Sprint to Make All Devices Launched After February 11, 2015 Unlockable

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In an updated unlocking FAQ found on its website (via Android Police), Sprint has stated that it will make all of its devices released after February 11, 2015 unlockable for use on other domestic networks such as AT&T or T-Mobile.

    The move is a part of the agreement that the five major U.S. wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission signed in December in order to allow customers to unlock their devices and switch carriers if they wish.
    Last year, the Library of Congress ruled that it was illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their phone unless given permission by their wireless carrier. However, the Obama administration filed a petition with the FCC last September asking that carriers be required to unlock mobile devices, which was then followed by the agreement [PDF] between the FCC and the five major U.S. carriers.

    Sprint's move to implement domestic unlocking in all of its future devices will likely be followed by similar moves from other U.S. carriers, as all wireless providers pledged last December to implement the changes within 12 months.

    Article Link: Sprint to Make All Devices Launched After February 11, 2015 Unlockable
  2. drewu macrumors member

    May 1, 2011
    I really hope this makes its way across the Atlantic to Britain.

    It is such a chore when I want to get a local SIM on my travels, but can't as it doesn't work on my phone!
  3. landroverz7 macrumors member


    May 7, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    In Australia, all phones are unlocked when buying on a 2 year contract. Put it this way, your original carrier doesn't care what you do with your new phone, as they will still get the 24 x $60 a month ( or whatever plan you are on)
  4. Iamcardboard macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2011
    In the past, in the UK, I have easily unlocked both an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 4 both on O2 (Telefonica) while still heavily within contract. All I had to do was fill out an online form on their website.

    Given the above, I'm confused about this information- am I misunderstanding it? Sprint are saying that iPhones Cannot be unlocked?
  5. rjtyork macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    What a total LOAD! The fact that I'm using my Sprint iPhone 4S on T-Mobile with hardly any problems tells me that Sprint is flat out LYING. In fact, as far as I know, the ONLY iPhone that can not be unlocked from Sprint right now is the iPhone 5. The 4S, 5c and 5s can all be unlocked. (although with a LOT of hassle) Sprint needs to just unlock them. I am NEVER going to Sprint again after my last experience with them.

    Luckily, I was able to sue them for $850 for inferior service and devaluation of my devices by their refusal to unlock. I just wish they would have actually came out and defended themselves on the stand instead of settling outside of court less than 24 hours before we were supposed to duke it out. What wussies.

    Oh, well. They probably won't be in business much longer. I'm usually getting 7-12mbps on T-Mobile's 3G network and my uncle is seeing over 40 Mbps sometimes on his 5S. I can actually see T-Mobile becoming a huge threat to AT&T and Verizon over the next 3 years as they keep building their infrastructure so aggressively. I'm excited to see that happen. I LOVE COMPETITION!

  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you've signed a contract with a carrier, I don't see why it matters to them if you want to pay another carrier as well. You still have to make the monthly payments.
  7. ludalukeerb macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2011
    Agreed, it's totally rubbish! I'd imagine it's true if the CDMA models with no SIM card slot, but in the UK I'm with Three and have had no issues with any sims and when I have I just call them and they either remotely have unlocked previous handsets or give you the unlock code, for Sprint to say it's not possible is an utter lie!

    If your in the UK Three as an operator is the way forward I've been with them since they were founded and yes their old service was pony but in the last 5 years they've been so impressive, I spend no more than £19/month ever get unlimited data including tethering, 5000 texts and minutes to any number and pretty much everything else is included, I think them getting visual voicemail would be a nice touch though, on the speed side of things I would consistently max out the cellular radio on the iPhone 4 and on my current iPhone 5 (is my 3rd one having dropped one and another having a shoddy wifi radio) I can hit 48mb download speed on 4G and my friend on O2 thought he was getting a fast download speed at 20mb HAH! I screen shotted my speediest mobile app speed and he couldn't understand why O2 throttle you...

    It looks like I work for Three I don't I'm just a satisfied customer
  8. regkilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2013
  9. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Greater Birmingham, UK
    US carriers seem terrible...

    In the UK you can get your phone unlocked on any network at any time, you just have to ask (and pay a one time fee on some networks, like EE)
  10. MrMickS macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2003
    Where the Shadows lie
    Interesting because my carrier here in the UK has been able to unlock ALL of my iPhones (3G, 3GS, 4S, 5S) to accept any SIM. Is there really a difference for the Sprint ones?
  11. regkilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2013
    How you manage to unlock your Sprint iPhone?
  12. okypinoky macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2008

    Just curious - since when did the LoC start passing laws or ruling like a court?:eek:
  13. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    My (limited) understanding is that sprint uses a technology call CDMA. AT&T uses a different technology. Therefore the chipset in an AT&T phone is different than in a Sprint Phone. So unlocking a Sprint phone does not mean you can use it on the AT&T network. Therefore my interpretation is that Sprint is just covering themselves. Sure the will sell you unlocked phones, but they wont promise you it will work on any other carrier.

    As I understand the US landscape the CDMA technology is used by Verizon ans Sprint whereas Tmob and AT&T use TDMA. Maybe in the UK the all use the same technology which makes it easier to switch from one carrier to another.
  14. sirozha, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    sirozha macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    What a bunch of incompetent idiots. Sprint iPhones are no different than Verizon ones. Verizon has been selling unlocked iPhones with a 2-year contract since iPhone 5. I'm using a Verizon iPhone 5s (issued to me by my employer on AT&T) with all functionality preserved.

    AT&T and T-Mobile iPhones do not have CDMA functionality and cannot be used on GSM networks (Verizon or Sprint).

    Sprint has been clueless for over a decade now.


    Verizon and Sprint iPhones have both CDMA and GSM functionality. Supposedly, even Verizon iPhone 4s had the GSM capability but Verizon didn't unlock 4s for domestic GSM.

    AT&T and T-mobile iPhones are still GSM only. The unlocked iPhones sold in Apple stores are GSM only as well. The only way to get an unlocked iPhone that works on both CDMA and GSM is to get a Verizon iPhone.

    I'm not sure if the the Verizon iPhone 5s is unlocked on CDMA so that it could be used with Sprint, but it's sold unlocked on GSM for all carriers - domestic and foreign.
  15. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

    Nov 4, 2008
    I'll second that. I pay about £12/month SIM only for pretty much the same service, (I get 2000 Xnet mins).
    Maxxed out at 49.66mb download on 4G!!!
  16. Tech198, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    No their not.. depends where you go.

    You either pay $0 or a small fee $100-$150 typically for the phone (depends on the device), then a $20 or so over 24 mouth which is paying the remaining the cost of the phone in full.


    pay full price when you purchase from a store, in which case it usually unlocked (depends on mobile carrier or manufacture)..

    If a phone is unlocked, then you should be able to use it whenever you like if you can, and not be limited by the mobile carrier chooses to.. period... If you pay full price, then you should decide. not your mobile carrier... You've payed enough anyway. What do they want a gold medal ?

    However if its locked, then that's up to the mobile carrier. You know this or should know this when you sign a contract.
  17. sirozha macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    66 Mbps down / 21 Mbps up | on AT&T at my house - getting this consistently. This is better than my cable internet bandwidth with Comcast, where I'm getting 57 Mbps down / 11 Mbps up.
  18. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    I did it with my 4s last year. There are many SIM cards on ebay that allows you to 'override' the Sprint programming and use the carrier of your choice inside the US. I moved from Sprint to Net10. It works great, however, it has its minor shortcomings: MMS does not work, and iMessage no longer can register your phone number to start conversations. Also, the particular SIM I had only worked with iOS 6, so I didn't upgrade to iOS 7.

    It was definitely worth it though for me I paid $100 ETF to get out of Sprint terrible service.

    I learned my lesson, I'm now on an iPhone 5 AT&T as a stopgap solution, my next iPhone will be an unlocked iPhone 6.
  19. BuffaloTF macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2008
    The Librarian of Congress is required to grant or revoke exemptions to the DMCA every 3 years. That's how that law was written and where this springs from.
  20. DCIFRTHS macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2008
    Check this thread for some interesting information on Sprint phones and unlocking. The first post has updated information.
  21. cere macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2008
    "Sprint has no technological process available to do this"
    This is a well crafted twisting of the truth if not an outright lie. They can easily setup a system from Apple, just as every other iPhone partner carrier does, to process iPhone unlocks. They may choose not to, but to claim they have no technological process available is disingenuous, because it is available, they've just chosen not to request it.
  22. rjtyork macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    It's REALLY hard. I used an R SIM air and struggled with it for 2 weeks before I found this...


    Look for the message from "aleksdude" replying to a David. He explained everything. Let me know if you have any questions. :)


    Edit: Crap, the link won't open to the right page... The main gist of it is to use a different carrier code (2040438) into mode table 2. Do NOT use the Sprint, ATT or T-Mobile carrier code. For some reason they work, but not as well as this carrier code. Only major bug I have is that a lot of my numbers won't match with the names anymore. So even when a contact calls my phone, it won't show their name, only their number. I have to guess sometimes. Kind of annoying, but worth it just to stick it to Sprint.
  23. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    You settled a case out of court for a mere $850? How much did you pay the lawyers? :eek:
  24. Ajones330 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2008
    SEC Country
    I imagine they will start making the same version as Verizon in the next couple of months. I've seen the Verizon version work on GSM carriers with no issues. Every feature on the phone worked...
  25. rjtyork macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    Nothing. I filed the case myself. Pretty easy to do when you google the proper steps in your state. It cost me $85 in my county in Utah. Other places is as little as $25 to file a small claims case with your local courthouse. :)

    Plus, I was suing them for a total of $850. I was pretty surprised when they offered to settle for what I was suing them for. Lol


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