Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next 63 Replies Latest reply: Nov 13, 2011 5:19 AM by Meg St._Clair Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    I talked with a Sprint rep who seemed privy to the Macworld article (or at least a site that cited it). Bottom line from her was that

    1. Rep did not know for sure until after the iPhone 4S is released (it might suck to be you go-getters making preorders)
    2. Rep was being told it was locked.
    3. It being locked depends on whether Apple will release the codes and should not depend on Sprint as Sprint unlocks “all international devices for international carriers” (not word for word but see the transcript below)
    4. While the iPhone 4S could be unlocked for international travel, it will not be unlocked in the US as the device will not access the unlocked SIM port.

    Of note, the rep stated that a reason Apple might not release codes is that “they can be used to jailbreak the device,” which is not true in that you can jailbreak without codes or unlocking, but that is commonly misunderstood in the jailbreak-naïve community.

    I’ll contact Verizon at some point or just wait to do both again after the iPhone 4S drops. The Macworld article really adds to the confusion going around, but maybe there is hope for international travelers. Of course, I wouldn’t hold my breath. If I had to make a bet right now, I would bet on all 3 carriers locking the phone in every which way. If it means more money for them, they’ll do it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there is never an official statement on their lock/unlock policy if it means more customers making preorders assuming previous policies apply to the iPhone. On the other hand, it would give Verizon and Sprint an advantage for a small customer base. So we’ll see what becomes official. I would warn everyone to hold off on making preorders until then.

    Me: Yes.please. I was wondering about the iPhone 4S

    Sprint: Iapologize but we will not know the entire specifications of the device until it comes out. We do not have a clear answer yet as to whether it will be unlocked.

    Me: WillSprint make an official statement that it will reveal the specifications after it is released? I imagine you get this question a lot.

    Sprint: Idont believe they will make a statement but we will have access to the information.

    Sprint: Wewere told the device would be locked but on theystate the device will be unlocked. It really all depends on if Apple is willing to provide the unlock codes since they can be used to jailbreak the devices.

    Me: Soif Apple is willing to provide the codes, Sprint would be willing to use them you think?

    Sprint: Ofcourse, All of our international devices are unlocked for internationalcarriers

    Sprint: Domesticallythey will not unlock but the sim port will unlock.

    Me: I'mnot sure what that means. Can you explain? The SIM card port is unlocked? So in theory I could use other SIMs in the US?

    Sprint: No,The sim card port is unlocked but when your device is in the United States it does not pull from the sim card slot. Sprint uses internal programming that your device will default to in the United States.

    Sprint: Sprintnormally does not use sim cards. The only devices that have them are international devices.

    Me: Okay.I think I understand. So when I'm in the US, the phone will not access the SIM.But when I travel abroad, the SIM is unlocked and I can use local SIMs. At least unofficially until we know more.

    Sprint: Correct.

    Also, I apologize if words are mashed together in this post. Whether it's my computer, the browser, or this site, it doesn't like copying and pasting.

  • KiltedTim Level 8 (48,710 points)

    There are conflicting reports in the last 24 hours as to what the truth is. Macworld and Endgadget reported both V and S will sell the phone with the SIM slot unlocked. Arstechnica contradicts this, at least in the case of Sprint.


    Macworld has confirmed that Sprint will sell its version of the device with the Micro SIM slot unlocked, with Verizon offering free unlocking to customers after the first 60 days of service


    However, while Sprint will now support international roaming on GSM networks with the appropriate monthly plan, the company will not be selling the phone unlocked for use with international microSIMs

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    Do you think the confusion is on purpose? Or do you think that the companies themselves really don't know/haven't decided/seeing what the other guy does...?

  • KiltedTim Level 8 (48,710 points)

    I think part of the confusion is the media jumping the gun, possibly speaking to carrier representatives that don't have all the information. Some of it may be a simple matter of the carriers haven't decided how they're going to handle things or they may be waffling a bit based on all the buzz surrounding this issue.


    We're probably going to have to wait a few days before it all shakes out.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)

    anthrovisual wrote:


    Do you think the confusion is on purpose? Or do you think that the companies themselves really don't know/haven't decided/seeing what the other guy does...?

    No, I don't think either company is intentionally sowing confusion. However I do think them letting this confusion go on is a very dumb PR move. Why not get out in front of the question and answer it on their web site once and for all? But that's not how U.S. wireless carriers work...


    At any rate, we'll have to wait and see once people start getting the phones in their hands. I am still of the opinion that the best option is to just buy a factory unlocked iPhone directly from Apple. This is the course of action with the least questions attached to it.

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    Michael Allbritton wrote:


    At any rate, we'll have to wait and see once people start getting the phones in their hands. I am still of the opinion that the best option is to just buy a factory unlocked iPhone directly from Apple. This is the course of action with the least questions attached to it.


    It reminds me of when I first switched to Apple products because I wanted something that "just works." The factory unlocked option seems to be the closest to that statement for those who want to travel with their iPhones. Otherwise, it "just works" if you just stay in the country and just stay with one carrier.


    I also wonder who are the people that can afford the international roaming rates. The rates are obscene.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)

    anthrovisual wrote:


    I also wonder who are the people that can afford the international roaming rates. The rates are obscene.

    You are not wrong about that.


    At any rate, most the end-user confusion in mobile phones and roaming and whatnot is really caused by the mobile providers and their draconian insistence on locking people in to 2 year contracts and not unlocking iPhones (and other smartphones, as well) when end-users request it. If a person doesn't travel much internationally, then they won't run into any difficulties. If they do, oh boy...


    Incidentally, European customers don't have nearly the restrictions we have here in the U.S. In Sweden, for example, it is actually illegal to lock a mobile phone to one specific provider. Imagine that.

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    Some follow up:


    The edited rundown with an Apple Rep. His words but I removed the parts that are repetitive at this point:

         * Okay, Sprint cannot roam internationally, only Verizon can.

         * Verizon has a deal with overseas companies to roam on their networks.

         * It's not unlocked, it can just roam internationally.

         * Currently the only information available is that Verizon will be able to roam on just about any international network, you just have to contact them directly to set that up. Sprint will be locked to here in the US currently.


    I don't think the Sprint part is accurate, but this supports the locked and roam theory.


    The rundown with a Verizon Rep, also her words:

         * As far as i know for the iphone 4s that is not going to be possible. There is no way to remove or add a new sim card. They are all internal. (I mentioned that the SIM card should be removable as I thought there was one model)

         * Okay that could be. I do apologize that i am part of presales so i don't have direct access to that information. I am just going on the fact that the back of the phone does not come off.

         * I definitely understand. They really havn't released much to us either about the device.


    And some articles:

    Sprint says no they won't: ed-micro-sim-card-slot.ars?comments=1#comments-bar


    Sprint says no they won't: m-unlock-for-intern/


    The Engadget writer seems to be doing more homework than Macworld did as well, getting 2 statements from Sprint that even contradict one another on the fixed SIM issue (it's not fixed). Interesting.


    And here is the future of Sprint and Verizon travelers hopes and dreams:


    I think I know how this stories ends but I would like to finish my personal investigation with a trip to the Apple Store this weekend. Though I imagine we'll have more stories in the mean time with more quotes that lean to one side.


    I think the real faceplant here is Apple leaving it to the carriers to communicate lock policies. Lock-for-life policies are important to enough customers to warrant transparency. AT&T customers are used to the abuse, but now you have naïve Sprint and Verizon customers who are signing a contract they don't fully understand. That's not customer support. To me, Apple seemed to care about how things work together in the full experience. Now that they are partners with carriers, they need to recognize that carriers are a part of that experience. Lack of transparency is not just the customer's problem, it reflects poorly on Apple.

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    And with a quick search on the topic it looks like lots of tech sites are taking up both sides of the story. I would say now is a good time for an official statement straight from the horses mouth.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)

    AppleInsider is now reporting that neither the Sprint nor Verizon iPhone 4S will have an unlocked micro-SIM slot:

    < nlocked_micro_sim_card_slot.html>


    While I was hopeful the original Macworld story was true, this is more like the behavior I expected from the two companies. I figured there was, realistically, no way they woudl sell a subsidized iPhone with the and unlocked micro-SIM slot. That is just not the way they do business.

  • WM06 Level 1 (15 points)

    Ok so this is my point of view with regards to this matter. If I were to purchase an iPhone 4S directly from Apple and unlocked, and I paid the full unsubsidized price, I expect my device to work on both CDMA and GSM networks as it can operate on both technologies (World Phone). I don't care if the CDMA carriers are the responsible ones for this not to work, Apple needs to talk to them. This is an unfair practice! Basically in simple terms, what this means, is that consumers who are with Sprint or Verizon and don't want to sign up for 2 year contract, are FORCED to sign up for a 2 year contract because that's the only way they can get the iPhone 4S to work on those networks. Meaning, any consumer who doesn't want to sign a 2 year contract but wants an iPhone, MUST buy it unlocked from Apple and then the device is only restricted for use with only 2 GSM networks AT&T or T-Mobile USA.


    Here are the problems this will bring to consumers... 1) If T-Mobile AND also AT&T do not have great coverage in your area, you are FORCED to sign a contract with Verizon or Sprint if you want this iPhone 4S on those networks. 2) Apple is falsely marketing the iPhone 4S as a "World Phone" since the unlocked version cannot be used with the CDMA technology UNLESS you purchase it from Verizon or Sprint. 3) Consumers will begin to jailbreak their devices or find ways to use the unlocked iPhone 4S on the CDMA carriers and may brick their phones in the process.


    So please dear Apple, you are aggressively trying to prevent people from jailbreaking their devices but at the same time you LOVE, and I repeate LOVE, creating situations in which people begin to get incentives to jailbreak their device.


    I love Apple's iPhone but I hate all these restrictions that we are constantly being enforced to do. So I definetely hope that Apple works with these CDMA carriers in order to allow people who paid PREMIUM cash for their unlocked devices to work on those networks.



  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    I would not say that Apple is falsely marketing the iPhone 4S as a World Phone, because apparently World Phones have been around and are called "World Phones" even though they can have the same restrictions we are all complaining about. Apple is using the right language, unfortuneately 99% of us are new to this market of phones and don't understand the real situation of World Phones. It would have been better if they explained the details but that isn't exactly going to get consumers excited.


    I think it's us newbies that are not familiar with World Phones that hear "World Phone" and think what the name implies, which is the phone will work anywhere in the world.


    What we all want I don't think exists and cannot exist by Apple's hand alone. The iPhone 4S is the closest thing that Apple can bring us, and I don't think they will use their weight and resources to change CDMA policies to accept phones off contract (are all CDMA carriers like this? I'm wondering about the little guys like Cricket and such). We just have to let go of that pipedream and instead support the growth of GSM carriers besides AT&T (T-Mobile if they don't join with AT&T, Simple Mobile, H20, etc.) and we need to start a movement for legislation like they have elsewhere that prevents carriers from locking phones forever.


    I think that will be my next action, get the factory unlocked phone and go rogue against the big 3 as a phone-neutrality activist.

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    Another update: Sprint unlocks, locks, and then might unlock it internationally. ing_policy.html#lsrc.rss_main


    Is this official? Has either company finally included it in text on their web site or are we still banking on what we are told?


    Are there any soon to be or currently international travelers out there who will be finding out for real soon now that the phone is out?

  • anthrovisual Level 1 (10 points)

    Another update: talked with an Apple staff member at my local Apple Store who said that the corporate answer was the the iPhone 4S was locked for international roaming. He admitted that this was not a sure answer as the carriers themselves may work differently and that they were just learning themselves how things are going to work with the new product.


    I'm still searching for customers who have taken the plunge and would like to hear from anyone that purchased an iPhone 4S and whether or not they could get theirs unlocked for international traveling?