Sprint iPhone 4s GSM capable?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kylos, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
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    MI
    #1
    I've seen conflicting reports on this and I'm not sure what is correct. I have a Sprint iPhone 4s (no longer active with Sprint) and am hoping to use it in Belgium. Sprint has given us a master security code that they say other carriers can use to activate the phone for their networks.

    Apple lists this model number (A1387) as either GSM or CDMA.

    I haven't seen any clear guidance on this and I'm wondering if anyone has first hand experience with this phone model.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Sprint iPhones 4s and above have two (or more) radios. One is CDMA and the other is GSM. These are world phones.

    The unlock that Sprint gave you is an international unlock and will unlock the GSM part of your phone. So, you will be able to use it outside of the US on whatever carrier supports the frequencies your model uses.

    The CDMA part is still locked. Sprint will never, under any circumstances (even with this new unlock bill that has just been signed) unlock the domestic part of the phone. If you bring your phone back to the US, you will still be locked to Sprint.

    Hope that makes it a bit more clear.
     
  3. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    MI
    #3
    Thanks. As a side note, when you say it is locked in the US, does that mean only for CDMA carriers or also GSM carriers like AT&T?
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    No, when I say it's lock in the US, I mean it's locked to Sprint. Period.

    Sprint unlocked it for international use. They will never unlock it for domestic use. You can use it on any carrier outside the US that can take it, but you can only use it on Sprint in the United States.

    If you put in a Verizon SIM, or any other CDMA SIM that is from a US carrier, it will not work on that carrier in the US. Putting in a GSM SIM from any US carrier will have no effect, i.e., no service.
     
  5. Imhzw macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #5

    I'm still confused that if I factory unlock a Sprint iPhone 5c, can it use another country's cdma network?

    I'm in China and I want to unlock it to use China Telecom's CDMA2000 and FDD-LTE (Band 1) network. If the unlocked phone can not support other's cdma network, I may not consider unlock...
     
  6. aneftp macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #6
    Sprint iPhone (4/4s) (5/5s/5c) have the lowest resell value.

    There is a reason. Sprint iPhone are a pain in the butt to use on another network.

    And even though Sprint will unlock for international use. You are trying to combine it with China telecom.

    Don't do it. Don't try to save a few bucks by buying a sprint phone that's locked down.

    Avoid sprint iPhones at all cost unless you are a Sprint USA customer (for ANY USE IN USA).

    Avoid sprint iPhone international unless u can get it unlocked for gsm use.

    I don't know how carriers outside of USA use CDMA. But CDMA networks in USA are locked down and very restrictive. (Verizon won't even let an iPhone 5s that's the same exact phone (hardware and software) sold on ATT cause the serial number is not in their data base.
     
  7. Imhzw macrumors newbie

    Imhzw

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    #7

    I bought this phone mainly because of its lowest price. iPod Touch 5 uses A5 processor and iPhone 5c SIM-LOCKED uses A6, twice performance, so I thought iPhone 5c SIM-LOCKED is better, and I have another phone for daily use.

    When I buy a EVO 4G LTE Sprint, I find the Sense UI is beautiful and fast. When I buy a Galaxy S4 (L720, Sprint), it could be cracked and use GSM,WCDMA,CDMA2000 even LTE network. But this time, Sprint 5c is a totally failure.

    I can't have a Sprint account, let alone unlock by sprint officially .The sprint's factory unlock's price is the highest one among lots of carriers. And the official unlock only unlock GSM, I don't find a example using the unlocked phone to a cdma network outside USA.

    Considering the new bill of legal unlock, I am wondering will the unlock price decline or the official unlock policy change some(it seems impossible!!!).

    Use a phone as a touch...Though the phone has the best network support in device. Sad, but accept it due to its lowest price...
     
  8. aneftp macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #8

    Lesson learned.

    Don't buy a Sprint iPhone. Sprint has committed so much money to iPhone (they committed to buying 20 billion dollars worth of iPhones over 3-5 years)

    http://www.cnet.com/news/sprint-commits-to-20b-order-for-30m-iphones-wsj-says/

    That's why Sprint "locks" down their iPhones like crazy. They don't want anyone using the "sprint" iPhone on anywhere else except their network.

    Sad but true. Only way they can guarantee themselves back their investment.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    I disagree. What I mean is, Sprint doesn't have to lock their phones down to still get their investment back.

    Verizon doesn't have to do this with the iPhone 5 series. If you pay full price, Sprint and Verizon get their money back. If you enter a contract and leave with an unlocked iPhone before the contract is up Sprint and Verizon charge you an ETF. They get their money back.

    Even if you ignore the ETF and go to the extreme of allowing the entire last bill to go to collections and take the hit on your credit report, the collection agency buys the debt from Sprint or Verizon. Sprint and Verizon get their money back…the collection agency goes after you.

    All the way around, Sprint and Verizon get their money back. So, the ONLY reason Sprint has this policy is because it wants to keep you on Sprint. Postpaid subscribers are where they make their money month to month. Allowing you to simply pay to walk away or just walk away with a paid phone means they don't make money off of you. In general, since contracts have been the thing here in the US, you don't pay any less for your phone once you meet your contract terms then you did when you were in contract, so the carrier is STILL making the same amount of money off you as when you were subsidized!

    So…IMO, it's all about keeping your money each month coming to Sprint by making it EXTREMELY difficult to leave.
     
  10. aneftp macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #10
    Verizon would "lock" their iphone 5/5s/5C down as well except they have FCC agreement (when they bid for spectrum for airwaves) that they would not "limit" use of LTE devices.

    That's the only reason their LTE devices are all GSM unlocked now. But outside of Apple who doesn't allow carriers to mess with their software, Verizon messes with APN data points with their "unlocked" Android and especially Windows phone devices.

    Try using a Verizon Nokia "unlocked" Lumia 822/920 phone even on ATT. Verizon messes with the APN so much, you cannot get MMS configured corrected and half their Android devices need root access to get data working.

    Sprint locks their their phone to make money. I agree. That was also my point. But they lock it down not to break even but to make a profit with service fees.

    "full price" /no contract have only been gaining popularity with postpaid carriers since T-mobile USA started their "uncarrier" strategy which is barely one year ago.

    So most Sprint people still buy subsidized iPhone for $199/299.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    I'm not arguing that all of Verizon's phones are unlocked, far from it. I fully realize that it's only the iPhone 5 series (and because of the FCC) that those phones are locked.

    My point was mainly that it's not necessary for the carriers to lock any phone as with ETF or a full price purchase the carriers will make their money back. So, it all comes down to the money made month to month, i.e, postpaid subscribers. And I think we see that the same way based on your response.
     
  12. aneftp macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #12
    Yeah, 100% agree.

    At the end of the day, it's all about profits. Carriers make their profits on continually monthly revenue. That's why postpaid subscribers are more highly sought.

    For all the ATT NEXT/Verizon EDGE/Tmobile JUMP plans "gimmicks" 0% financing. It's still trying to "lock" people into financial "contracts" which is essentially a loan. Carriers believe most people will pay the monthly equipment charges over 12-20 months.

    But to get back to Sprint. Sprint is still bleeding customers. They lost more post paid customers last quarter. (FYI, JUMP/EDGE/NEXT are still considered "postpaid" customers).

    http://www.zdnet.com/sprint-q1-meets-expectations-but-subscriber-loss-still-an-issue-7000032156/

    Sprint needs to do something. These "framily" plans aren't working well.
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    Sprint's primary problem is the culture. They are extremely proficient in starting something and never completing it, and along the way shooting themselves in the foot over it all.

    NV is behind by six months because this problem is pervasive. Poor execution and failure to incentivize contractors.

    The only reason Sprint had about 600K less postpaid subscribers leave this second quarter is because they were handing out free tablets. It's a trick they've been using. Unfortunately for them, less and less people are buying.

    Because of the network they can't afford to advertise. Why advertise, have people sign up, find out the network is still crap and then leave? But if they don't advertise, they don't get new customers.

    Framily is a joke. I don't care if people get separate bills, it shouldn't be my job to advertise for Sprint. I have the old Everthing Data plan and with all my addons I still pay less than I would on the Framily plan AND the MyWay or All In plans.

    Framily may be popular enough, but it's not the plan that's doing to drive people to Sprint once the network is up to par.
     

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