Unlocked 4S won't work on CDMA networks...wonder why?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by utwarreng, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. utwarreng macrumors 6502

    utwarreng

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #1
    Perhaps someone more technically savvy than I could shed some light on if there is a technical reason why an unlocked iPhone 4S will not work on a CDMA carrier or not. To me it just seems like it's very limiting to not be able to completely choose exactly which phone company I want to give my money to; especially now that the phone has a chip that allows it to work with both GSM and CDMA.
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    Where are you finding information that it won't? Unlocked not available yet in the USA at all, so maybe I just haven't seen any info on it. We won't know here for about 90 days.
     
  3. PhazonUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #3
    Quote from Apple website:

    The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers.
     
  4. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #4
    It says so right on the website. Unlocked iPhone 4S will be available in the US next month
     
  5. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #5
    Yeah its a funny choice on apple's part. I wonder if it is a technical issue or not. I would have thought they'd want someone in the US to be able to buy it unlocked and then choose or change carrier as needed (from gsm to cdma or vice versa).
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    OK, I see it now. Apparently added overnight sometime.
     
  7. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #7
    The bigger question: If you get a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4S, is the GSM portion unlocked?

    We may not know until the 14th, I guess.
     
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    I can't believe it's truly a technical issue. With CDMA you need to program it for use with the carrier, which is handled with the SIM on GSM.

    So it may be that Apple says this to avoid confusion (i.e., you can't just start using it on Verizon).

    Or, related to this, it may be that Apple programs a code in the unlocked version to disable use of the CDMA part of the chip. But I would guess that jailbreakers will figure out a way to activate it on a CDMA network if desired, assuming Apple doesn't make that possible through the carrier.
     
  9. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #9
    I think that's what they meant. I've seen similar phrasing from them before.

    They just want it clear that "unlocking" refers the GSM side only.
     
  10. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #10
    Because I'm pretty sure you can't go to Verizon or Sprint store and say "Hey can you add this device to your system for me to use"

    With GSM, you just ask for a SIM card and pop it in =)
     
  11. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    This is something I would like to know also... I travel abroad and I am switching to Verizon which the phone is technically a world phone. However it would be nice to buy the Verizon phone and use it overseas when I travel. I know Verizon had a World Phone Blackberry a few years ago and wonder if they will down the road offer the ability to unlock the iPhone 4S for GSM usage after X number of months as a customer?
     
  12. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #12
    You can't take a Sprint phone and move to Verizon - I believe they require custom firmware programming to work.

    I've also read unconfirmed rumors that the Verizon iPhone is SIM locked to Vodafone - their GSM roaming partner.

    No idea on Sprint though.
     
  13. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #13
    Based on the video and various information around at this moment, looks like Sprint/Verizon iPhone 4S will have only have CDMA enabled on "Home country" which means the US.

    However, you can get Verizon/Sprint SIM card that allows you to ROAM with GSM network around the world (eg: Vodafone in UK for Verizon customer) but I don't believe you can pop say O2 UK Sim card or AT&T Sim card and expect it to work.
     
  14. asiaboy518 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #14
    I think this problem will be solved when someone jailbreak the iphone 4s. And I hope that will happen...
     

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