Sprint iPhone 4S Unlocked? Or Not?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Forcefed03, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Forcefed03, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012

    Forcefed03 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    Hey guys I'm new to MacRumors. I have a quick question I hope you guys can help me out.

    I was in the market for an iPhone 4S last week, as im going to overseas for quite sometime. I found a great deal on craigslist for an iPhone 4S which was previously a Sprint iPhone 4S CDMA. The seller stated that it was Unlocked and that he used it in Hong Kong with no problems what so ever. So i said great, and did a little research on CDMA. It seems that Sprint can only unlock there iPhone's from apple, and what it does is, it makes it unlocked for any foreign sim card outside the USA, but here in the USA its locked to Sprint no matter what.

    So i went on his word, and bought it. I then later called sprint to verify it was unlocked, they told me i couldn't verify it because they don't have an account with me. So they referred me to apple, i called apple, they told me that on there end it said LOCKED. This made me super nervous! So i decided to do a little test... i have my Foreign Sim-Card here in the USA (Its called HOT or CellCom) and i put it in the Sprint iPhone 4S and it Searched for a network, and what appeared was AT&T!!! Is this possible? Can a CDMA iPhone 4S (Sprint) show a connection of AT&T??? Does this confirm its unlocked?

    Cellcom / HOT probably partners with AT&T while im here in the USA.

    So my question is, is my CDMA Sprint iPhone 4S ready for a foreign simcard? or do i need to sell it or something. I leave in a couple days, and i need a phone overseas. Also does Sprint just unlock them themselves? which is not a factory unlock, just an ESN unlock or something of the sort?

    What do you think? Sorry for the long post! i need help. thanks guys
  2. Forcefed03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
    I just went ahead to test it again, this time i put in a T-Mobile micro sim (Cut), and it said INVALID SIM, and asked me to re activate then told me it couldn't cause its invalid sim. Then i went ahead and put in the Foreign simcard (Hot / CellCom) and AT&T Came up as the wireless service.... Im so confused, is this unlocked? thanks
  3. Forcefed03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2012
  4. blacksunset macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    they only unlock it for overseas use not for domestic use.

    att uses gsm.
  5. SporkLover macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2011
    Yours is unlocked. If it can see GSM towers after you put the sim in then it's good. Btw, mine also picked up US AT&T towers when I put my european sim in.
  6. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    AFAIK, Sprint allows customers in good standing (the previous buyer?) to request their iphone to be unlocked for world use. It's not quite a full factory unlocked, because it only allows you to use non-USA gsm networks (so everyone besides AT&T and T-Mobile). You should be able to use it outside the country no problems, or even within the USA with a foreign sim card as long as it's not an AT&T or T-Mobile sim.

    I use a foreign sim card in an extra phone here in the USA. Since foreign carriers obviously don't have their own towers here, they connect to AT&T or T-Mobile towers, whichever has the stronger signal.
  7. SenseiPhone macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Because Sprint unlock iPhone for worldwide GSM, not US GSM (AT&T, TMobile, Straight Talk). You can use HOT / CellCom because it's not US carriers though the carrier uses AT&T network.

    I hope that explains you well about your factory unlocked Sprint iPhone.

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