Carrier Is Sprint model fully unlocked too?

Derek87

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Original poster
Jan 29, 2009
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There has been a lot of talk about the Verizon model being unlocked and able to work on AT&T/Tmobile, etc. is the same true of the Sprint model, or has Sprint locked it up, regardless of whether you pay full price for it?
 

apwtwenty

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2011
399
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There has been a lot of talk about the Verizon model being unlocked and able to work on AT&T/Tmobile, etc. is the same true of the Sprint model, or has Sprint locked it up, regardless of whether you pay full price for it?
i think if you buy from Apple.com, it's unlocked, paying for it full price

through the IUP, it says it's unlocked, even if you make payments for a year

i have Sprint and called them to make sure the 6s i have is unlocked, and it is (paid full price, bought it through Apple)
 

Derek87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 29, 2009
582
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thanks! it would be great for someone out there to confirm by slapping in a GSM sim card, or even better yet, a Verizon sim card into a Sprint "full price" 7/7plus.

i searched the web and haven't found any mention of anyone doing this...everyone is suggesting the Verizon model based on it historically being the model that is fully unlocked on prior models (5S, 6, 6S, SE)
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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If you buy full price from Sprint it will be locked. It must be active on a Sprint account in good standing for 50 days before they will unlock.

If you purchase from Apple it will come unlocked.

Verizon LTE capable devices (including the iPhone) are unlocked out of the box no matter how much or how little you pay because Verizon has an agreement with the FCC for use of one of their frequencies.

Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile do not have any such agreements so are not bound in that manner as Verizon is.
 
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Soondae

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
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Hua Hin, Thailand
There has been a lot of talk about the Verizon model being unlocked and able to work on AT&T/Tmobile, etc. is the same true of the Sprint model, or has Sprint locked it up, regardless of whether you pay full price for it?
Sprint is CDMA, ATT/Tmobile are GSM. So if you have a Sprint phone you are locked into CDMA networks. Most international networks are GSM so if you travel a lot like I do, then the Sprint phone is not a good option.
 

wolfedude88

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Feb 21, 2013
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Indiana
Sprint is CDMA, ATT/Tmobile are GSM. So if you have a Sprint phone you are locked into CDMA networks. Most international networks are GSM so if you travel a lot like I do, then the Sprint phone is not a good option.
Actually not entirely correct. Yes sprint is cdma and most are gsm. But the sprint and Verizon iPhone 7s are the same. Verizon has theirs automatically unlocked but you can pay off a sprint iPhone and use it pretty much everywhere, it's better than the att model because it supports Verizon and sprint cdma too.

You just have to unlock the phone first which you have to do with most besides the Verizon model or an unlocked model
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Actually not entirely correct. Yes sprint is cdma and most are gsm. But the sprint and Verizon iPhone 7s are the same. Verizon has theirs automatically unlocked but you can pay off a sprint iPhone and use it pretty much everywhere, it's better than the att model because it supports Verizon and sprint cdma too.

You just have to unlock the phone first which you have to do with most besides the Verizon model or an unlocked model
^^^Yep.

Additionally, the Sprint iPhone 6/6+ was the model Apple used as their SIM Free version. The only difference at the time Apple was selling it was that the Sprint model was locked and the SIM free version was not.

The 6s/6s+ were slightly less compatible, but still world phones.
 

bradbomb

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Jan 7, 2002
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Los Angeles, CA
Sprint is CDMA, ATT/Tmobile are GSM. So if you have a Sprint phone you are locked into CDMA networks. Most international networks are GSM so if you travel a lot like I do, then the Sprint phone is not a good option.
Not correct at all. If you get an unlocked Sprint or Verizon iPhone (All Verizon LTE phones are unlocked) than those iPhones are able to connect thru GSM or CDMA providers. With the iPhone 7/7plus, the AT&T & T-Mobile versions can only connect to GSM and LTE, but no CDMA (due to the Intel Chipset over the Qualcomm Chipset). So if you enter an area where Verizon doesn't have VoLTE enabled and relies on CDMA, the iPhones with the Intel Chipset will not be able to connect.
 

Soondae

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
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Hua Hin, Thailand
^^^Yep.

Additionally, the Sprint iPhone 6/6+ was the model Apple used as their SIM Free version. The only difference at the time Apple was selling it was that the Sprint model was locked and the SIM free version was not.

The 6s/6s+ were slightly less compatible, but still world phones.
I don't think this statement is correct. I bought the world wide unlocked iPhone 6 direct from the Apple Store online and it was advertised as being ATT/Tmobile compatible for USA use. It also came with a Tmobile SIM if you were inclined to activate it which I didn't. Furthermore I know people with iPhone 3S, and 4 models that had the Sprint models, brought them overseas to find out that they were useless as they didn't even use SIM's, a lot of carrier locked CDMA phones were this way.
 

C DM

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Oct 17, 2011
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I don't think this statement is correct. I bought the world wide unlocked iPhone 6 direct from the Apple Store online and it was advertised as being ATT/Tmobile compatible for USA use. It also came with a Tmobile SIM if you were inclined to activate it which I didn't. Furthermore I know people with iPhone 3S, and 4 models that had the Sprint models, brought them overseas to find out that they were useless as they didn't even use SIM's, a lot of carrier locked CDMA phones were this way.
Earlier iPhones and phones, especially prior to LTE, are fairly different and aren't all that useful as comparisons to what the phones have been like for some years now.
 
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bradbomb

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
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Los Angeles, CA
I don't think this statement is correct. I bought the world wide unlocked iPhone 6 direct from the Apple Store online and it was advertised as being ATT/Tmobile compatible for USA use. It also came with a Tmobile SIM if you were inclined to activate it which I didn't. Furthermore I know people with iPhone 3S, and 4 models that had the Sprint models, brought them overseas to find out that they were useless as they didn't even use SIM's, a lot of carrier locked CDMA phones were this way.
With each iPhone model, there was a different model that was considered the Unlocked/Carrier Free Model

With the 5 & 5S, I believe it was the revised AT&T model that also supported T-Mobile.
With the 6, it was the Verizon model
With the 6S, it was the Sprint model
With the 7, its the Sprint/Verizon model

The first phone on Sprint & Verizon was the 4, there was no 3GS or 3G on Sprint or Verizon as it was GSM only. The 4 was a CDMA only models for Verizon and Sprint that did not have a SIM card and were not unlocked or World Phones. The 4S was CDMA/GSM, but was not unlocked by default. The Verizon model would work on Verizon and if unlocked on any GSM carrier. The Sprint model would work on Sprint and if unlocked on any GSM carrier. The Verizon would not work on Sprint or vice versa since they are not LTE phones that require SIMs and instead just use the internal CDMA radios. Those CDMA ESNs need to be whitelisted on the network before being activated on them.
 
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