Verizon and Sprint phones the same model?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ninethirty, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    Hi Everyone,

    I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to get my hands on a Verizon iPhone 5, and I've turned to craigslist and eBay now.

    I'm wondering though - are the Verizon and Sprint iPhone 5 the same model? It just depends where you activate? Or are they different?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. scaredpoet, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Unfortunately what you're trying to do isn't going to work, but not for the reason you think.

    The iPhone 5s on Sprint and Verizon are the same model, same hardware, BUT, due to software restrictions and Sprint/Verizon's policies, you won't be able to buy a Sprint iPhone 5 and activate on Verizon, nor vice-versa.

    Both carriers have subsidy locks on the phones themselves, and internal MEID databases on their activation systems that prevent you from using one carrier's phone on the other's network. So, even though the hardware is identical, Sprint will only activate Sprint iPhone 5s, and Verizon will only activate Verizon iPhone 5s. If the phone's MEID doesn't show up on their inventory, they won't activate it.

    One thing to note: Verizon's iPhone 5 is SIM-unlocked, meaning that it will work on AT&T's 3G network (but not LTE due to hardware differences). But even so, it still won't activate on CDMA networks other than Verizon, as the CDMA portion of the phone remains locked.
  3. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006

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