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.