Apple Now Selling Unlocked iPhone 4Ss, Sprint Begins SIM-Locking New iPhone 4Ss
Apple’s online store now has unlocked iPhone 4Ss available for purchase making good on the company’s promise to provide the unlocked handsets sometime in November.
The unlocked iPhone 4Ss are available for $649 (16Gb), $749 (32GB), and $849 (64GB) will only work on GSM networks and utilizes a micro-SIM card. The phones will work internationally or locally on GSM networks, but the unlocked phones will not work on CDMA carriers like Verizon or Sprint. Obviously, the phones ship without a micro-SIM installed.
With the unlocked 4Ss going on sale Sprint is making good on its promise to SIM-lock their 4Ss. The SIM-lock occurs during the activation process and will only apply to customers purchasing their 4S 11/11/11 and after. It is unclear if Sprint will allow customers who have purchased a 4S already to retain its GSM unlocked capability or not.
New Sprint customers who want to use their iPhone 4S internationally will need to contact Sprint Worldwide for “authentication” and once signed up for an international rate plan the phone will have the ability to roam on GSM networks internationally. However, Sprint does claim customers in good standing on their accounts for at least 90 days can call Sprint and request to have their phone unlocked before traveling internationally. This will allow subscribers to pop in prepaid sim cards instead of paying Sprints insane international fees.
Additionally “off-contract” iPhones Apple retail stores have reportedly been selling remain unlocked after the iOS 5.0.1 update.