So what makes it impossible for an Unlocked Sprint iPhone 4S to go on Verizon?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Johnny Steps, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Johnny Steps macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

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    #1
    I saw some Verizon Android phone, I think the Razr, and it had a sim card? I don't understand. And if not Verizon, why can't I go to AT&T and they give me a sim card to use?

    It seems more difficult than it should be. But then again there must be some TECHNICAL reason for all this huh..? >_>
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    The Razr is an LTE phone. LTE uses SIM cards. Verizon will not allow a Sprint iPhone in to their network because they won't add its unique number to its database of allowed phones.
     
  3. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Verizon won't activate phones they didn't sell. Neither will Sprint.
     
  4. Johnny Steps thread starter macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

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    #4
    That's it? Wow. No wonder the UK is better at this >_>

    And let me guess, even though AT&T uses SIM cards and the iPhone 4S can use GSM... they won't sell you a plan because....?
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    It's that way because of the CDMA technology. AT&T and other GSM carriers has non-roaming agreements with Verizon and other CDMA carriers to prevent local phones from roaming on another local network that uses a different technology. It's a hold over from the 90's.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #6
    There's some explanation here (section 3). That particular document is from Telecom NZ but I expect that Verizon and Sprint have similar reasons (particularly the part about SPC).
     
  7. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The carrier won't activate it on their network. There aren't any technical limitations involved here
     
  8. cynics macrumors G4

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    #8
    Ya, the verizon 4s has a sim and can be unlocked for international use on gsm networks. They won't let you use it with other local carriers. Agreements and such...
     
  9. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    #9
    at&t will. You just have to have an unlocked device that supports the necessary bands.
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #10
    AT&T will sell you whatever plan you want; they are just giving a SIM card. You sign contracts to get subsidized phones. If you do not want a subsidized phone, you just get a plan and a SIM card activated. It's up to you what phone you want to use.
     
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #11
    AT&T most certainly will sell you a plan if you bring them an unlocked iPhone 4S. You can buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple, and no questions asked, AT&T will gladly activate it. They recognize that getting revenue on a phone they didn't pay a subsidy for is a good thing.

    However, if you bought an iPhone 4S from Sprint or Verizon, they will not unlock it for AT&T. They will only modify the subsidy lock so that outside-of-US carriers's SIM cards will work, but not domestic ones.

    So again, it falls on Verizon/Sprint.

    Granted, AT&T has their own nastiness. They apparently won't unlock any iPhone they've subsidized, under any circumstances.
     
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #12
    What makes it not possible is Verizon will not activate it on their network cause its a Sprint phone and viceversa.
    And also since its a sprint iphone it cannot be used in the US with any GSM simcards even if its unlocked for international use.
    I guess those are the BS agreements and restriction Apple and Carriers set in place in the US to make our life more difficult and even though the 4S its a true world phone we cannot use it as such.
     
  13. cynics macrumors G4

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    #13
    Again Verizon and sprint 4s's are global phones and can be used on gsm networks internationally.

    That's the beauty of the Qualcomm quad band chip. Just pop in a new sim and boom. Once you have Verizon unlock it of course (free).
     
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #14
    They are global phones in the technical sense of the word, but due to policies put in place by the carriers, they are software-modified to no longer be such. The modifications downgrade them from a true global phone to merely being international-capable phones that are otherwise locked to their respective carriers.
     
  15. cynics macrumors G4

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    #15
    I'm probably just not following you. My sister and parents are in India using their Verizon iPhones to call family. They have both gsm and CDMA there but I'm pretty sure they are using gsm sims.
     
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #16
    Yes, global phones but even if you buy it factory unlocked you cant use it in the US on a CDMA carrier and a few months later switch it to Tmobile for example.
    Its a great start but they didnt go all the way with it. Probably cause US CDMA carrier will just not activate it on their network.

    Exactly.
     
  17. Mikesus macrumors 6502

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    #17
    actually you *might* be able to get it activated on one of their MVNO's like PagePlus. HOWEVER, you do NOT want to try to use data on it (their plans include 20mb!! )
     
  18. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

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    #18
    Factory Unlocked iPhones will not work on any CDMA carrier. Period. Apple spells this out on their website.
     
  19. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #19
    Upon activation the unlocked iPhone has its CDMA radio killed whether a hack can activate it is yet to be seen.But my old VZW iPhone 4 is now on sprint so they do accept the iPhone you just need to sweet talk and boohoo em a bit.
     
  20. aneftp macrumors 601

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    #20
    It's just pure greed on Verizon and Sprint.

    A few years ago when iPhone 3G was locked to AT&T in the USA. Both Verizon and sprint promised to provide "unlocked CDMA " phones.


    Yep. It's 2012 and Verizon and sprint never made good on that promised.

    In the USA some Verizon phones can be flashed to work on Metro PCS a CDMA carrier that's much less expensive.

    So it's not a technical problem activating the Verizon iPhones or other CDMA networks. It's just greed.
     
  21. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #21
    A hack will still not make verizon or sprint add its esn to their database and allow it on their network.
    If its not sold by them for their network they dont have to allow it to activate and be used.
     
  22. kalex macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Yes just greed. no technical reason what so ever. I remember a while ago when Treo 650 just came out and was sprint exclusive I was able to get verizon to add it to my account because those ESNs showed up as some old verizon phone.

    So basically unless you have a way of adding ESNs to verizon or sprint database you won't be able to activate the phone. There are reps that do it but its very hard to get them to do it and chances are slim.

    There is also no reason whatsoever for not being able to use CDMA version of 4s on TMO and ATT. Only reason is an artificial one where carriers basically went to apple and asked them to block those GSM networks from being usable.
     
  23. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #23
    Understood sir but alas my brother was able to activate a VZW ip4 on the sprint network they just had to add the ESN to the database which they did
     
  24. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #24
    I hear you, doable but very hard from what I heard.
    99% of the time they will deny it.
     
  25. Kblakeshot macrumors member

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    Indiana
    #25
    This should be the question that is posted on this site instead of the weekly Verizon/Sprint/International/Blah blah thread.


    When an unlock comes out for the iPhone 4S (not just the international sim unlock, but a true unlock) will you then be able to use a Verizon/Sprint iPhone 4S on AT&T & T-Mobile?
     

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