Will iPhone 5 work on Sprint or GSM once a Verizon contract is up?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gnomeisland, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. gnomeisland macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So I'm debating between buying a couple of used 4S's for my wife and I and sticking to T-Mobile or getting two 5's and switching from T-Mobile to Verizon.

    We're planning in moving back to the NYC area in the next six months so we should get HSPDA speeds. Currently we're on T-Mobile and the service is . . . acceptable. I don't drop many calls, I get a signal in about as many places as my friends, and I'm currently using an iPhone 3G so I can't honestly tell what's slower EDGE or the phone.

    Verizon's LTE network is bigger and faster but they are considerably more expensive. I've had my 3G for four years and for I think the 5 (or even the 4S) could last that long. I just don't know if I can stomach Verizon and their price gouging that long (they have no "unsubsidized" plans like T-mobile). After my two year contract is up can I get the iPhone 5 unlocked and take it to Sprint, Virgin, or a GSM network like the 4S? Does the universal radio mean it works with HSPDA/GSM+CDMA networks like the 4S?
     
  2. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #2
    Depends on if Verizon is willing to unlock it for US MCCs. If they do, then a Sprint or AT&T SIM should work just fine.
     
  3. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #4
    The CDMA version has all of the GSM bands. If Verizon is willing to unlock it for US MCCs (or if Apple happens to sell the CDMA version completely unlocked), then it will work on AT&T's HSPA network and international LTE networks with no issues.

    It's just like how the 4S was. The 4S can work on AT&T networks, but Verizon blocks SIMs with US MCCs.
     
  4. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #5
    Not sure about that.

    Until there is tear down of parts. The 4S was identical for all CDMA/gsm carriers.

    But as article states apple has 3 models to sell. One to sprint/Verizon (CDMA/LTE). One to AT&T/Canadian carriers (gsm/LTE). And one to rest of world. (gsm/LTE)

    Sure the Verizon/sprint model can probably support gsm also (like the hidden htc rezound gsm chip that Verizon didnt advertised when it launches )
     
  5. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Apple's own specs say it supports all the bands. What's there not to be sure about?
     
  6. Starfyre macrumors 68000

    Starfyre

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    #7
    Got lost in the 3 different models and bands discussion...

    So does this mean if you have a Verizon iPhone 5, then later want to switch carriers to say AT&T, you can use AT&T sim with the Verizon iPhone and everything works just as usual?
     
  7. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    At least I'm not the only one who's confused here. I feel like Apple is telling us two different things, that the radio's are universal but there are different models for different networks. I think one thing is for sure, that the Verizon iPhone 5 unlocked won't work with LTE on AT&T. I am personally OK with that.

    Has any had any experience getting a phone unlocked with Verizon? I realize no one has probably gotten a universal phone like the 4S unlocked yet, but for something like a 4 did that mean you could take it to Sprint?

    Thanks so much for your help. I know there are a lot of iPhone questions shooting around with the new release. It has been many years since I used Verizon/CDMA.
     
  8. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #9
    It's irrelevant what radios are in the phone.
    Verizon will not accept a phone that isn't verizon's. CDMA carriers are of the suck, because they will only accept phones in their database. Your phone that was on a gsm network will not be considered acceptable, because they want you to spend money to buy their phone.
    I've heard claims that verizon might accept a sprint phone, but I can't personally attest to this.
     
  9. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Yes, but that's not my question. I'm planning on starting with Verizon but in two years when other carriers LTE networks have matured will it be possible to take the phone to Sprint--or perhaps to regular HSPDA/GSM on AT&T or T-mobile.

    I realize Verizon is a d-bag that's why I'm thinking after my contract is up I might not want to stick around. I usually don't upgrade my phone every two years. If the phone still works I'd rather find a cheaper plan.
     
  10. tdar macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Verizon will NOT activate a Sprint phone. Sprint will NOT activate a Verizon phone.
     
  11. JerseyDoug macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2012
    #12
    I believe a Verizon CDMA phone will only ever work domestically with Verizon CDMA network as they won't totally unlock the phone. That is my understanding.
     
  12. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #13
    I did answer your question. You can't move to sprint because, like verizon, they won't accept phones not sold by them. You might be able to move to move to a budget carrier like metro pcs or page plus, although you still have to get permission to be added to these carriers.
    The domestic gsm portion of the phone is locked, because the cdma carriers don't want you to move. They forced apple to lock the cdma side on factory unlocked phones, so a gsm user can't move to them--even if they managed to convince an employee in verizon or sprint to add the phone.
    Some people have had luck using gevey in their verizon/sprint phone to use ST, but then you have to worry about baseband and be careful about updating.
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    At the iPhone hacks section.
  14. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Well it turns out no for Sprint, yes for T-mob but wo LTE. Thank you FCC.
     

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