Buy sprint 4s and will GSM side be unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by scapula002, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. scapula002 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    #1
    If i buy a iPhone 4S via Sprint, will the GSM side be unlocked , so that when i have to travel outside, all i have to do is pop in a SIM card.
    sounds sweet, but why will the frikkin USA carriers want to make it this ez for you.

    How was it with the Blackdingleberries that were world fones? any experience from previous dingleberry users? did they have to unlock their device prior to travel?

    i would hate to unlock a new fone, it just slows it down without the frequent updates and bug fixes....
     
  2. iThink Apple macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

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    Aug 27, 2011
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    The iPhone 4S will not be unlocked initially. You will not be able to use it with another carrier's SIM card.
     
  4. scapula002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    #4
    i am going to unlock the damn thing myself, via some hanky panky soda pop website pawnage or rain app, like how i have done on all my previous iPhones. apple can keep their unlock sheet to themselves.

    now, will the GSM side be unlocked when i get a sprint iPhone?
     
  5. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #5
    Chances are it will be locked to one of Sprint's partners. But nobody will know for sure until it comes
     
  6. Ramio macrumors 6502a

    Ramio

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    Houston, TeXas
    #6
    I guess it has to be unlocked for GSM otherwise the whole world phone thing is meaningless!.
     
  7. auero macrumors 65816

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #7
  8. dave006 macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #8
    Chances are 100% in the US. It protects AT&T sales. If the CDMA carriers in the US were selling their iPhone 4S with an unlocked SIM then thousands would be moving to AT&T, or a MVO...after purchasing at Verizon / Sprint, which is not going to happen if any of the 3 US carriers can prevent it. :eek::mad:

    There is this footnote on the Apple site:
    Your iPhone will work only with the carrier you choose.

    Dave
     
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #9
    It will come with a GSM SIM card installed, locked to a partner carrier.

    World phone does not mean you can use a SIM card of your choice on a subsidized phone. You will pay Sprint and you will roam internationally.

    Unlocked, full price phones are the only way to use the SIM of your choice.

    -t
     
  10. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #10
    GSM/Worldphone

    I too, have been curious about the GSM/CDMA WorldPhone feature. I've been doing a lot of research speaking directly to Apple and Sprint about this. This is what I found out. Basically, Apple and Sprint told me the same thing.

    The iPhone 4S is a world phone that is GSM/CDMA compatible, as we all know it to be. It will be 'one' featured phone supplied to all carriers with no differentiation in specs., unlike the iPhone 4. I mentioned to both Apple and Sprint (obviously), I'd be going with Sprint on the 4S. Because I travel a lot for work (Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Japan etc.), and because Sprint utilizes CDMA only, I asked how I can access the world phone feature of the 4S when most of the countries I travel to is strictly GSM? I also mentioned I do not, and will not, roam due to the high roaming fees. According to an Apple Rep. and the Sprint International Department, the GSM Sim Slot will be unlocked, to allow anyone to insert a local sim card. In settings, it will allow you to "turn off CDMA", which allow only GSM to function. This is a feature not on the iPhone 4. By turning CDMA "off" in "network settings" and removing the Sprint Sim Card (supplied in the box) and reinserting the local sim card, this will therefore, prevent Sprint from roaming internationally. The iPhone 4S will detect the local sim card to allow anyone to use this phone freely. The downside, it your data functionality will not work, and you will need to access email via wi-fi. For me, I'd rather have utilization of the sim slot that to access data. So this works....

    (F.Y.I. The International Text Messaging Plan for $10.00 will only work when your in the USA texting out. When you travel abroad, text fees applies. .50 cents to send and .20 cents to receive.)

    The claim is, Sprint has your money by signing a 2-yr. contract, so they don't really care, what you do with your minutes, whether you use them or not. Most people do not travel out of the country anyway. And those that will, will benefit from this feature.

    Lastly, with non-smartphones, there's already a feature to prevent the phone from roaming to allow it to strictly use Sprints network to prevent high roaming fees. Basically, the same feature will be on the 4S, but will apply internationally, since domestic roaming is all covered locally by Sprint.

    I hope this helps, and I hope what I've been told is indeed fact.
     
  11. bidwalj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    #11
    im interested in knowing this as well. I travel often to canada and bought an unlocked gsm iPhone 4 from there. For the for 4s, I'm looking to ditch Att and switch to sprint. I think verizon would be the carrier most likely to lock the gsm side to their own partners. Sprint is trying to earn customers so hopefully they leave the gsm side unlocked as another way to draw more people.
     
  12. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #12
    Sorry but you got bad information. The CDMA Sprint / Verizon iPhone 4S units will be SIM locked to a Verizon / Sprint partner.

    The Unlocked iPhone 4S as announced by Apple for availability in November here in the US, will only be a GSM SIM unlocked and will not work with CDMA carriers Verizon / Sprint. The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint. It is not a Sprint / Verizon Global Phone with an unlocked GSM SIM slot.

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/ho...iphone/iphone4/about_unlocked?mco=MjYwMDIzMDE

    Dave
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    That's exactly how its going to be setup.
    You will be able to still use your sprint account and phone number when outside the US. You will just be paying an arm and a leg for international roaming, calling, texts, data etc...
    It will not recognize or accept other carriers sims.
    So the GSM part of it will not be unlocked.
     
  14. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

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    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #14
    I agree. It is meaningless. It's useless. Yes, the iPhone 4S is a world phone, but who is going to leave their iphone "ON" on a CDMA network internationally to allow GSM to roam (24/7), and be hit with a $7000 - $15,000 cell phone bill when upon returning from a 2 week international trip.

    I was under the impression based on the keynote on Oct.4th that it would indeed be unlocked due to the 4S being a worldphone. There were tweets about this from tech reporters that attended the Apple Event, and that Apple would change this to allow more freedom- What a disappointment.

    (Cost Figures (above) were taken from stories I heard that occurred on ATT's network when business travelers, and people on vacation forgot to turn off "Data Roaming" on their iPhones when traveling international.)
     
  15. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #15
    You need to buy an unlocked phone in November, not a contract phone today... We don't yet know if you can take your unlocked phone and sign up for CDMA, then use any GSM SIM as well
     
  16. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

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    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #16
    When people purchase an unlocked phone, what economical methods do people use to call domestically without a contract? Can you purchase minutes without it expiring in 30 Days?
     
  17. dave006 macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #17
    Actually Apple has posted that the Unlocked iPhone that they will be selling next month in the US will be GSM Unlocked only and you will not be able to use it on a CDMA provider like Sprint or Verizon. :eek:

    Dave
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #18
    The 4S is only a world phone if you buy it locked to a CDMA carrier, otherwise it doesn't work on CDMA.
     
  19. dave006 macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #19
    Correct but an iPhone 4S CDMA world phone will not have have unlocked GSM Support.

    It will support international roaming using the CDMA carrier provided locked GSM SIM.

    Can I use an iPhone when traveling internationally?
    iPhone 4S is a world phone, so you can use it almost anywhere. Whether you are a GSM or CDMA network customer, you can roam on GSM networks in 200 countries around the world.​

    source: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone#
    open the FAQ section.

    Dave
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #20
    Precisely. And I wonder how many people are buying the 4S because they think they will be able to roam among US carriers.
     
  21. ps2pk macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #21
    It's going to be 100% locked in the US so you can't use it on ATT if you buy it on Verizon or Sprint.

    Now overseas no one knows yet. Going by their previous history Sprint has not locked any of their world phones previously (HTC Touch Pro 2/Moto Photon/Blackberry Tour/etc) so just going by that the iPhone shouldn't be locked (meaning if you're in Europe you can just insert the sim and it *should* work). But again Sprint has never had the iPhone so things might change.

    http://www.sprint.com/popups/international/devices_advanced_worldmode_popup.html
     
  22. urkel macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #22
    I'm not buying BECAUSE of that, but the idea of a "world phone" was a selling point that now seems misleading if you can't actually do SIM swaps.

    How exactly do these phones get assigned to carrier? Is it software, hardware or SIM? I thought the point of making a "world phone" was to lower the SKU's but Best Buy lists each carrier and model with different model numbers so that makes it 18 different products to stock.
     
  23. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #23
    A locked world phone is not misleading.

    The problem is that people might buy the other versions thinking that it also works on CDMA.
     
  24. dave006 macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #24
    No a traditional world phone from your carrier just means that you can use the same phone in multple regions. Think roaming for CDMA in a country where CDMA is not supported. That's where the GSM SIM comes into play for the CDMA carriers they have roaming arrangements with other carriers.

    Apple's use of the world phone just means they only provide one hardware platform that support all the major world networks. :eek:

    The magic really happens based on two key items:

    1. Apple's Database of Serial Numbers
    2. Carrier's System based on the type: GSM=IMEI & CDMA=ESN

    Apple's DB controls the unlock status and the Carrier's system determines if you are allowed on their network or blocked (bad ESN or blacklisted IMEI)

    Dave
     
  25. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

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    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #25
    Can you clarify? When you say, "able to roam among US carriers", based on Sprints "Everything Data", the plan covers roaming in the US. Or did you mean not being able to use an ATT sim into a Sprint locked CDMA is what you meant by roam?
     

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