Sprint begins locking iPhone 4S

Sprint, the newest US iPhone carrier, offered an enticing offer to perspective buyers during the launch of the iPhone 4S: the device would be sold unlocked until further notice. That further notice has come.

“Starting tomorrow, all iPhone 4S devices will have the SIM locked. The locking occurs during the activation process and is invisible to the customer (no extra action is needed by customer or rep).”

Sprint announced to employees, via internal memo, that devices sold on and after 11/11/11 would be sold locked to consumers, meaning they can’t be used on other GSM carriers (such as AT&T and other carriers abroad). This comes the same day as the launch of the official unlocked iPhone 4S (for the staggering price of $649).

“Indeed, the Sprint iPhone 4S will ship with its micro-SIM slot unlocked. However, Sprint now says that it will be locking that slot “shortly after launch” via an update pushed to those devices. After the slot has been locked, Sprint says that it will allow customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use in the future.”

The memo also mentions that those who purchased and activated their iPhones before today will keep their unlocked SIM slots.

Do you have an early iPhone 4S on Sprint? Have you tried using it on other carriers? Let us know in the comments below or by sending me a tweet.

Via: SprintFeed, MacRumors

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  • Daswassup2006

    I got my iPhone 4s on launch day so Im in the clear with my sim slot staying unlocked

    • Guest

      Can you confirm this works for like att/tmobile sims?

  • Simplyphat94

    Oh wow! That’s crazy. I’m glad I got mine on the day it launched. At least I can hv a little leverage if I decide to sell it. It can be used with another provider.

  • Joenah321

    I thought even though it’s unlocked it can only be used on sprint. I can’t even get my sim slot open I used just about everything lol

  • Anonymous


  • No, this is NOT true. I have a 4S from Sprint since launch date and I just tried my wife’s AT&T Sim card and it does NOT work.

    • Refat774

      its “International Unlocked”, Meaning SiMs from ANY international Carrier’s will work, Only AT&T and T-Mobile Sims will NOT work because they are US carriers.

  • Ishan143

    I bought a sprint iphone 4s on 24th of October..do you think it is still unlocked for international use??