Unlocked Verizon iPhone -> any GSM Carrier?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jimsowden, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    I doubt I'd be very well served asking this of the employees at the Verizon store, so I'm going to ask you smart lot: I'm tempted to walk into Verizon tomorrow and buy an off contract/unlocked? iPhone 5 tomorrow, assuming they have any when I get there. I'm curious about a few things.

    1) Will they want me to sign up for service, which I'm not going to do?

    2) I know the A1429 has the same GSM capabilities as the 4S form at&t, namely all but AT&T compatible LTE. Do you think it will be functional with a Straight Talk or at&t nano-sim (If you look it up, people have been cutting and sanding sim cards to the nano spec and they still work in the original phones)?

    Some food for thought I've been dining on today. Might just have to let you all know first hand tomorrow!
     
  2. SqB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    #2
    V won't unlock iPhones or sell unlocked iPhones. Better wait for the :apple: store to get them in if you need unlocked.
     
  3. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    Really? I seem to remember, at least through Apple, when you payed the unsubsidized price for any phone (either CDMA or GSM) they unlocked the GSM through software. Could be wrong though. Some stores even ran out of stock of the factory unlocked 4s and started selling the at&t model because of that feature of their POS.
     
  4. SqB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    #4
    Yes you can get unlocked iPhones from the Apple store (probably not the 5 yet) but you can't get unlocked phones from Verizon. They will also not unlock iPhones purchased on their network for use with any US GSM networks.
     
  5. JLee361 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    You cant even use an unlocked Verizon CDMA iphone 5 with another carrier (maybe other than sprint?) No reason to go to Verizon to buy an unlocked phone, unless u plan to use it in another country with the same CDMA bands as Verizon. There's 3 different iPhones in production for the different carriers and GSM/CDMA bands. I could see use for the AT&T GSM unlocked iPhone 5 since there's a lot of other GSM carriers like tmobile and other overseas carriers.
     
  6. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #6
    That's not Apple, but rather AT&T's policy. If you buy an AT&T iPhone, they will unlock it after the contract is up. So that means the non-comitment ones come unlocked because there is no contract. Verizon will not do so.
     
  7. Cozmo85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #7
    You can use older verizon iphones with cricket or any cdma carrier that will accept devices from other carriers. CDMA doesn't have unlocks. the carrier just has to put the IMEI in their system.
     
  8. stevedusa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #8
    Technically ALL iPhone 5s has both CDMA (Verizon & Sprint) and GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile) radios in them, the differences are the LTE bands they operate and the ability to run on whichever carrier.

    CDMA uses ESN in the carrier's database to authenticate if the phone can be used on their network.

    GSM? Not much so, IMEI is more like the ID of the phone but the user information is stored in the SIM card, which can be used on other GSM phones.

    As for the VZW's iPhone 5, according to VZW and other sources, the GSM on their iPhone 5 are operable and unlocked for NON-US GSM networks. It's a software-restriction none-the-less as the hardware/physical platform are there to carry out the operation when needed.

    So to answer your question, yes but only NON-US GSM networks.
     
  9. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    I have a iPhone 4S on Verizon and bought it on Verizon. After 60 days I was able to get the phone unlocked, however there is a catch. Verizon won't let you use the phone on a USA GSM carrier. I have successfully traveled overseas and used another's carrier SIM to get cell/data so the phone is unlocked just not in the USA ;).
     
  10. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #10
    Very interesting, I suppose that rules them out. Thanks!

    ----------

    You're confusing 2 different things. Apple was absolutely unlocking at&t iPhones at the point of sale when purchased at full retail price. The at&t post contract unlock happened about a year after that. The two obviously never interface on the same phone either, since it was either unlocked at the start or bought at a subsidized price.
     
  11. Sebrina macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #11
    You can't get iPhone 5s unlocked period, not now, not in a week, or even 2 weeks from now. The new iPhones will be sold off contract in 3-4 weeks just like last year.

    What you CAN do is open a new line pay 200, wait 16 days and cancel. Then keep the phone pay etf + used services and call then up they'll unlock the unit.

    BYW: Don't tell them thats your ultimate plan they reserve the right to not sell you a phone.
     
  12. Fontane macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    #12
    I thought I understood this, but now I'm confused.

    If I buy the iphone 5 from Verizon, assuming I meet their criteria (on contract, 60 days, etc) they will unlock the phone to use in other countries. However (here's where I'm confused now), can I use the phone in ANY other country? GSM and CDMA? Just pop in a sim and I'm good to go?

    Does it matter if the other country operates under GSM?
     
  13. stevedusa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #13
    Umm I got my VZW iPhone 5 at non-subsidy price (full price, month-to-month) the night it start pre-ordering and kept my current 450 and unlimited data plan.

    While VZW told me that the phone came with no subsidy lock for GSM except US GSM carriers out of the box.

    Depends on the carrier your iPhone 5 was purchased from and their roaming agreement with the other carriers around the world.

    Bottom line is this, if you want to use it outside of the States, with their local carrier and their SIM card, then the only way is to use GSM network, which according to VZW, their iPhone 5's GSM part is unlocked for non-US carriers on the day it's released.

    GSM is the most common cellular network system in the world.
     
  14. Kyoko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #14

    Hello, I live in Tokyo and I'm planning on visiting the USA to buy an unlocked iphone 5 because "docomo", a Japanese carrier I subscribe to, has no contract with APPLE to sell carrier-locked iphone 5 here in Japan. I want a 1429A(CDMA) model because, with AT&T model (1428A MSG), it is thought that we can not use LTE here in Japan.

    My question is, if I buy a month-to-month iphone 5 at a verizon store and get back to Japan, can I use it normally, or should I say can it function normally here in Japan under the contract with docomo?

    Thank you very much in advance!
     
  15. stevedusa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #15
    The LTE band MIGHT be different in Japan even if the CDMA model here carries more band. From what I heard any iPhone 5 that are NOT sold in the States has a "world-band" LTE.

    May I suggest you try Hong Kong. The Asia-Pacific models are made for that region.

    CDMA iPhone 5 will require it to be ACTIVATED prior to use on ANY network. The activation has to be done in the network it was intended to be on, i.e. Verizon or Sprint.
     
  16. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #16
    I replied to your question on your thread couple days ago... There are actually 3 models for iPhone 5:

    - モデルA1428 GSMモデル (A1428 GSM AT&T model) - Won't work with DoCoMo LTE
    - モデルA1429 CDMAモデル (A1429 CDMA Verizon model) - Should work with DoCoMo LTE (Band 1)
    - モデルA1429 GSMモデル (A1429 GSM International model) - Should work with DoCoMo LTE (Band 1)

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/


    NTT DoCoMo is using LTE Band 1... so All you need is A1429 CDMA or A1429 GSM model. I think purchasing the A1429 CDMA model in the US will be harder than just going to the international market such as Hong Kong or Singapore and purchase unlocked A1429 GSM Model which will be unlocked as well. Verizon might locked the phone or requiring you to sign up for some sort of month to month service (IIRC)
     
  17. Kyoko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #17
    Hello illutionz-san,
    Yes, of course I know you kindly gave me a good advice to me, and I really appreciate that! But I needed to ask the question above here because in this thread it is said (at least I think it is said) that a month-to-month verizon iphone 5 may be able to function normally in Japan, and such information is new to me and I needed to verify that.

    As for the country I'm planning on visiting, it has to be the USA because I have something important to do in the USA and purchasing an iphone 5 comes next.

    Since I cannot have suffcient time to wait for APPLE to start selling unlocked iphone 5s, if I could buy one that can function normally in Japan earlier at a verizon or Sprint store than at an APPLE store, I would choose a verizon (
    or sprint) iphone 5. That's why I needed to come here and leave the above question.

    Thank you very much again for your information and kindness!!
     
  18. cbw87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #19
    I can confirm this - tried this with my own device, which is an A1429 Verizon iPhone 16gb ("no commitment") model, running smoothly on AT&T.

    Bought it at the Apple Store - don't know if that makes a difference, and also I avoided activating it with Verizon - again, don't know if that changes things.
     
  19. Photogmatt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #20
  20. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #21
    I might have to go and do that this evening! Thanks for the tip - did you go to the att store to pick up a nano-sim?
     
  21. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #22
    INTERESTING

    Can an ATT 5 work on Verizon?

    And a Verison 5 can work on ATT/Tmobile?
     
  22. cbw87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #23
    Nope just cut mine down. Easy with an online template. Sim cutting is generally very forgiving - just do it slowly bit by bit as you can always take more off but can't add it back on (like getting a bad haircut).

    AT&T won't work on Verizon because Verizon would have to activate the CDMA voice service - and they won't. You can't get a GSM SIM from Verizon that will give you voice and data as far as I know (and the LTE stuff wouldn't work because the bands are wrong).

    Verizon iPhone 5 will work on AT&T or T-Mobile USA (but not at LTE speeds).
     

Share This Page