Does multi carrier iPhone 5 mean it will be unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EddyP, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. EddyP macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I really hope the new iPhone works on both CDMA and GSM carriers. That would make me quite happy.

    Assuming it does, will it be locked to a carrier? I know we're guessing at this point. But I was thinking about how that would work if the phone was multi carrier.

    I don't know enough of how the locking of phones to carriers works to know if it would be easy to lock it to multiple carriers (presumably ATT & VZW). Obviously it is buried deep in iOS or I would think there would be more ways to hack it to unlock it.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

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    #2
    You can already buy the iPhone 4 unlocked, so yes, I would assume the iPhone 5 would also be.
     
  3. -Ryan-, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

    -Ryan- macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Redacted.
     
  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #4
    You can buy an unlocked iPhone 4 in the US now from the Apple store. Started a couple months ago I believe.
     
  5. Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

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    #5
    This. ^

    Where have you been -Ryan- ? :D
     
  6. grantsdale macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Yes, you can.

    You have to buy it at full price, though.

    I imagine the same will hold true for the iPhone 5.
     
  7. Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

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    #7
    Unlocked = full price. Always. :cool:
     
  8. Krandor macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Actually I bet that at launch the Iphone 5 will not be sold unlocked but at some point down the road in the life-cycle they will offer the option.
     
  9. EddyP thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    That would suck. I'll gladly pay for an unlocked phone Day 1.
     
  10. vikingjunior macrumors 65816

    vikingjunior

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    #10
    As I believe this will be true I don't understand it from Apple's part. There are a slew of MVNO that can support the iphone.
     
  11. EddyP thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I know that. And I know it's full price. I want to know if the new one will be locked to a carrier, not if I can get an unlocked one.




    If the phone is multi carrier, will it still be locked to the carrier I buy it from?(assuming I don't buy an unlocked one)

    Or will it be locked to ATT and VZW?

    If I buy one from ATT can I use it on VZW too? Or if I buy one from ATT can I only use ATT (even if it's a multicarrier phone).

    I know it's all a guess at this point. Just mental masturbation.
     
  12. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #12
    They'll sell it unlocked but you'll have to pay a few extra $$$ for it. The freedom is well worth the slightly higher price, though. I buy all my phones unlocked and I've got a pay as you go SIM which gives me 250 minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data (no fair usage policy) for £10 ($16) a month :)
     
  13. Givmeabrek macrumors 68030

    Givmeabrek

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    #13
    If you buy a subsidized phone of course it will be locked to a carrier. If you pay full price you might be able to get it unlocked. :apple:
     
  14. obamtl macrumors regular

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    #14
    The iPhone is currently available on all UK carriers, and here's how it works:

    When you buy a phone on a contract, in the early days of release when units do not meet demand and international rollout is not complete, Apple mandates all networks selling CONTRACT phones to have the device locked to the network activating it. Once this early period is past, depending on the network, the device is unlocked for free (some networks charge a small processing fee, others don't charge anything). My iPhone was locked for about 2 or 3 months before Apple gave the green light for networks to unlock the phone.

    I believe this may be done to help limit the activities of scalpers, I may be wrong about the motives though.

    When all is said and done, expect that a new contract on any American network will have the phone locked to that network at the onset, however, after a given period, the phones can then be unlocked.
     
  15. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #15
    This is my guess as well.

    Apple offered the iPhone 3GS contract-less (but not unlocked) after it had been out for nearly a year. Apple offers the iPhone 4 GSM fully unlocked (and therefore also contract-less,) starting a little less than a year after it came out.

    My guess is that even if the iPhone 5 (4G, 4S, whatever they call it,) is a multi-carrier-on-one-set-of-hardware device, it will be sold locked to individual carriers at first (so even if it is physically capable of both Verizon and AT&T usage, you will have to choose which one you want when you buy it,) then at some point down the road they will offer "completely unlocked for any carrier" versions. (Which would be able to be used on *ANY* US carrier, since all of them are either GSM or CDMA now.)
     
  16. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #16
    When the iPhone 4 came out on contract on UK networks, the networks also launched them on pay as you go and Apple launched it unlocked all at the same time, so people saying you'd have to wait a bit down the lifecycle to get an iPhone out of contract are wrong.
     
  17. obamtl macrumors regular

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    #17
    0dev, the question here is about contract phones. If you want to pay the full price of the handset, you can walk into the apple store and buy one unlocked (If I'm not mistaken, the phones are locked on PAYG if you buy directly from the network, instead of Apple).
     
  18. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #18
    I'm aware - as I said earlier, I buy all my phones unlocked without any SIM then pop my own in there. It's the best way to go about things. I don't understand why people have an issue with paying full price for a phone anyway - if you sell it on eBay a year later you get most of your money back and at the end of the day you've still spent less than you would have on the monthly payments for a contract.
     
  19. grantsdale macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Not always.
     
  20. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

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    Edited my initial post to note my mistake. That's what happens when trying to work on one screen and read MacRumors on the other! :eek:
     
  21. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

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    #21
    If you buy the GSM iPhone on contract from a carrier, it will be locked to that carrier. Always. If you buy it outright from the carrier, it will still be locked to that carrier. If you buy it outright from Apple, it will be unlocked.

    The CDMA iPhone is not locked.
     
  22. bob616 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    ^CDMA is pretty locked to Verizon. It isn't even cleared for international use. If you look at the back of the Verizon iPhone it doesn't have the warning/approval symbols that all the other iPhones have.
     
  23. nirajmind macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Unlock Or lock that doesn't matter.

    Hi Guys,
    Whether it's locked or unlocked that doesn't make a lot difference. Because if apple has an exclusive partnership with ATT or any others then it will be surely locked. If there is no contract with apple then there is no point of locking.


    Thanks,

    Niraj
     
  24. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

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    #24
    You can use the CDMA iPhone on MetroPCS if you flash it.

    I had a source that proved it wasn't locked, that I posted in another thread a while back, but I can't for the life of me find it now. I should have bookmarked it. If I do end up finding it I'll edit this post and include it.
     
  25. EddyP, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

    EddyP thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I got my 3GS a couple months after release without a contract. It was nowhere near a year. I think it was the fall of 2009. I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I hope they offer an unlocked one on launch day.

    I hope it isn't locked to one carrier. If it was locked to ATT AND VZW I could live with that. But locking it to one or the other would suck. I can see that being a big hassle for Apple. What's the point of offering a multicarrier phone if it's going to be locked to one carrier? (of course this is all speculation at this point) That just seems like more of a hassle than it's worth.
     

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