New rules requiring U.S. carriers to unlock out-of-contract phones now in effect

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 52
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

    Go and activate your Verizon phone at Sprint store to see if it works. Guess not.

     

    Isn’t that also about the supported bands?

  • Reply 22 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

    Wrong. Verizon didn't lock the GSM radio, but their CDMA. Go and activate your Verizon phone at Sprint store to see if it works. Guess not.




    Verizon notes that the unlock code on 3G phones is 000000 or 123456. 4GLTE is unlocked without a code. But it is an issue of bands, and will be until the CDMA network is retired.

  • Reply 23 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

    Wrong. Verizon didn't lock the GSM radio, but their CDMA. Go and activate your Verizon phone at Sprint store to see if it works. Guess not.




    Good point, though it only applies to Sprint/Verizon (and a couple of CDMA MVNOs) interoperability which is probably unaffected by this policy and probably not that interesting to most unlockers. Unlocking doesn't force a carrier to accept a phone on their network, though the GSM carriers generally can't/don't care about this (I've put former AT&T and Verizon phones on TMob without issue). I believe Sprint and Verizon will still not activate each others' phones because they still control the ESN authorization mechanism.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens.

  • Reply 24 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

    Wrong. Verizon didn't lock the GSM radio, but their CDMA. Go and activate your Verizon phone at Sprint store to see if it works. Guess not.




    Right. The phone is unlocked. It works on any GSM network, which is what the majority of the world is. Why would I try to activate a Verizon phone at a Sprint store? I don't want to downgrade my coverage. You actually can activate a Verizon iPhone with Sprint by the way. 

  • Reply 25 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

     



    Good point, though it only applies to Sprint/Verizon (and a couple of CDMA MVNOs) interoperability which is probably unaffected by this policy and probably not that interesting to most unlockers. Unlocking doesn't force a carrier to accept a phone on their network, though the GSM carriers generally can't/don't care about this (I've put former AT&T and Verizon phones on TMob without issue). I believe Sprint and Verizon will still not activate each others' phones because they still control the ESN authorization mechanism.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens.




    You can activate a Verizon phone on Sprint's network. I sold my Verizon iPhone 5 to a friend and he activated it on Sprint with no issues. 

  • Reply 26 of 52
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Waiting for the libertarians to say that this is unnecessary government intervention in the market...

  • Reply 27 of 52
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

    Waiting for the libertarians to say that this is unnecessary government intervention in the market...

     

    Wasn’t it government intervention that kept unlocking “illegal” in the first place?

  • Reply 28 of 52

    Why US carriers are still SIM-locking phones ? Here in Europe, in the Netherlands at least, you sign up for a 1-year or 2-year contract. Pay some money up front and after your contract period the phone is yours. No locking at all. If you have enough money to put someone else's SIM card in it, it's up to you. You have a contract anyways, so you have to pay off the remainder of the phone's value.

     

    I also don't get the "exclusivity" for phones or branded models including custom firmware.

  • Reply 29 of 52
    A does body know how does it come when somebody outside US bought iPhone that was not unlocked. Can new owner that has not made contract ask for unlocking?
    Thanks
  • Reply 30 of 52
    The US should adopt the EU policy: after one year into your contract they are required to unlock your phone, when asked. Doesn't matter if you're on a two year contract. A good policy, yet not necessary since almost all telcos sell their contracts with an unlocked iPhone anyway.
  • Reply 31 of 52
    philboogie wrote: »
    The US should adopt the EU policy: after one year into your contract they are required to unlock your phone, when asked. Doesn't matter if you're on a two year contract. A good policy, yet not necessary since almost all telcos sell their contracts with an unlocked iPhone anyway.

    How about let competition for customers between providers do the job instead? The reason it wasn't done before was BECAUSE of the laws in place.
  • Reply 32 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     



    Why don't you ask Virgin Mobile themselves? After all, they are the definite authority.

     

    If I recall correctly, Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint, so they would be simply treated as another Sprint prepaid brand. Virgin Mobile is probably still important for the ever-shrinking dumb phone market, but likely mostly irrelevant to the smartphone market.




    VM sells a lot of smartphones. It's where I got my 4S almost two years ago, and they have a pretty wide selection of Androids available (they'd have to, since they don't sell iPhones anymore).

  • Reply 33 of 52
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member

    Business phones should not be locked even under contract because they may have to travel overseas to use the same phone with different SIM. Moreover, they are business so won't run away not paying contractual obligation. But if it is personal/family account and under contract than carrier has no obligation to unlock because you can run away to other carrier with same unlock phone and not pay remaining balance. Crooks have used people(social security number) off street who has no bad credit and can buy phone on their behalf and not pay,

  • Reply 34 of 52
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member

    Welcome America, welcome to 2009 from Australia where entering your IMEI on most carriers websites led to immediate unlocking via iTunes.

     

    In 2011 we did away with iPhone locking altogether apart from a small number sold as PAYG.

  • Reply 35 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    boltsfan17 wrote: »

    You can activate a Verizon phone on Sprint's network. I sold my Verizon iPhone 5 to a friend and he activated it on Sprint with no issues. 

    One has to find someone at the carrier willing to do it. I'm sure it's easier to convince Sprint to do it than Verizon.
  • Reply 36 of 52
    llamallama Posts: 102member

    Well that explains the big "Hey, you can unlock this phone" banner for a couple of my phones when I logged on to pay my AT&T bill this week.  :)

  • Reply 37 of 52

    How can I determine if my iPhone 5 is locked or unlocked? Is there a way to tell just by looking at some settings or diagnostics?

  • Reply 38 of 52
    How can I determine if my iPhone 5 is locked or unlocked? Is there a way to tell just by looking at some settings or diagnostics?

    There's no straight answer to that question. Still, there's this:

    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/determining-which-carrier-an-iphone-is-locked-to/

    http://www.unlockboot.com/2013/08/check-if-your-iphone-is-unlocked-or.html
  • Reply 39 of 52
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,040member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    How can I determine if my iPhone 5 is locked or unlocked? Is there a way to tell just by looking at some settings or diagnostics?




    The only definitive way to check is to stick a different carrier's SIM into it (friend, family member, etc.).

     

    Or just go into a different carrier's retail store. They would be happy to let you know if your phone is unlocked (thus potentially giving them a new customer).

  • Reply 40 of 52
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tashasman View Post



    The real question is this: does this unlocking apply to the silly carrier specific locks they put on the antennas? If you're an AT&T customer and unlock you paid off iPhone, today you cannot go to Verizon despite the antennas being in your phone to operate on the network. Why? Because AT&T (and Verizon and Sprint, etc) all can lock the phones to only use the technology useful on their networks. Hence the reason why you still have to pick a carrier even when you buy it from Apple!

     

    May depend on what iPhone as some older models did have different antennas and, I believe, different chips depending on what carrier it was for. But for the most recent models the hardware is more similar. Not sure about the firmware...if that varies between carriers.

     

    And as others have pointed out, it's not just a matter of the original carrier unlocking the phone in the case of CDMA, which I believe is still used for voice on Verizon LTE phones. The new carrier has to be willing to activate the ESN on their network.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    One of the positives of Verizon is they have never locked iPhones. It's great when traveling abroad since you can just swap sim cards. All the carriers should be like Verizon and sell the iPhone already unlocked. 


     

    "Never" is not true. I had to unlock* my 4S for use with an overseas SIM.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

     



    Verizon only do this because it was part of the terms of them getting the 700Mhz spectrum from the FCC. They would never have done this voluntarily.


     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    I never knew that. You probably are right they wouldn't have unlocked phones voluntarily. 


     

    Depending on your definition of unlock* this is not true. Before that Verizon would unlock phones for use overseas on accounts in good standing.

     

    * by "unlock", it was in the context of using your phone outside of the US. It still could not be used with the SIM from another US carrier.

     

    My assumption is that my overseas unlocked 4S would now be eligible to be "fully" unlocked since it was been off contract for about a year now. My 5S, theoretically, came fully unlocked but I have not had occasion to test that.

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