Can the Sprint iPhone 6 be carrier unlocked?

Richard October 23, 2014
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I need to get an ACCURATE answer from cell phone experts to clarify my very important question. On article “GSA vs CDMA which is better?”, the editor wrote that CDMA phone cannot be unlocked.

Is that the same for iPhone 6?

I’m planning to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus from Sprint but if it cannot be unlocked “after contract is over”, I’m wasting time switching from AT&T. The reason I am asking this question is that the Sprint version of iPhone 6 plus is model A1524, the global phone, which can be used on both GSM and CDMA.

This model has wide spectrum of frequency and technically can be used anywhere in the world.

AT&T has model A1522 (GSM only version). I’m planning to use my iPhone in 5 different countries including all over Europe, Japan and Australia.

I know that Japan and Australia use CDMA mainly so I need A1524 unlocked eventually. I researched this subject all over the Internet but none of them answers clearly and some of them contradict each other. I know that lots of international businessmen are looking for an answer to this question.

Thank you.

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  1. Nate
    December 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Having the device replaced under warranty for which a good reason to do so is required. Also I found out straight talk is and unlocked carrier which I didn't know until I had a defective mic iPhone 6 for sprint replaced, activated the replacement for straight talk right when the new one was handed to me and then tested it later with an AT&T sim

  2. Nate
    November 27, 2014 at 7:23 am

    *re-lock is what I meant in the comment above

  3. Nate
    November 27, 2014 at 7:21 am

    With sprint iPhones you can change to carrier and relive to another via warranting out the device through Apple. I have had multiple defective sprint iPhones all had various issues that I bought used, once replaced I set it up without a SIM card or just connect to a computer in the store (I think you have less than 1 minute to do it or it locks back to sprint) but I usually select straight talk as the carrier as I use Tmobile, I'm not sure if the options are unlocked or not or I'd choose another carrier to lock to. Otherwise your best bet is to buy either a T-Mobile iphone 6/6 plus or verizon 6/6 plus (T-Mobile when unlocked will also work for verizon and all verizon iPhones ship unlocked out of the box, don't waste your time with sprint iPhones though, it's just more of a hassle to deal with IMO)

    • Ephi
      December 4, 2014 at 5:17 am

      what does "warranting out the device" mean

  4. Bobby
    November 26, 2014 at 1:52 am

    If you are on a contract and have a spending limit they will not unlock for you no matter what. But if you do not have a contract and no spending limit they will unlock it for you.

  5. Nicky
    November 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Iphone . And they will send a request to apple that the iphone need to be unlocked upon your request of traveling . They will send u email after ur iphone processed for the unlock prograss . And they will tell u what u need to do to get it unlocked . Thank u

  6. Nicky
    November 23, 2014 at 8:41 am

    No don't email them . Just call them and tell them that you need to get your iphone unlocked cause your are traveling internationally and you want to be able to use your iph

  7. Nicky
    November 22, 2014 at 5:29 am

    I have iphone 6 with sprint and I travel all the Time I just got it unlocked because I want to be able to use it everywhere I go by just switch the SIM card . All you have to is contact sprint and tell them that you leaving The Country for vacation and they will process the uncool for u within 72 hours your iphone will be unlock they will send you email to tell you what you should do to get it unlock . Hope this help .

    • Lanre
      November 23, 2014 at 12:20 am

      Hi Nicky,

      I also have an Iphone 6 on Sprint network and I want to travel out of the country, How am I gonna contact Sprint telling them that ? Should I just send them a mail or what ? So I can be able to use it everywhere I go. Please let me know...

  8. Sire
    November 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Sprint DOES NOT unlock any devices for use on other domestic carriers' GSM or LTE networks.*

    Sprint DOES unlock devices for use on international carriers provided the subscriber is in good standing. Officially they may require you to wait up to 90 days after purchasing the device before they will do so but will often waive this rule.

    *Sprint's policy on domestic unlocking is changing for devices that will be released on or aftrer February 11, 2015. These devices will be unlocked by Sprint provided the service contract or equipment installement plan has been fulfilled. However, since the iPhone 6 was released before this date, it is not expected to be covered under this new policy.

  9. Emma
    October 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    It's big problem with Sprint. I couldn't unlock iphone 5 with Sprint contract

  10. Jan F.
    October 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    All of this is answered in the Sprint unlocking policy:
    Sprint is not able to unlock iPhones for use on other domestic networks.
    Apple is not allowed to unlock iPhones for use on other domestic networks.
    Sprint is able to and will unlock the SIM card slot for international use on oversea networks only but will not allow you to use the SIM slot with another domestic carrier.

  11. Kannon Y
    October 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hello Richard, that's an excellent question.

    There's actually two questions embedded within yours: First, does Sprint allow its iPhones to be unlocked and, second, can the iPhone 6 physically support SIM cards?

    To answer the first question, we just have to check with Sprint. In short, they officially allow the unlocking of their devices for use on other networks, provided you've fulfilled the terms of your contract with them. When fulfilled, Sprint will provide the customer with a Master Subsidy Lock code, which you can use to unlock the phone from Sprint. Unfortunately, in the past Sprint has done everything possible to prevent its iPhone customers from changing networks. They would allow the phone to be unlocked, but then wouldn't provide the means to change networks (this was an issue with the iPhone 4, which included provisioning for both CDMA and GSM networks).

    Unfortunately, even though a law requires Sprint to unlock iPhones, they claim that they are unable to because said devices were specially manufactured to prevent use on other networks. In the second point, I'll get to why this is total rubbish.

    To answer the second question, the iPhone 6 appears to be SIM card compatible and includes chipsets that support the bands Sprint broadcasts on, in addition to GSM bands. Unless I miss my guess, Sprint differentiated their model from others using pure firmware. That means if you were to use another overseas carrier, it would likely require that the new carrier flash a localized firmware variant onto it. So the Sprint iPhone 6 is probably internally identical to all other iPhone 6s, but because of its firmware, Sprint manages to squirm around the carrier unlocking law that was passed in July of 2014.

    To answer your question -- Sprint likely did something to the iPhone 6's firmware to prevent it from being used on any other network. There is a chance that you can still make phone calls using a SIM card, but data will likely not function.

    Sprint pulled the exact same stunt with other iPhones. I could be wrong, but keep in mind that Sprint is known for doing things like this to their iPhone customers.

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