Sprint Clarifies iPhone 4S SIM Lock Policy

Posted by at 7:59 pm on October 16, 2011

Sprint has clarified its policy on carrier-locking the SIM card slot on its iPhone 4S. Sprint’s policy will be to lock the SIM card slot out of the box, so it will only work with a Sprint SIM card for roaming on overseas GSM networks. However, Sprint will “allow existing customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use if needed in the future.” Such unlocking allows the use of non-Sprint SIM cards, which may offer cheaper overseas rates, although with a different phone number.

The first batch of iPhone 4Ss from Sprint will actually ship with the SIM slot unlocked, a technical issue that Sprint expects to correct with an update pushed to devices shortly after launch. The iPhone 4S uses micro-SIM cards, which are smaller and harder to find than standard-size SIM cards.

Earlier reports that the Sprint version did not have a SIM card slot were incorrect. Last year’s iPhone 4 CDMA model – also offered by Sprint – does not have GSM capability and therefore lacks a SIM card slot.

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