Following up, Sprint has announced that it has rolled out iPhone 4S models with locked SIM slots and will sell them locked from now on as well as an update that locks SIM slots. This does not affect phones that were activated on Sprint before today and those customers that have used the SIM slot unlocked before today will be able to continue to with no changes according to internal documentation.
This follows the initial launch of the phone last month when it was confirmed that the phones were initially shipped with unlocked SIM slots, which led many media outlets to believe that Sprint would allow customers to take advantage of Â the cheaper local rates provided with an unlocked SIM slot, unlike its competition.
After many hours of confusion however, it was determined that Sprint always intended to lock the SIM slot in its iPhone 4S in order to recover its massive payout to Apple and equally massive subsidy for each model offered, which upset many customers hoping to take advantage of both CDMA and GSM functionality here and abroad respectively.
However, Sprint is taking after T-Mobile in allowing customers that are in good standing to unlock the SIM slots in their phones after three months of service, which is a small comfort for those customers that don’t want to pay Sprint’s current international roaming rates or add the discounted Canada Roaming or Sprint Worldwide international roaming plans, which typically average a 20 cent discount on voice calls per minute compared to Sprint’s standard rates for $2.99 and $4.99 per month on top of standard monthly charges.