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Sprint denies unlocked micro-SIM for iPhone 4S

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Wed October 12, 2011

'World' use limited to network roaming

Sprint representatives are now reportedly denying that its version of the iPhone 4S will have an unlocked micro-SIM slot. "That is correct," comments Sprint spokeswoman Michelle Mermelstein. "I believe Verizon's device works the same way." The carrier's customer service workers are reportedly elaborating on the situation for people who ask.

"iPhone 4S has World Mode Capabilities with the pre-inserted SIM card," one statement reads. "However, you will not be able to use non-Sprint SIM card with it, due to technology differences. If you purchase iPhone 4S you will be able to use it internationally with Sprint Services.

"Note: International capabilities will be locked and you will have to call Sprint to activate," the response concludes. Effectively this limits the 4S to international roaming under special Sprint plans. Since Sprint is normally a CDMA-only carrier, however, it should at least let more people travel with their iPhone.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well there goes that idea

    I will stick with ATT in this case - better chance of a jailbreak and unlock.

  1. macmediausa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sprint is greedy

    Instead of trying to squeeze every dollar out of the customer, they should have left the GSM unlocked so that people traveling overseas can "fend" for themselves and get reasonable rates when there.

    I bet you that leaving it unlocked will generate MUCH more sales for people appreciating the fact that they have a little more control. The still have to use sprint anyway because they are under contract. It's just for the few times that people are completely off network -giving them a viable option. If I was roaming I certainly would not pay Sprint's inflated call charges using it off network anyway.

    Better to be on AT&T so at least it can be jailbroken in the future so you can put an alternate sim card.

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds like a mistake

    That really does sound like a financial mistake to me.

    Yes, international roaming rates are so preposterously high that they have got to be pretty lucrative for Sprint. But given the relatively small portion of customers that travel internationally, and the much, much smaller proportion who are going to pay what roaming costs, it seems like the draw of an unlocked phone would result in more profit than the roaming fees. And with a 2-year contract guaranteed, it's not like people are going to be buying it then jumping ship to another carrier.

    For myself, certainly, I wouldn't even consider the global roaming rates, but if one of the three US providers was sim-unlocked, I'd chose it for the occasional times I'm out of the country and might buy a local sim card. So that's one sale for whoever's the easiest to unlock.

    Stuff like this reminds me why I hate US cellular companies--they are so blatantly in the business of milking every last dollar out of their customers it's kind of disgusting, and the obvious price collusion (limited numbers of text messages? Really?) makes it that much worse.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    comment title

    Oh yea I bet they disable that SIM slot like theres no tomorrow. God forbid someone being able to use THEIR phone on a competitors network. Oh no! It would kill Sprints illegal monopoly. Wouldn't want that now would we?

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