dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed

P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

Bakersfield, CA

I've got a technical question

I've got a question for anyone who knows about such things. How does a phone know which carrier it is suppose to lock to if it's a locked device as mine currently is? Even an upgrade of the phone's OS keeps it locked to the carrier, as does a phone restore.
I have an iPhone 4S, and when my contract is up at the end of this year, I'm considering switching to Verizon. If I do so, will I be able to have sprint unlock my phone, so I can use the same device on Verizon if I wish? I know plenty of folks who have unlocked GSM devices, but I don't hear much about anyone with CDMA carriers getting their phone unlocked. Correct me if I'm wrong on my understanding of this, but my iPhone 4S is a phone capable of CDMA or GSM. Currently since my phone is locked to sprint, I could not put any GSM carrier's sim into my phone and have it work. And since Verizon is CDMA, the phone will not see Verizon towers unless unlocked? I'm just curious how all this works, and what the procedure will be for me when the time comes that I do wish to unlock my phone. Thanks. Oh yeah it's silly to make unlocking your phone illegal, I mean I've already long since paid for the total cost of my phone. OK rant done.


Cortland, NY
The 4s CDMA is locked to Vz/Sprint by the ESN. in theory they could let you use a Sprint phone on Vz..but they won't. The SIM in the Iphone 4s CDMA version IIRC is only used for overseas.

P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

Bakersfield, CA
reply to kd6cae
Wow that's unfortunate. So you are saying, that even when my contract is up, I would not be able to use my same device on Verizon, or for that matter any network even GSM networks such as AT&T, even if I contacted sprint? That doesn't seem right to me, but I suppose it's a good reason to purchase a fully unlocked iPhone 5 then, if my current device is stuck on sprint here in the US. To be clear, I don't hate sprint, I just was hoping to have the option when my contract is up, to go to another domestic carrier if I choose with my same device. Guess that can't happen with sprint. Very silly in my book.

delusion ftl

reply to kd6cae
CDMA phones are not really technically locked like GSM phones can be. The way those carriers handle those phones is to simply refuse to activate a device not sold through them. So while your Sprint iphone could be up and running on verizon without any changes to the phone. Verizon refuses to allow any Sprint MEID's on their network. And vice versa.

If you wanted to take a sprint phone and move it to cricket or metro pcs, those carriers will often activate phones from other carriers on their network. I do believe though that while they used to now Apple has forced Cricket to agree not to activate iphones from other carriers as it as cutting down on iPhone users purchasing new iphones and digging into Apple's profit.

I understand that Sprint will not factory unlock your iphone's GSM portion to use on tmobile or ATT. This is probably to keep the phone in a state where it can only be used for sprint revenue. Given the insanely terrible iphone contract Sprint signed I cannot imagine them ever relenting on that.

Your best bet is probably to sell off the 4s, and get a better phone. You would probably come out money ahead swapping to a Verizon galaxy nexus, or pitch in 50-100 and you could probably get a verizon gs3 if that's the way you want to go. However, if you are going to get a phone off contract you may as well save money. So i would look at tmobiles monthly 4g, straight talk, and the like that will run you 30-50 dollars a month for talk/txt/web