Sprint now unlocking iPhones for domestic use?

HarrisonTaylor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
131
10
http://www.sprint.com/legal/unlocking_policy.html

I noticed their unlock policy has changed to I took to Sprint chat to see if they could do domestic unlocks.

Customer: helo

Customer: is it possible to unlock a gsm capable phone for domsetic use?

Freddie S: Harrison, Sprint provide CDMA services. Do you want to unlock Sprint phone?

Freddie S: provides*

Customer: What I'm saying sir

Customer: Some Sprint phones come with GSM services built in

Customer: Sprint locks these services down

Customer: Is it possible to unlock them for domestic use?

Freddie S: I understand it. I will be glad to assist you.

Freddie S: Once the agreement is completed and the phone is released from the account, you can request to unlock the phone.

Customer: Ok

Customer: Then I will be able to use AT&T and T-Mobile with my phone?

Freddie S: For customers to use unlocked Sprint-branded phones on other carriers (in U.S. markets) is subject to their policy and network compatibility.

Customer: But Sprint will fully unlock the GSM portion of the device to use on another carrier in the US correct? Provided you have completed your contract.

Freddie S: Sprint International roaming team can unlock the phone. There will be no restrictions from our end. If other service provider allow to activate that the phone and their network supports it, you cna use that

Customer: Ok, thank you

I have no clue if they are actually allowing domestic unlocks now, but I think it's a glimmer of hope for anyone that uses Sprint.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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No.

I think he's confused. Further, the unlock policy you linked to still specifically states that you cannot unlock for domestic use. I know you said it changed, but right there in bold print is this…"Please note that unlocking the SIM slot does not allow for use with domestic (U.S.) SIMs."

Classic case of the uninformed and useless Sprint CSR.
 

HarrisonTaylor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
131
10
No.

I think he's confused. Further, the unlock policy you linked to still specifically states that you cannot unlock for domestic use. I know you said it changed, but right there in bold print is this…"Please note that unlocking the SIM slot does not allow for use with domestic (U.S.) SIMs."

Classic case of the uninformed and useless Sprint CSR.
The unlock policy site Sprint has looks to be all over the road in terms of weather you can unlock your phone or not, they say you can then they say you can't. I'm not entirely sure though. Maybe they finally adopted the CTIA measures and have a seperate unlock policy for international use. I'm not entirely sure though. I don't even have Sprint, just trying to see if I can get an iPhone 5 for cheaper online and see if Sprint will unlock it, doubt it at this point though.

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If you have Sprint, do you think you could call in for me and see? They probably won't let me without being with Sprint.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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The unlock policy site Sprint has looks to be all over the road in terms of weather you can unlock your phone or not, they say you can then they say you can't. I'm not entirely sure though. Maybe they finally adopted the CTIA measures and have a seperate unlock policy for international use. I'm not entirely sure though. I don't even have Sprint, just trying to see if I can get an iPhone 5 for cheaper online and see if Sprint will unlock it, doubt it at this point though.
I get you. But no carrier has implemented the new unlock thing that the government got passed yet. That includes Sprint.

Assuming for the moment that Sprint would unlock a Sprint iPhone for you, you would still have to meet their terms.

1. Establish service, no ASL (Account Spending Limit, i.e., bad credit) account.
2. Minimum of 90 days service
3. Pay the bill on time each month

Then, your phone would be unlocked. As it stands right now though, that unlock is for international use only.

I realize that Sprint iPhones are cheaper. But there's a reason for that. Too many people have discovered this policy after the fact and they are trying to unload their problem to the buyer. Unless you are prepared to establish service with Sprint all you are going to end up purchasing is an expensive iPod Touch.

Sorry, but nothing has changed.

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If you have Sprint, do you think you could call in for me and see? They probably won't let me without being with Sprint.
I do have Sprint, but I don't need to call them to know the policy hasn't changed.

But again, even if I did that for you you would still have to meet their terms.
 

HarrisonTaylor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
131
10
I get you. But no carrier has implemented the new unlock thing that the government got passed yet. That includes Sprint.

Assuming for the moment that Sprint would unlock a Sprint iPhone for you, you would still have to meet their terms.

1. Establish service, no ASL (Account Spending Limit, i.e., bad credit) account.
2. Minimum of 90 days service
3. Pay the bill on time each month

Then, your phone would be unlocked. As it stands right now though, that unlock is for international use only.

I realize that Sprint iPhones are cheaper. But there's a reason for that. Too many people have discovered this policy after the fact and they are trying to unload their problem to the buyer. Unless you are prepared to establish service with Sprint all you are going to end up purchasing is an expensive iPod Touch.

Sorry, but nothing has changed.
Damn, looks like im either gonna be using an R-SIM or forking over the extra $70 for an AT&T one.
 

HarrisonTaylor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
131
10
Yeah, sorry man. This reason is WHY Sprint iPhones are cheaper.
I hear they're on a completely different SIM system as well, doesn't just pulling out the SIM card from the phone kill the LTE function, not the entire phone like Verizon?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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I hear they're on a completely different SIM system as well, doesn't just pulling out the SIM card from the phone kill the LTE function, not the entire phone like Verizon?
Nope. Read the thread in my signature. It will explain more.

Briefly though, Sprint pairs the SIM with the iPhone and then locks it. Remove the SIM and insert a domestic SIM and the phone won't function because it's not paired with that SIM.
 

HarrisonTaylor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
131
10
Nope. Read the thread in my signature. It will explain more.

Briefly though, Sprint pairs the SIM with the iPhone and then locks it. Remove the SIM and insert a domestic SIM and the phone won't function because it's not paired with that SIM.
Yeah the SIM is only used to provision LTE unlike Verizon I think. Maybe they were trying to avoid the whole activation crisis of March 2011 that Verizon went through. Could be wrong though.
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
986
179
Why do carriers even bother with these shenanigans? Just sell the da** phone fully unlocked and be done with it. You've already got the customer locked in with the payment plan or phone contract. Imagine the cost savings from not having to deal with unlock requests...
 

titans1127

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
924
118
The only "unlocking" that Sprint is doing is providing the customers MSL code for their device upon request for the purpose of flashing the phone to another CDMA carrier. Account still has to be in good standing with no contract term remaining or installment agreement. SIM unlocking is still for international use only.

This info was just relayed to us in stores yesterday.
 

ET iPhone Home

macrumors 68040
Oct 5, 2011
3,731
462
Orange County, California USA
If you have Sprint, do you think you could call in for me and see? They probably won't let me without being with Sprint.
I have Sprint. I'll call next week and see if they will unlock my 4S for domestic U.S. use once I decide to upgrade to a 6. I already know they won't, but I'll try and find out if their policy has changed. I've been with them for 15+ years so we will see if my longevity helps in the domestic unlocking of my 4S.
 

Rog210

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2004
195
3
I tried to have them unlock my iPhone 5, they refused.

I asked them what I'm supposed to do with a bought and paid for, out of contract iPhone that will only work with their poor excuse for a network. They didn't have any answers.

I've never dealt with such an unprofessional, ill-informed, discourteous bunch of people in my life. If you're thinking about signing up with this joke of a company, I'd suggest you reconsider.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,328
13,190
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I tried to have them unlock my iPhone 5, they refused.

I asked them what I'm supposed to do with a bought and paid for, out of contract iPhone that will only work with their poor excuse for a network. They didn't have any answers.

I've never dealt with such an unprofessional, ill-informed, discourteous bunch of people in my life. If you're thinking about signing up with this joke of a company, I'd suggest you reconsider.
Sprint's unlock policy has been pretty much the same since 2011 - and it's been online the entire time.

The only change to it has been earlier this year when they wrote themselves a technical out (we can't unlock your phone because it's designed not to be unlocked).

I have to assume you are a recent Sprint customer (last two years or so), or at the very least did not look online at the unlock policy, if you just assumed you could call them up and get them to unlock your phone.

Sprint doesn't do that - ever. For any reason. As you found out.

That will change in February (if they don't find a way out of this agreement), but only on devices manufactured after that date.

If you are indeed a Sprint customer, protect yourself. Learning about Sprint and the crap they can pull is the only way to protect yourself from being screwed over by them.