Following the initial confusion regarding the state of the SIM slot in the Sprint iPhone 4S after multiple conflicting statements, the definitive statement and policy on the iPhone 4S international roaming policy has been released and….makes very little sense.
“Sprint’s policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. At launch, the International SIM will be unlocked. We do expect a SIM lock to be pushed to the devices shortly after launch. We will then allow existing customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use if needed in the future.”
Our emphasis on the forthcoming SIM lock update. In effect, the iPhone 4S on Sprint will be sold under Sprint’s current world phone sales policy at launch when sales begin tomorrow morning, but a future update will effectively change that policy in order to ensure that Sprint customers that wish to unlock the SIM slot in the future must have an account in good standing for an undetermined amount of time.
Future Sprint iPhone 4S units will be locked from shipment. This is in an effort to match Verizon’s SIM unlock policy on a device that Sprint is paying higher-than-ever subsidies to carry, and Sprint is working to ensure that devices are not converted to GSM, global iPhones, while leaving Sprint with a subsidy bill.
For more information on iPhone 4S’s integration between CDMA and GSM, check our previous article on the subject.
Article updated to clarify future iPhone 4S Sprint units will be factory-locked.