1. mtmjr90's Avatar
    Hi,

    I am currently on Sprint, but I plan to switch to Verizon very soon. My friend, not knowing that, bought me a Sprint iPhone 4S a couple days ago as a gift. I'm working with Sprint to unlock it at the moment (which is a whole mess of fun). Once that is done, I assume at the very least it will run on AT&T's network, given that it is carrier unlocked and has the AT&T HSPA+ radios, but I'm curious about Verizon.

    I know from experience and reading online that Verizon will kick and scream, but since the phone would be unlocked, and it has the right radios (at least for 3G), I don't see any reason for it not to run on Verizon...other than VZW just refusing to activate it. So my question is: is anyone aware of any technical reason why it possibly wouldn't be able to run on Verizon (or AT&T for that matter)? Thanks!

    Edit: On that note, will the newly announced development of a jailbreak/unlock help me? Is that unlock any different than an unlock from the carrier? Thanks!

    -mtmjr90
    Last edited by mtmjr90; 11-27-2011 at 12:37 PM.
    11-27-2011 12:33 PM
  2. kch50428's Avatar
    Verizon will not activate an iPhone sold via Sprint, and vice-versa.

    The 'unlocked' part about either a Verizon or Sprint phone is the GSM portion of the phone's innards - not the CDMA side. CDMA side is "locked" via the MEID. It's not a technology thing, since CDMA phones roam... it's a company policy thing, and it will not change.

    Edit to add: An iPhone sold via Verizon or Sprint are GSM unlocked for international use... as far as I know they are not capable of being unlocked to run on AT&T... again, it's not a technology thing - It's just the way they do it.
    Last edited by kch50428; 11-27-2011 at 12:48 PM.
    11-27-2011 12:39 PM
  3. mtmjr90's Avatar
    Thanks. Will Verizon activate an unlocked iPhone from Apple, say if I sold this one and bought a new one from the Apple Store? Is it that once a factory unlocked iPhone is activated for the first time on a CDMA carrier that it cannot ever be activated on another CDMA carrier; that is, I would be able to activate it on either Sprint or Verizon, but only one? Would doing so SIM lock it too, such that I cannot use it on AT&T either?
    11-27-2011 01:07 PM
  4. kch50428's Avatar
    Will Verizon activate an unlocked iPhone from Apple, say if I sold this one and bought a new one from the Apple Store?
    The 'unlocked' would only be on the GSM functionality of the device. To my knowledge, the CDMA side is fixed to a carrier from manufacture.

    Is it that once a factory unlocked iPhone is activated for the first time on a CDMA carrier that it cannot ever be activated on another CDMA carrier; that is, I would be able to activate it on either Sprint or Verizon, but only one?
    The way I understand the process to work... in manufacturing, CDMA phones get assigned an MEID (used to be the ESN...) - and MEIDs are assigned in batches to the various carriers - and once a batch of MEIDs are assigned to a specific carrier - it's fixed to that carrier - activation is irrelevant... the CDMA iPhone is fixed to a carrier prior to activation.

    Would doing so SIM lock it too, such that I cannot use it on AT&T either?
    To my knowledge, when Apple makes a CDMA iPhone for Verizon or Sprint, the GSM capabilities are unlockable to the point they could be only used on GSM carriers outside of the USA.
    11-27-2011 02:19 PM
  5. mtmjr90's Avatar
    To my knowledge, when Apple makes a CDMA iPhone for Verizon or Sprint, the GSM capabilities are unlockable to the point they could be only used on GSM carriers outside of the USA.
    Thank you for the detailed answers! This is last one is the most frustrating of them all. I can understand how the CDMA MEID assignment works (as backwards as it is...), but the behavior of the carriers in the US even with GSM unlocked devices is despicable. You wouldn't happen to know if I jailbroke it, then unlocked it that way, would it run on AT&T then?
    11-27-2011 02:34 PM
  6. kch50428's Avatar
    Thank you for the detailed answers! This is last one is the most frustrating of them all. I can understand how the CDMA MEID assignment works (as backwards as it is...), but the behavior of the carriers in the US even with GSM unlocked devices is despicable. You wouldn't happen to know if I jailbroke it, then unlocked it that way, would it run on AT&T then?
    By "it" do you mean a CDMA iPhone 4S? I don't know if jailbreaking and running a GSM unlock will allow it to be used on AT&T... if you want a Verizon iPhone 4S - get one, and sell your Sprint iPhone. That is certain to work flawlessly.
    11-27-2011 02:51 PM
  7. mtmjr90's Avatar
    Yeah that's probably what I'll have to end up doing. It's just that I have an AT&T line (with a Samsung Focus) and I will soon have a Verizon line (I'm getting the Galaxy Nexus when it comes out) and I want my iPhone to be able to bounce between the two (I have a very short attention span when it comes to primary devices). I was hopeful since it had all the right radios... I guess my best hope is to have a Verizon iPhone 4S and unlock it and hope an AT&T SIM works in it and if not, I'll see if the software unlock will...and if not, then I just can't have my cake and eat it too Thanks again for all your help!
    11-27-2011 03:03 PM
  8. Jon Seals's Avatar
    Verizon and Sprint will not activate any 4S unless they sold it. The main reason is that the device's ECID is registered with Apple as a CDMA device, so when you turn it on for the first time and it contacts Apple, Apple's registration servers tell CommCenter to use CDMA and whatever carrier bundle matches the carrier. A GSM device gets programmed at the time of the first boot/restore to use GSM, and CDMA iPhones are the same.

    As for activating an iPhone you bought from Sprint on Verizon, they don't do it for some reason, but it's been like that for years with any phone.
    12-04-2011 05:14 AM
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