Carrier Can an iPhone 5s really be locked domestically, but unlocked internationally?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cheso, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. cheso macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #1
    I own an iPhone 5s with U.S. Cellular (A1453), bought it full retail, still it's locked domestically, which is fine with me. I contacted U.S. Cellular to ask whether the phone can be used with a nanoSIM abroad on GSM and this is what they responded:

    Can this really work this way? Any real-life experiences? Thanks ;)
     
  2. Idefix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #2
    AFAIK the only CDMA iPhone that has an unlocked domestic GSM slot is Verizon, because they were required by law (during a merger.)

    So the VZ iPhone is unlocked for both int'l and domestic GSM SIMS.
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    Yes, It can really be locked domestically, but unlocked internationally.
     
  4. cheso thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 13, 2009
    #4
    Thanks... do you know if the phone basically somehow checks whether it's in the U.S. or not, or do the SIM cards have something specific in them that informs the phone which country's carrier they belong to? Just being curious
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #5
    It's setup to identify US domestic carrier networks sims and it rejects them.
    It's put there by Apple and that action/agreement is put there by the particular wireless network. Sprint in this instance.
     
  6. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #6

    A Merger had nothing to do with it. They bought a nationwide 700Mhz license during an FCC spectrum auction. Part of the stipulation of buying this license was to have all phones intended for use on this band be unlocked. Google pushed for it and put on a poker face to act as if they were going to buy the spectrum.
     
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    #7
    Yup, Sprint does this. Idiots.
     
  8. wxcvbn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #8
    Sprint iPhones (at least the 5C and 5S) are locked domesticaly and also internationally. I can't activate it with my french sim as i am in France.
    If you have a tip for unlocking this 5C for the international, please help me. :)
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #9
    Here's a tip. But you won't like it.

    Activate your iPhone on Sprint for 90 days. Pay your bill on time. Call Sprint at the end of 90 days and ask them to unlock for international use.

    But you can't do that because you're in France huh?

    Your only option is a SIM interposer then. Good luck.
     
  10. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #10
    Yep this only applies to Sprint. Just another reason not to use an iPhone on their network.
     
  11. 869639 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Earth
    #11
    Hey have your tested this yet?

    Is your iPhone 5S unlocked internationally? Did you have to do anything or is it already unlocked?

    I'm seeing lots of hype about US Cellular iPhones on Craigslist n all. Please share thanks
     
  12. cheso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #12
    Responded in the dedicated thread
     

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