We knew this was coming, and today Sprint confirmed that it would start SIM locking the iPhone 4S. The news comes from an internal memo obtained by SprintFeed and a press release obtained by Engadget.
The press release said:
Sprint’s policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. Beginning on November 11, the International SIM will be locked for devices provisioned on the Sprint network. Customers in good standing for at least 90 days can request to have their SIM unlocked for international use by calling Customer Care at 888-211-4727.
The leaked memo provides additional details about the locking process. Key points being:
- A Sprint iPhone 4S bought (activated) before 11/11/11 would remain unlocked.
- The locking occurs during the activation process and is invisible to the customer (no extra action is needed by customer).
As iDB points out, a software restore of your Sprint iPhone 4S may lock your device’s unlocked SIM slot. This is because after every software restore, iPhones have to be activated, and as the memo mentions, the “locking” happens during this process.
Although the iPhone 4S is a World Phone, you would need to go through Sprint’s customer care to get your iPhone SIM unlocked. Sprint is also marketing its own international roaming plans along with the announcement.
For the full text of the press release head over to the Engadget source link below.