Unlocked 4S CDMA

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by psykick5, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. psykick5 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So it seems to say on the Apple website that "The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint."

    Why won't the 4S work? It has a dual GSM/CDMA chipset...

    This is frustrating because I want to buy a 4S, use it on my remaining T-Mobile contract, then switch to Verizon next year.
     
  2. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #2
    There really is no reason. It's all the carriers doing.
     
  3. psykick5 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Does that mean it's just software? As in can be changed/removed/edited through an implication I'm making?
     
  4. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #4
    Honestly, I think we'll have more luck fighting this kind of thing through government intervention than through an external software unlock.

    Maybe one day, a special Gevey SIM could work with an unlocked Verizon iPhone...
     
  5. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #5
    Apple is supposed to release an unlocked iPhone 4S in November at an unsubsidized price.
     
  6. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #6
    Unlocked is such a strong word. Would you describe it as unlocked phone?
     
  7. brand macrumors 601

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    #7
    I believe that I said it would be an unlocked phone so I have no idea what you are trying to say.
     
  8. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #8
    Ask yourself if, the "unlocked" iPhone that you mentioned will work work on Verizon (or Sprint for that matter).
     
  9. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #9
    Since the iPhone would not be locked to a specific wireless provider there would be no reason for it not to.
     
  10. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #10
    Great. Now here's the first thing the OP posted in this thread:

    Which can be found here in the "About the Unlocked iPhone" hyperlink.

    So now is it clear that the "unlocked" iPhone is not helpful or useful for the OP?
     
  11. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    #11
    CDMA phones can't be transferred from carrier to carrier without hacking as they require some programming on the phone side for them to work.

    I imagine the iPhone is no different.
     
  12. CerealKillers macrumors member

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    #12
    This is directly from Apple's website "The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S. When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint."

    Thats what al256 was trying to say; the iPhone 4S model isn't truly unlocked since it can't be activated with 2 out of the 3 carriers (well 4 now with Cspire) that offer it.
     
  13. psykick5 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    See I would go and buy it non-contract from Verizon, but you have to have an account in good standing for 60 days to have it unlocked. I have a family member who's on Verizon but I don't know if I could just go to the Verizon store with them, buy it, and have it unlocked on the spot. I guess I'll have to try it.
     
  14. brand macrumors 601

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    #14
    OK, I see now. I apologize for my misunderstanding. To me an unlocked iPhone means unlocked. I could see this being very confusing for customers.
     
  15. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #15
    Unlocked should mean unlocked. You're right.

    Well, the more you know now.
     
  16. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

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    #16
    What the **** is that crap Apple is talking about. I bought the unlocked on the basis I could use it on CDMA carriers when travelling and they touted it as a "world phone" even though you can't use CDMA carriers. Seriously **** them.

    Sorry about the language I am pissed.
     
  17. takeshi74, Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    #17
    There are CDMA subsidy locks but "unlocked" is typically used by people only when referring to GSM devices or the GSM portion of CDMA/GSM hybrid devices.

    But is it actually due to a locking issue or because the CDMA carriers won't activate the devices? The link doesn't clarify that at all. It can certainly be unlocked but unusable on CDMA. IIRC those carriers won't activate CDMA devices from other carriers as it is.

    Based on what? Links? Don't assume. There are countless prior world phones that can't be used with just any CDMA carrier.
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #18
    Unlocked on CDMA has no context on the iPhone (nor the carriers) since CDMA switching is impossible in the US. Verizon nor Sprint will let you register an unknown device to their network (and since an unlocked phone would be considered an unknown device), hence you can't use the unlocked iPhone with CDMA carriers.
     
  19. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

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    #19
    Was it always that way? I recall a few years back that I could get a used BlackBerry off Ebay with a clear ESN (or something to that effect) which was labeled with the Sprint logo but could be used on Verizon as well.
     
  20. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

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    #20
    Apple said in their keynote it is a world phone supported by both GSM and CDMA however Apple than put in fine print on their site that it only supports GSM (the unlocked version).
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #21
    I did recall that being possible a long time ago, but from many friend's experiences they changed that a while back as well.

    I think it was around the time when the Treo 700p just came and a friend of mine bought a Sprint one hoping to use it on Verizon, but wasn't able to after many repeated attempts.
     
  22. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #22
    I seem to recall Verizon started allowing non-verizon CDMA phones on their network as long as they were compatible.
    Don't recall the exact details, but I have seen Sprint branded phones operating on Verizon before.
     
  23. Ikyo macrumors 6502

    Ikyo

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    #23
    It won't work because they have to program the phone to use the correct towers. It isn't like the GSM phones that are controlled by the SIM card.
     

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