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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
Nothing wrong in having some hope.
I can have all the hope I want that my 1997 Honda Accord LX will turn into a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette when I walk out from work to drive home.

Doesn't mean it's going to happen.

Same difference. Hope all you want that you can unlock a Sprint iPhone for domestic carrier use. Not going to happen.
 

karan.k

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
43
4
Firstly that's a very bad analogy.
The point you don't understand is that, I just have one shot to buy an unlocked iphone 6 (a1586) as I will be in the US just for 3 days and just was using some help here to see if it is possible. I do understand Sprint iPhones can't be unlocked, however internet rumours did spark some hope and I just wanted to make sure and use this forum for help to confirm if it is indeed unlocked or not.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,587
835
Yeah just save yourself trouble and get a Verizon 6 anywhere or a full price att/tmobile 6 from an apple store.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,587
835
Verizon phones are not the A1586 models


You're right. Unless u need the extra bands for sprint spark or u need the extra bands for international service it's the same. And Verizon is domestically gsm unlocked too from the get go.
 

Pavelpod

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2014
8
5
I have just bought an iP 6 at apple store in pittsburgh. Asked the staff for device only, for using it in europe (my carrier is T-mobile in Czech republic). They only had a Sprint version, so I took it and paid full price. Just a while ago, I took out the sprint sim card before turning it on and put in my t-mobile cz card. I turn it on, and it is working, now connected on T-mobile US network. It is now downloading my icloud back up. So it confirms, that even the sprint version, is unlocked for international sims out of the box.
 
Last edited:

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,975
818
I have just bought an iP 6 at apple store in pittsburgh. Asked the staff for device only, for using it in europe (my carrier is T-mobile in Czech republic). They only had a Sprint version, so I took it and paid full price. Just a while ago, I took out the sprint sim card before turning it on and put in my t-mobile cz card. I turn it on, and it is working, now connected on T-mobile US network. It is now downloading my icloud back up. So it confirms, that even the sprint version, is unlocked for international sims out of the box.


Cool. Now 10 more of these and it can be used as proof that sprint is unlocked at full price.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2012
3,179
2,714
Verizon phones are not the A1586 models

Why do you need the A1586 model? Since you are going through this amount of trouble to get an iPhone during the 3 days you are in the US; when is the iPhone releasing in your home country? If you are in a country where changing the IMEI/ MEID is legal, you could go down that route. But, if the iPhone is being released soon in your home market, I would just wait and not run the gauntlet with the risk of bricking the phone.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
I have just bought an iP 6 at apple store in pittsburgh. Asked the staff for device only, for using it in europe (my carrier is T-mobile in Czech republic). They only had a Sprint version, so I took it and paid full price. Just a while ago, I took out the sprint sim card before turning it on and put in my t-mobile cz card. I turn it on, and it is working, now connected on T-mobile US network. It is now downloading my icloud back up. So it confirms, that even the sprint version, is unlocked for international sims out of the box.
Hmmm…interesting. I wonder though.

There's another discussion thread where it's possible to get a non-Verizon iPhone activated on Verizon as long as the SIM you insert is already activated. As neither Verizon nor Sprint will directly activate non-Verizon or non-Sprint phones on their networks this seems to be a loophole that hasn't been closed.

Extrapolating from that discussion I'm wondering if the reason you were able to get your Sprint iPhone 6 working on your international SIM is because that SIM was already activated.

I'd be interested to see what would happen if you inserted a non-activated SIM from your carrier and then tried to activate. If the SIM activates then that would indicate that at full price the Sprint iPhone 6/6+ is truly international unlocked out of the box.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,777
12,983
Hmmm…interesting. I wonder though.

There's another discussion thread where it's possible to get a non-Verizon iPhone activated on Verizon as long as the SIM you insert is already activated. As neither Verizon nor Sprint will directly activate non-Verizon or non-Sprint phones on their networks this seems to be a loophole that hasn't been closed.

Extrapolating from that discussion I'm wondering if the reason you were able to get your Sprint iPhone 6 working on your international SIM is because that SIM was already activated.

I'd be interested to see what would happen if you inserted a non-activated SIM from your carrier and then tried to activate. If the SIM activates then that would indicate that at full price the Sprint iPhone 6/6+ is truly international unlocked out of the box.
Nah, SIM activation shouldn't be a problem with GSM carriers outside of US. Really, it's only Verizon and Sprint that make such a big issue of proprietary devices. The fact that it works with a non-Sprint SIM already proves it's unlocked out of the box. Now it would be nice if we can find other such examples. :)

By the way, Sprint doesn't have the same SIM card loophole that Verizon has. Sprint locks the SIM card to the device it was activated with (at least based on last year's tests on Sprint iPhone 5s and iPad Air). Even if you move the Sprint SIM from a Sprint iPhone 5s to a Sprint iPhone 6/6+, it's not going to work (unless Sprint recently changed their policy).
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
Nah, SIM activation shouldn't be a problem with GSM carriers outside of US. Really, it's only Verizon and Sprint that make such a big issue of proprietary devices. The fact that it works with a non-Sprint SIM already proves it's unlocked out of the box. Now it would be nice if we can find other such examples. :)

By the way, Sprint doesn't have the same SIM card loophole that Verizon has. Sprint locks the SIM card to the device it was activated with (at least based on last year's tests on Sprint iPhone 5s and iPad Air). Even if you move the Sprint SIM from a Sprint iPhone 5s to a Sprint iPhone 6/6+, it's not going to work (unless Sprint recently changed their policy).
Well, I guess things may be changing. Maybe Sprint is getting ready for Feb 2015, IDK.

I hear you on the locking though (domestically). Sprint pairs the SIM with the phone which is why this wouldn't work. Obviously, Verizon does something different.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,777
12,983
Well, I guess things may be changing. Maybe Sprint is getting ready for Feb 2015, IDK.

I hear you on the locking though (domestically). Sprint pairs the SIM with the phone which is why this wouldn't work. Obviously, Verizon does something different.
Verizon does something different because they're required to do so by the FCC per the 700MHz spectrum auction. You can be sure that if they had a choice, they'd be locking SIM cards to devices, too. :p
 

goudok

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2012
144
31
Verizon does something different because they're required to do so by the FCC per the 700MHz spectrum auction. You can be sure that if they had a choice, they'd be locking SIM cards to devices, too. :p

I actually think Apple stepped up behind the scenes without advertising this. In order to unlock any iPhone it has be to be white-listed in Apple's database that's all. No unlock codes not anything.
What I think they started doing is when ANY iPhone bought directly from Apple store for a full price they white-list it automatically.
Then statement above holds true for Verizon due to their FCC deal so any Verizon phone bought from anywhere is GSM unlocked and other iPhone bought directly from carriers are locked.
I could be completely wrong, but enough evidence around this forum and other forums prove this as others have mentioned phones bought at a full price from Apple are unlocked.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
I actually think Apple stepped up behind the scenes without advertising this. In order to unlock any iPhone it has be to be white-listed in Apple's database that's all. No unlock codes not anything.
What I think they started doing is when ANY iPhone bought directly from Apple store for a full price they white-list it automatically.
Then statement above holds true for Verizon due to their FCC deal so any Verizon phone bought from anywhere is GSM unlocked and other iPhone bought directly from carriers are locked.
I could be completely wrong, but enough evidence around this forum and other forums prove this as others have mentioned phones bought at a full price from Apple are unlocked.
In Sprint's case, if we are speaking of an international unlock only, then I'd be inclined to agree with you.

But if you are meaning a complete unlock (domestic and international) of a Sprint iPhone sold at full price I don't agree. And further, that's already been documented here (a domestic unlock of a Sprint iPhone bought at full price) several times to not be the case.

Sprint pairs the SIM with the phone. The ICCID on the SIM and the MEID on the phone must match. Apple can enter the IMEI/ESN into it's unlock database, but unless Sprint removes the pairing a domestic unlock is not going to happen.
 

goudok

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2012
144
31
In Sprint's case, if we are speaking of an international unlock only, then I'd be inclined to agree with you.

But if you are meaning a complete unlock (domestic and international) of a Sprint iPhone sold at full price I don't agree. And further, that's already been documented here (a domestic unlock of a Sprint iPhone bought at full price) several times to not be the case.

Sprint pairs the SIM with the phone. The ICCID on the SIM and the MEID on the phone must match. Apple can enter the IMEI/ESN into it's unlock database, but unless Sprint removes the pairing a domestic unlock is not going to happen.

You are most likely correct as I've only read of cases where a Sprint phone bought from the Apple store working with international SIMs.
I am from Canada and not sure how Sprint pairs their phones but i bought a full price 6 plus Verizon from Apple store and regular 6 from Walmart. They were both unlocked which they should be due to Verizon agreement.

Apple has always said that carriers are screwing the consumer maybe they realize that anything bought at a full price should be used however the owner wants and do in fact white-list a phone. Then again it's only a speculation.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,777
12,983
Sprint pairs the SIM with the phone. The ICCID on the SIM and the MEID on the phone must match. Apple can enter the IMEI/ESN into it's unlock database, but unless Sprint removes the pairing a domestic unlock is not going to happen.
As long as Apple enters the IMEI/MEID into its unlock database, then that Sprint iPhone will be usable on any carrier. The ICCID/MEID pairing only applies when trying to use the phone on Sprint's network. As long as the device is fully unlocked by Apple, it can be used with any carrier both domestic and international.

Of course, Apple does have various activation policies and if Sprint asked them, it's possible Apple could use an activation policy that allows international SIM cards but blocks domestic SIM cards from working.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
As long as Apple enters the IMEI/MEID into its unlock database, then that Sprint iPhone will be usable on any carrier. The ICCID/MEID pairing only applies when trying to use the phone on Sprint's network. As long as the device is fully unlocked by Apple, it can be used with any carrier both domestic and international.

Of course, Apple does have various activation policies and if Sprint asked them, it's possible Apple could use an activation policy that allows international SIM cards but blocks domestic SIM cards from working.
In your first paragraph, my understanding of this is somewhat different. I know the IMEI/database thing is how it works, but I understood that the pairing prevented this even if the IMEI was in the database. You are arguing that isn't the case. I don't know enough about this to support a counter argument and you seem to know of what you speak so I'll defer to you on the matter.

As to the second paragraph, I most assuredly agree with your assessment. From the start I have been saying that Sprint prevents Apple from putting it's IMEIs in the domestic unlock database and your statement tends to support that. So, yes, Sprint most likely has instructed Apple in some manner to prevent their IMEIs from being in the database. That would be just like Sprint.
 

goudok

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2012
144
31
We need someone who bought a Sprint iPhone at a full price from an Apple store and truly test it. Sprint can ask Apple to do anything, but we all know Apple can do whatever they please and whatever they feel is the right thing to do.
Like I said in my previous post I could be wrong, but I truly think apple is white-listing phones bought at full prices in their unlock database.
If someone buys a phone from Apple at a full price no carrier can tell Apple what to do.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,979
27,234
We need someone who bought a Sprint iPhone at a full price from an Apple store and truly test it. Sprint can ask Apple to do anything, but we all know Apple can do whatever they please and whatever they feel is the right thing to do.
Like I said in my previous post I could be wrong, but I truly think apple is white-listing phones bought at full prices in their unlock database.
If someone buys a phone from Apple at a full price no carrier can tell Apple what to do.
That's already been done and is what I was referring to earlier…

https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19855801
Scroll down to the second to last post.

Also, see post #32 in this very thread…
https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/20038876/
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,777
12,983
If someone buys a phone from Apple at a full price no carrier can tell Apple what to do.
As should be the case for any phone the customer bought full price, really. I was quite frustrated with mobile industry practices when I first moved here.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,816
669
Pennsylvania
In your first paragraph, my understanding of this is somewhat different. I know the IMEI/database thing is how it works, but I understood that the pairing prevented this even if the IMEI was in the database. You are arguing that isn't the case. I don't know enough about this to support a counter argument and you seem to know of what you speak so I'll defer to you on the matter.

As to the second paragraph, I most assuredly agree with your assessment. From the start I have been saying that Sprint prevents Apple from putting it's IMEIs in the domestic unlock database and your statement tends to support that. So, yes, Sprint most likely has instructed Apple in some manner to prevent their IMEIs from being in the database. That would be just like Sprint.

The pairing is on Sprint's end. Their network won't authenticate a device that doesn't have a matching IMEI for its SIM card (though I imagine they have some mechanism for allowing warranty replacement devices).

The only reason the Sprint iPhone reportedly doesn't worth with AT&T, T-mobile, or Verizon is because the activation ticket Apple sends to it disallows those carriers. Apple could easily issue an unlocked ticket, but their policy is not to do so without the carrier's permission.

Presumably, they have some agreement with Sprint to keep even full priced phones locked for domestic use (much like how iPhones used to be locked to AT&T no matter the price in the early days)
 
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