networks are CDMA, the iPhone 5 that Sprint/Verizon are selling can technically operate on both GSM and CDMA 3G networks. Sprint locks theirs for GSM, Verizon doesn't.

    If you don't believe me, see for yourself:


    I don't mean to sound rude, but in this case, I don't think you really understand what you're talking about here.

    T-Mobile's network is a GSM/HSPA+ network, just like AT&T. If you put an AT&T iPhone on a T-Mobile network, voice will work fine. Data will also work, but in some areas the 3G network operates on different frequencies than the iPhone is equipped to listen for. They're working to change that, though, and over about 95% of their network, T-Mobile 3G is already working fine on iPhones.


    Other than the spectrum issue, which T-Mobile is working to mitigate, the 3G technology they and AT&T use are exactly the same.

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