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iPhone 4S verizon unlocked for overseas use without roaming

161475 Views 183 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2014 7:29 PM by debifromfl RSS
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Chennaivaasi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 26, 2011 3:00 PM

I am planning to get a new iPhone 4S in the United States. I travel to India once every two years. I heard that Verizon would let it's subscribers unlock the iPhone 4S after 60 days with good standing. This would allow verizon subscribers to use a local micro-SIM number overseas to avoid Verizon roaming fees.

 

To confirm this, I recently spoke with one of the Verizon customer rep that handles the international dept. She confirmed that this is true. She said Verizon would unlock the iPhone 4S like I have heard and that the unlocked iPhone 4S from Verizon would work only in places like Europe where there are only GSM carriers. In country like India, where there are CDMA and GSM carriers, the unlocked iPhone 4S with it's current software capability would identify the CDMA carriers first and would ignore the GSM carriers. And thus the unlock becomes useless there and I would end up roaming with my Verizon number instead of the local SIM number there.

 

Any one heard of this?

iPhone 4S, iOS 5, iPhone 4S Verizon
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (91,430 points)

    Ah...that's the way it works since the Verizon iPhone is not a true unlocked iPhone. Verizon only unlocks the GSM part for international travelers. If you want a truly unlocked iPhone, purchase the GSM version.

  • nicholasthegeek Calculating status...

    idk about the cdma in india thing but i just called verizon global support 908-559-4899 a couple of times and eventually got someone to unlock it for me i just told them that i was going to africa - also to make sure you dont accidentally use your verizon account and roam in india just check the upper left and make sure it doesn't say verizon or roaming

  • PhoenixDown Calculating status...

    You should also be able to turn off call and data roaming in the settings.

  • dsfromanchorage Calculating status...

    That's exactly what I was told by a Verizon rep as well. I checked it out on the iPhone 4S at the mall and... sure enough, there is no software setting for the "preferred" network. So, when there is both a CDMA and GSM network available (as in India), the iPhone will connect to the CDMA network and you'll incur insane roaming charges with Verizon. The Verizon rep sugggested the Droid Incredible 2, because it does have a user setting for preferred network (CDMA vs GSM). So that's exactly what I did... I picked up a Droid Incredible 2 and so far am very happy with it (I had the original Droid Incredible previously and it was also great - no GSM radio though). It remains to be seen if the SIM unlock code I got from Verizon (which was a totally painless process) will actually work in when I get to India. Of course, if you are keen on the iPhone you can shell out close to a grand and get an unlocked iPhone 4S (GSM only), but you will not be able to use that on Verizon when you get back to the States - only ATT or T-Mobile.

  • Gentleb Calculating status...

    Well , To unlock a Verizon 4S you need a forgien SIM. @ my house in the US where Verizon is the strongest carrier I popped in my Vodafone SIM and it connected to AT&T and didn't connect to Verizons CDMA

     

    So in short , the 4S will connect to whatever network SIM you have installed

  • junglekingmowgli Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi,

     

    Does anyone have an update to this situation? I currently own a Verizon iPhone 4s, and will be travelling to India in a few weeks. I have called Verizon, and they have "unlocked" my phone. I was told be the Verizon representative that I will need a foreign SIM card and wireless connection to "unbrick" my iPhone.

     

    Does anyone know who I can use as a mirco sim supplier in India? I do not want to incurr any Verizon charges as they are very expensive.

     

    Please advise.

  • Gentleb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm not sure what more "proof" I can provide , here is a screenshot. *note it says ATT instead of AT&T for some reason.

     

    From what I can tell , the phone decides the carrier CDMA/GSM based on the SIM.

     

    This screenshot was taken where a full strength US Verizon Signal is present.

     

     

    Photo Dec 03, 12 03 54 PM.png

  • junglekingmowgli Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    All,

     

    I spoke to the Verizon Global Services Department today. The Rep stated that the iPhone will default to the carrier whose SIM is in the iPhone 4s once the supplied Verizon SIM is removed. (Yes, there is Verizon SIM in the iPhone 4S, but when replaced, it will default to the carrier's network).

     

    The unlocked Verizon iPhone should work as a normal "world phone."

     

    I will update this thread after I return from India with final results.

     

    @Gentleb, thank you for your results.

  • junglekingmowgli Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey Guys,

     

    I just returned from my trip to India on Jan 12, 2012. I am going to detail out my experience here so everyone has a clear understanding.

     

    I bought the Verizon iPhone 4s 16GB Black on Oct. 14, 2011. When I bought this phone, it was considered "locked." I was able to use my phone in India with a prepaid SIM card from Airtel and Vodafone. Here are the following steps I perfromed.

     

    1. Call Verizon's global group to "unlock" the phone for you. It should be noted that this does not fully "unlock" the phone; the phone still needs to be "unbricked." The "unbricking" process only takes place once you insert a foreign SIM.

     

    2. Purchase a foreign SIM. In India, I purchased one SIM from Airtel at the airport and another from Vodafone at a later time. To purchase SIMs in India, one must present the following: (a) copy of passport, (b) passport sized color photo, (c) verifiable local address -- hotel addresses are acceptable.

     

    3. Assure the SIM you are purchasing is microSIM or purchase a SIM card cutter. http://www.amazon.com/Cutter-Micro-Adapters-Apple-iPhone/dp/B0045XR5IS/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326893468&sr=8-1

     

    4. Insert foreign SIM into iPhone 4s. To "unbrick" the phone, you will need access to wireless or your laptop with iTunes. I used the wifi on my phone to "unbrick" and activate my phone. I had no issues with this process. I did not lose any data.

     

    5. On the top left you will see the carrier. The phone will default to the carrier of SIM card.

     

    My prepaid SIM worked perfectly throughout India (voice and data). I travelled the following cities: Delhi, Patna, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Jaipur, Agra, and Goa. On my return to USA, I used my Indian SIM in Zurich (defaulted to local carrier -- Orange?) to make a call to my family members. Finally when I arrived to USA, my Indian SIM defaulted to T-Mobile as the carrier.

     

    At the end, when I inserted my Verizon SIM, the carrier defaulted to Verizon. This whole process was pretty painless and saved me a bunch of money. If you guys have any questions let me know.

  • Stephen White Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Hi, there. I just had my Verizon iPhone 4S unlocked. The representative mentioned the "unbricking" part when I insert a foreign SIM. Can you tell me exactly how that process works? I mean, will it be very obvious what I need to do once I'm overseas and want to unbrick it? You mentioned that you used Wifi to "unbrick" and activate your phone. How did that work? Did you have to go to some part of the Verizon wireless website to do that? Thanks!

  • junglekingmowgli Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Stephen,

     

    The process will be pretty obvious. As soon as you enter the foreign SIM card, your phone will need to "unbrick"/"Activate." You can do this 2 ways: 1) Connecting your phone to iTunes while your computer has access to internet/ WiFi or 2) Just connecting to a WiFi source using your iPhone.

     

    The rest of the process is automated. You do not have to go on any third party websites.

     

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you any other specific questions.

     

    Safe Travels!

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