Sprint iPhone 5S International Unlock?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jainy25, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. jainy25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys

    I am aware of the Sprint policy that they unlock iphones for international use only for people having an account with them.

    I bought a Sprint 5S online unaware of this fact. Now the owner is not replying me to resolve this issue.

    How can I use this phone in my country(India)? Is there any alternate way to unlock it since Sprint won't listen to me.

    I don't mind using the SIM Interposer unlock as long as I can use Calling, Data and Text features fine.
     
  2. harrisonw1998 macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #2
    When you say they won't listen to you what do you mean? As long as the phone is paid off and not still in the previous owner's 2 yr contract then they should unlock it for you.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #3
    You need to understand Sprint's unlock policy to know why this won't work. You can not simply just have the original seller call and unlock when it comes to Sprint phones.

    To get an international unlock on Sprint you need to have the phone activated and working for 90 days minimum which means you have to be a Sprint customer with Sprint service. You need to pay the bill on time during those 90 days. Then, and only then, can you call Sprint and they will unlock for international use. No matter who you are, Sprint will not EVER unlock for domestic US carrier use - period!

    If you deactivate the phone and sell it, just like has happened here, then there is no service and Sprint will flat out refuse to unlock the phone because you are not meeting the requirements I mentioned above.

    This is why Sprint iPhones sell cheaper and this is why people who got burned by thinking they could get a cheaper iPhone and unlock it turn around and resell these iPhones for as much as they can get. In order to recover their loss.

    It's my guess that the seller had this happen. He's not talking to the OP because he has unloaded his problem on the OP and now the OP can deal with it.

    OP. You got burned. Your only hope is finding a SIM interposer that will work with this phone and it's software/baseband.
     
  4. m3nphls macrumors member

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    Oct 22, 2013
    #4
    Also Sprint won't unlock it if you are on a spending limit account.
     
  5. jainy25 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2012
    #5
    So are there any SIM interposers available out there?
     
  6. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

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    #6
  7. jainy25 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
  8. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

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    #8
    I have a Sprint 4S - contract fulfilled as of Nov. 2013. I plan on using it until the iP6 release. Are you saying that once I upgrade to the iP6, I can no longer can use my 4S for international use only? Sprint did unlock my 4S, however, I'd still like to use the 4S internationally even when it no longer carries a service with Sprint.
     
  9. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

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    #9
    That I couldn't tell you.
     
  10. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Jul 6, 2009
    #10
    People need to be careful when purchasing iPhones.

    I would sell it and buy a GSM unlocked device (so it will work with GSM carriers like Vodafone and Airtel). It's worth paying the higher price, as it is guaranteed to work. The SIM interposer are not that great and could stop working in the future.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    No, I am not saying that. What I am saying is that it can never be unlocked domestically.

    In other words, if you decide at some point that you would really prefer to be on T-Mobile in the US, you cannot call Sprint and ask them to unlock it domestically. They will refuse.

    But if they have unlocked it internationally, then it stays unlocked internationally. It's just the domestic part that's the problem

    But even an international unlock is a problem for people who live outside the US. They do not understand that they have to be a Sprint customer first before the phone can be unlocked. Now, if a Sprint phone was sold and it was internationally unlocked BEFORE the sale, that's a different matter.
     
  12. IPHONEMIA, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    IPHONEMIA macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2014
    #12
    ---------

    [/COLOR]But even an international unlock is a problem for people who live outside the US. They do not understand that they have to be a Sprint customer first before the phone can be unlocked. Now, if a Sprint phone was sold and it was internationally unlocked BEFORE the sale, that's a different matter.[/QUOTE]

    Since you seem to understand Sprint's unlocking policy, could you please share your views on the following situation? In 2012 I bought from a US seller on Ebay a Sprint iphone 4s. The iphone is not blacklisted, has a good/clean ESN, the seller had bought it locked to Sprint, he had his account for 6 months, he had made all the payments to Sprint and the contract expired normally. Me totally unaware of Sprint's unlocking policy then, I did not ask the seller to request a factory unlock from Sprint before sending it to me. When the iphone arrived and I started using it, I asked the seller to ask Sprint to unlock it, but he told me it was too late, since he had changed carrier immediately when he sold the iphone to me. I also addressed to Sprint International Service, explained to them the unlucky situation of mine and asked them to factory unlock my IMEI but they kept repeating the Sprint requirements for an international unlock, which I did not fulfil since I don't live in the US and don't have a current Sprint account. The fact that the US seller of the iphone had fulfilled all the requirements needed and his obligations to Sprint according to the contract between them did not make any difference. So why I, the innocent buyer of a Sprint iphone 4S with a perfectly good ESN, not blacklisted and bought from a US good customer of Sprint, should be tortured and not be able to use the iphone in Europe where Sprint carrier does not exist??? :mad: I wonder if they have loosened this horrible policy since 2012, although I doubt it! What would you do in my case??? :confused:
    2) Now on Ebay most iphones are sold as factory unlocked. How can sb be sure of that, especially regarding Sprint? In Europe we only have GSM carriers. A Sprint or Verizon iphone would function here as well as in the US or we'd better prefer an iphone unlocked from AT&T or any other GSM carrier?
    Looking forward to your response!!! :apple:
     
  13. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #13
    People in India should just buy the VZW iPhone 5/5S/5C from now on.

    One of my cousins used to do this. Buy from ebay and get them shipped to India. He would always ask me to get unlock codes. Huge PITA. I ran through my AT&T account unlock quote in like 3 months last year. :eek:

    I told him to start buying VZW iPhones and leave me alone :)
     
  14. eyoungren, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #14
    I'm sorry, but I don't know how I can be any more clear. To get an international unlock you need to be a Sprint customer. If you leave Sprint, you are no longer a customer. If you are outside of the US using a different carrier, you are not a Sprint customer. Sprint makes no exceptions. You HAVE to be a customer and meet the requirements to ask for the international unlock.

    I understand your position and I am sympathetic to you, but I don't make the policy. Additionally you have to look at it from Sprint's position. They did not sell you the phone. They are not going to make any money off of you because you will never be on their network or under contract. The chance that you will come to the US and be a Sprint customer is non-existant.

    It's all about business and making money my friend and Sprint is a business. They want to keep their customers so they lock them in like this. You also have to consider that you are not the first foreign national that has ever called them about this. Sprint has heard similar stories for a long time. But Sprint has no incentive, nothing to gain by making an exception for you or any other foreign national. It's hard to hear, I know, but there is nothing you or I can do about it.
    You have to do your due diligence. Ask questions of the seller. If it's a Sprint phone, or they refuse to answer a direct question concerning that fact, then pass on buying the phone. The chances that it will come internationally unlocked because the Sprint customer called and did that are pretty non-existant.

    A Verizon iPhone 5 will be unlocked period because of the deal Verizon has with the FCC. A Sprint iPhone that you pay full price for in a US store is not unlocked. You are simply paying full price to be contract free.

    AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers, so if your country is mostly GSM I would look at those.
     
  15. IPHONEMIA, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    IPHONEMIA macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2014
    #15
    Businesslike, Sprint would gain loads and loads of money if they really started selling -besides cellphones- factory unlocks too of their cellphones to innocent foreigners like me when there are innumerable "unlocking companies", meaning scammers who promise factory unlocks which cannot perform in order to steal money from desperate consumers. :(

    Yes, the chance that I come to the US and be a Sprint customer is non-existant exactly due to Sprint's unlocking policy and treatment towards me. Someday eventually I'll visit the States but I won't even consider to use Sprint's roaming or SIM card. I am sure the same goes with millions of US consumes who happened once to buy a Sprint locked cellphone and as soon as they had the chance to be free they ran away and changed carrier immediately. :rolleyes:


    a) This goes only to Verizon iphone 5 or also to Verizon iphone 4s?

    b) The iphone's MPN or UPC changes after the factory unlock, do you know?
    A GSM iphone4s 32GB has MPN: MD241LL/A?
    A supposedly former Sprint iphone4s 64GB has MPN: MD269LL/A?
    A GSM iphone4s 64GB has MPN: MD257LL/A?
    All the above are correct? These MPNs are of unlocked iphones or not?

    c) Even if it's undoubtable that a Sprint/Verizon (WCDMA) iphone 4S is factory unlocked by Sprint/Verizon, will this iphone work perfectly under a GSM carrier too and the same well as a from the start GSM iphone or will there be problems, can you suspect of any?

    Thanks in advance for your substantial comments!!! :)
     
  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    #16
    I get where you are coming from, but in comparison to the number of customers that Sprint has in the US they are not likely to make any money.

    Secondly, once Sprint opens that box you will have US Sprint customers crying foul and demanding a DOMESTIC unlock,which Sprint will never provide.

    Again, I understand where you are coming from. But, unfortunately, I don't make the policy. If I did, there's a lot of other things Sprint would also be doing differently.

    This is the only one I can answer. The 4s would not automatically be unlocked. That is because the 4s is not LTE capable. The FCC required that Verizon MUST unlock all LTE capable phones before granting Verizon it's license to use their LTE frequency.
     
  17. jainy25 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2012
    #17
    Guys. There's nothing that can be done about the Sprint policy.

    That dude from whom I bought the phone had promised he will request the unlock from Sprint.

    But he has disappeared now.

    So I see that getting it Internationally unlocked will be hard.

    That leaves me with SIM/Chip unlock only at the moment.

    Now, the question is whether there is any stable one which supports Data, Calling and Texting.
     
  18. starburst macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #18
    Is the international unlock permanent? Also, once it is unlocked, do you have to use it internationally in a certain time frame? I have an iPhone 4s on Sprint. The contract is fully paid. I will be moving to AT&T and an iPhone 6. I want to travel to Europe next year and am hoping to keep the 4s, get it unlocked internationally while I'm over there and for future trips. But I won't be travelling until several months after leaving Sprint.

    Thanks for all the info you have provided.
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
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    #19
    A Sprint international unlock is permanent for that device. As long as your phone can handle the frequencies of the international carrier you choose, you will be able to use the phone internationally on any SIM always.

    My only suggestion would be to get the international unlock on the 4s before you conclude any service with Sprint. Bear in mind that the current policy is one unlock per device per year.
     

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