Remember how last week it was discovered that Verizon’s iPhone 5’s were all unlocked? We didn’t think that would last long, just like last year when the iPhone 4S began selling unlocked on Sprint but then it locked it in the next software update. But, no, Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney spoke with the Associated Press and told them that the company does not plan to “relock” the devices, as Sprint did with the 4S. Instead this will let customers choose if they decide to go to another carrier at the end of their 2 year agreement, or if they decide they wish to go to a prepaid plan they can as well.
Though these phones are unlocked, you will only be able to access AT&T’s (and other carriers’s) HSPA+ (or what it calls 4G) and not its 4G LTE network. LTE is known to have faster download speeds for both companies, and Verizon by far has the largest footprint for LTE service here in the US.
All this news comes as quite the surprise to most of us. AT&T has started allowing its iPhones to be unlocked, but only once they are out of contract, and Sprint will unlock for international use only, not competing networks within the United States. While all this is surely a surprise, it is also very welcome. Now when you are ready to move to a new phone, you don’t have to advertise it as “Verizon-only” and can now sell the device to others that wish to use it on a different carrier.
What do you think? Wonder if other carriers will follow Verizon? Did you buy the iPhone 5 on Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint? Let us know in the comments.