To make sure that iPhone users don’t use any other carrier but itself, Sprint has locked down all iPhones sold after Nov 11, 2011. This means that you can’t switch domestic carriers any more. But you can buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple’s Online Store now.
No domestic carrier switching:
Sprint, the default carrier for iPhone 4S has finally decided to make sure it’s customers don’t go to another carrier. According to a leaked memo which was first put up on Sprintfeed, Sprint has locked down all iPhones which have been purchased after Nov 11, 2011. This means that it’s customers can no longer switch to another domestic carrier. The locking will occur automatically and the user is not required to perform any action. For new customers, the SIM is also locked for international calling – however, such customers who have been using iPhone for more than 90 days can request unlocking for international calling.
Unlocked iPhones officially available:
While Sprint is planning on playing this move, Apple has launched unlocked iPhone 4S in it’s online store as per it’s promises. You can now start placing your order for the unlocked phone against the following price tags: iPhone with 16 GB memory for $649; iPhone with 32 GB memory for $749; and iPhone with 64 GB for $849.
If you have to travel internationally, an unlocked iPhone may suit you best. An unlocked iPhone means that you can slip in the SIM of a domestic carrier of any area you are in. This will save you the international roaming charges.
Of course an iPhone user still has the option of jailbreaking the phone and then switching the domestic carrier. This tactic has been used for years to overrun the locking mechanism of default carriers.