iPhone on Virgin Mobile

rattler

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
126
22
I know Virgin Mobile doesn't offer the iPhone yet, but when Apple starts selling it unlocked, will I be able to use it on Virgin Mobile, a CDMA network? And if I don't like VM, can I use it on a GSM network if I put a SIM card in? Thanks!
 

Mr Hill

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
500
1
Charlotte, NC
You'll have to get the Virgin mobile iPhone from Virgin in order to use it on their network. If you end up not liking it you will have to sell it to someone else who is on Virgin or keep it as an expensive iPod Touch since it can't be unlocked for gsm networks.
 

rattler

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
126
22
Wait, so you can only use the unlocked iPhone 5 with GSM networks?
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
You'll have to get the Virgin mobile iPhone from Virgin in order to use it on their network. If you end up not liking it you will have to sell it to someone else who is on Virgin or keep it as an expensive iPod Touch since it can't be unlocked for gsm networks.
Wait, so you can only use the unlocked iPhone 5 with GSM networks?
Actually, if VZW shipped their iPhone 5's GSM unlocked, there's a chance Virgin Mobile could do the same.

http://www.bgr.com/2012/09/24/verizon-iphone-5-unlock-policy/ (CDMA phone ships unlocked for GSM)
 
Last edited:

rattler

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
126
22
I'm buying the iPhone for someone as a Christmas gift. If Virgin Mobile doesn't start offering the iPhone 5 by Christmas time, can't I just buy it unlocked from Verizon and used it with VM? After all, Verizon is CDMA too so why would it sell a phone that doesn't work on its own network? Sorry for all the questions!
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,164
Somewhere
I'm buying the iPhone for someone as a Christmas gift. If Virgin Mobile doesn't start offering the iPhone 5 by Christmas time, can't I just buy it unlocked from Verizon and used it with VM? After all, Verizon is CDMA too so why would it sell a phone that doesn't work on its own network? Sorry for all the questions!
The CDMA part of the phone will only work on Verizon, in theory someone at Virgin might be able to activate it, but in practice they don't. The GSM side is unlocked, so you can use it on any GSM network, but since Virgin is CDMA that won't help.
 

rattler

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 18, 2011
126
22
Oh ok. So as of right now there's no way to get the iPhone 5 on Virgin Mobile, and from what I've been reading, they won't have it for quite a while. Guess I'll have to go with Cricket.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,531
At the iPhone hacks section.
Wait, so you can only use the unlocked iPhone 5 with GSM networks?
Ding ding ding:D
We have a winner.
Has been like that for over 2-3 years now.
The unlocked iphones are only unlocked for GSM networks, CDMA carriers just wont activate them on their network unless its locked to them and not from another carrier.
Its not a hardware limitation but a carrier greed limitation.

I'm buying the iPhone for someone as a Christmas gift. If Virgin Mobile doesn't start offering the iPhone 5 by Christmas time, can't I just buy it unlocked from Verizon and used it with VM? After all, Verizon is CDMA too so why would it sell a phone that doesn't work on its own network? Sorry for all the questions!
No.
VM wont activate it on their network.
 

as0016

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2012
100
0
Although when you buy the iphone5 off contract as device only - Virgin is an option when you get to the activate screen on the CDMA iphone, so I wonder if you pushed the Virgin USA choice it if it would actually work on their service. I figure why would it be listed as an option if it wouldnt, but given CDMA it may just not.
 

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