One of the main attractions of the iPhone 4S is the fact that it’s a world phone. However, thanks to carrier restrictions and strange overseas policies, it may not always be possible to use the device on any carrier you like.
Certain carriers will force you to use certain overseas carriers by locking the microSIM, while others will leave it unlocked and let you deal with the carriers yourself.
Now, it seems that Sprint just can’t get a handle on what it wants to do. The company released a statement today that can only be described as ridiculous.
“Sprint’s policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. At launch, the International SIM will be unlocked. We do expect a SIM lock to be pushed to the devices shortly after launch. We will then allow existing customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use if needed in the future.”
Basically, the company is saying that the phone you purchase will come unlocked, but it will “push” a lock to it after the device has been activated. However, if you behave and ask realllly nicely, they’ll manually re-unlock it for you. Well alright then.
You can check out the full press release below (via Engadget), but let me just say that this may be the first time I’m actually glad I don’t travel internationally. Well, that’s not true, but you get my point.
Sprint’s policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. At launch, the International SIM will be unlocked. We do expect a SIM lock to be pushed to the devices shortly after launch. We will then allow existing customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use if needed in the future.
Customers can sign up for one of our international rate plans and use this phone all over the world. When traveling internationally, there is a setting that must be turned on within the device to connect to GSM. The phone will work with a SIM that is provided within the device out of the box. International voice and data charges are on a pay-as-you-go basis and vary based on the country where the customer is using their phone; a list of rates is available at www.sprint.com/international.
Sprint offers two international voice plans that customers can subscribe to for discounted voice rates:
* The Canada Roaming add-on is $2.99 per month and all calls placed from Canada are only 20 cents per minute. Without this add-on, calls from Canada are 59 cents per minute.
* The Sprint Worldwide Voice add-on is $4.99 per month and offers discounted rates in countries around the world. For example, calls from Italy are $1.69 per minute with this add-on or $1.99 per minute without the add-on; calls from Peru are $2.29 per minute with the add-on or $2.49 per minute without it.
Sprint does supply notifications of data roaming charges to protect customers from high costs. Notifications are sent to the customer’s preferred method, either text or email, and are sent once the device exceeds approximately $50, $250, $500 and $1,000. To protect the customer from additional charges, the device’s international data roaming capability will be suspended after the customer exceeds approximately $1,000 of international data charges in a billing cycle.