Verizon iPhone 5 to stay unlocked due to FCC agreements

By , Sep 24, 2012

Last week, we discovered that the Verizon version of the iPhone 5 comes with an unlocked SIM slot. Our very own Jeff confirmed the theory by using his VZW handset to connect to AT&T’s GSM network.

While this was obviously great news, we were worried that things wouldn’t stay this way because carriers don’t generally like unlocked phones. But according to a new report, Verizon may not have a choice…

The Associated Press has confirmed with Verizon that the iPhone 5 comes unlocked, and that it will not be relocking it. This marks the first time the carrier has sold a phone that works on competing cell networks.

Remember last year, the first batch of Sprint-flavored iPhone 4S models arrived unlocked, but the wireless provider later issued a software update that relocked them. So it’s nice to hear that won’t be happening.

But that may not have been Verizon’s decision. MacRumors points to a section of the FCC network access requirements that the carrier agreed to when it purchased the 700MHz spectrum that it’s using for LTE:

“(e) Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee’s standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers’ networks.”

Sprint, for its part, will unlock your handset after 90 days. And AT&T, as far as we know, is still only unlocking iPhones that are off-contract — though it did recently start bending its own rule a bit.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1328808990 Bhuvan Kalra

    Verizon is so awesome!
    1. It offers Portable Hotspot in the new iPad.
    2. It has pretty great 4G coverage.
    3. and now..iPhone 5 comes unlocked.

  • mo

    An article about the Verizon iPhone with an ATT iPhone lol.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Wilson/100000592569208 Keith Wilson

      That’s actually a sprint or verizon phone with a AT&T nano sim in it, it got me to

  • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

    Locking devices to carriers should be a crime! Regulations for the win!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1328808990 Bhuvan Kalra

    Verizon is so awesome!

    1. It offers Portable Hotspot in the new iPad.
    2. It has pretty great 4G coverage.
    3. and now..iPhone 5 comes unlocked.

    • nftnft

      For Sprint iPhones, so the carrier will unlocked them automatically after 90 days, do you have to call, what’s the catch? And is this only on the iPhone 5? What about the 4 and 4s?

      • http://twitter.com/walkingsaltine Spencer Lowe

        Sprint will unlock immediately if you do not having a spending limit on your account in regards to the 4 and 4S. The 5 you have to wait 90 days.

  • Kenny

    would this unlock be compatible with T-Mobile and other GSM carriers, or just AT&T?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1003290009 Farrukh Siddique

      its compatible with ATT so im guessing it will b with T-Mobile as well …

      as it says :
      “Our very own Jeff confirmed the theory by using his VZW handset to connect to AT&T’s GSM network.”

      • Kenny

        I just want to see a confirmation from someone who have tried it with T-Mobile so I can go make the purchase of just the phone itself for ~$750 @ my local Verizon Retail Store

      • http://twitter.com/walkingsaltine Spencer Lowe

        This does in fact work with T-Mobile’s network. Its runs at 2G for the time being but T-Mobile’s network refarming should be done by the end of this quater.

      • http://twitter.com/walkingsaltine Spencer Lowe

        Its also safer to buy from Apple for $750. That way you have a 30 days return period rather than a 14 day.

      • Kenny

        You’re right. Thank you!

      • ic0dex

        Yes but it will be a small network.

      • Metroview

        It is in fact compatible with T-Mobile, Straight Talk, and AT&T from what i’ve tested. Here’s my screenshot:
        https ://twitter. com/AmpliFreQuency/status/250300518021337088/photo/1

        Remove the space after https and before com

      • p3k1

        Can you use voice and data simultaneously with Verizon unlocked Iphone5 when using a SIM from carriers mentioned above? Or is it still one or another as it is using CDMA.

      • ongxadayne

        you have 14 day to returen it. i get my cut tmobile sim put it in .
        and it work .

    • ongxadayne

      hello any body home. unlock mean work any any sin you put in there.

  • Dino

    my friend unlocked his att iphone 5 from ebay unlock service for $7 :)

    • ReanimationXP

      Super helpful post. WHERE, pray tell?

      • tashaT

        search iphone 5 unlock on ebay and lots of seller can unlock via imei

      • Matt

        go on twitter and talk with chronic he does it for a few bucks but i’d rather trust one of the jailbreak gurus rather than someone from ebay, no matter how cheap

      • ic0dex

        chronic does it for $35 which is about the going rate. But if you can find someone of off eBay for cheaper then that I would go with them. Just make sure they have good feedback.

  • http://twitter.com/WDLTHeaux NoLove

    With the supposed differerniphone types I’m a lil curious which is best option: unlocked phone from apple or Verizon unlocked phone. Any chime ins?

  • Matt

    neat! means i can use it outside U.S and with my insurance on “stolen” or “lost” iphone i could get my sister one for $169 :)

    • Nepalicana

      But, they will block the imei code for the reported stolen or lost iPhone, so it’s not a good idea to do that

      • Matt

        hmm i’ll look into this then, there’s a manager at my local verizon store he’s really cool maybe he’ll be able to help out otherwise oh well sucks for my sis. i myself still have to wait till january anyway for a free upgrade, just because new doesn’t mean i’ll get it right away :)

      • John

        You can request it not be block as you might of lost it in your home and don’t want to pay insurance on a new phone but not be able to use the old one if found.

  • Metroview

    On top of what Jeff confirmed in his AT&T in Verizon iPhone 5, I can add that T-Mobile & Straight Talk works on my Verizon iPhone 5 also after cutting down my micro SIMs. Also, FaceTime over cellular works on Straight Talk without an extra addon such as AT&T’s shared data plan.

    My screenshots:

    T-Mobile: https ://twitter. com/AmpliFreQuency/status/250300518021337088/photo/1

    Straight Talk: https ://twitter. com/AmpliFreQuency/status/250321356971986945/photo/1

    Remove space after https and before com

    • Kenny

      Just wondering. Does the AT&T LTE work on that Verizon phone?

      • ReanimationXP

        Pretty sure they’re different bands, which is bullshit, but I’ve been wondering the same. Is there a true universal handset?

      • Metroview

        I’m not sure why you were downvoted since you’re right about both using different bands.

      • Grant Gunther

        There are 2 iPhone 5 models, 1 for ATT and Rogers, and the other for Verizon, Sprint and pretty much everybody else. The ATT LTE phone does not support the same bands as the Verizon one.

      • ongxadayne

        check iphone5 spec .it do what it say.

      • Metroview

        AT&T LTE doesn’t work on the Verizon iPhone 5 unfortunately.

      • ic0dex

        ALL LTE’s only work for the carrier even if you unlock it. Verizon iPhone will only get 3G/4G on ATT, T-Mobile and others that offer 3G/4G

  • ic0dex

    This is why I ditched ATT for Verizon. I live in Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks) and let me tell you I’m loving the LTE here. Here is what I get for being a new Verizon customer:
    – Unlimited Talk & Messaging $40
    – 4Gb of DATA $70
    – Free FaceTime
    – Free HotSpot WiFI
    I have had my iPhone 5 from day one and I’ve always been on LTE. One thing I will miss is the web and talk at the same time FROM ATT.

    • ReanimationXP

      …LTE doesn’t support that? And you’re paying $110 for VZ service? lol

      • ic0dex

        No only ATT has it I believe an yes I’m paying $110 a month. What’s so funny about that?

      • ReanimationXP

        It’s more expensive than ATT and you can’t use talk + data? Fuck that.

      • Matt

        maybe so but deff worth it, i also pay $110 but thats unlimited text and data (yes the old data) and only 450 min (i dont talk a lot maybe less than 200 min a month). coverage everywhere i go, never dropped calls, internet 24/7, customer service amazing.

      • ReanimationXP

        Meh, their customer service has always been garbage when I’ve dealt with them, even as a prospective customer and helping friends and family with various things. ATT has always treated me well and one time gave me a $25 credit just because I was having issues with something and had to call in twice. I never have network issues, speeds are better than VZ.

        >No talk and data
        >2012. wat?

      • Matt

        i guess it depends who works there, i know one store was a bit slow but the one i have close to my house people there are amazing and got a $25 gift card as well for myself and my friend since she refered me to switch from tmobile. im not complaining :) to each its own, what works for someone i say great! and about the no talk and web i could care less i either talk or browse (but like i said before i hardly ever talk) hah

      • http://www.facebook.com/LethoeshatedadedicatedfatherGreen Keith Green

        Yep. Preach! Unlimited data. Always have service. No dropped calls. Verizon is da way to go.

      • ic0dex

        I think you get more for your money with Verizon then AT&T. I originally had AT&T and I was grandfathered but I had to give that up to get the new price for their data plan. Plus once I passed 2Gb they always slowed my Internet down and send me letter about me shearing data illegally

      • ongxadayne

        how you do 2 thing at 1 you mus be drive and text .it not ok to do that.

      • Matt

        no no i meant i dont need voice and data at the same time since i don’t do it.

      • Grant Gunther

        Verizon supports voice and data at the same time, it’s just that for the iPhone 5, apple decided not to include the chip that would allow that on Verizon or Sprint for CDMA. Since GSM has that built into the standard, ATT gets it with every phone, CDMA needs a separate chip. Currently there is no support (or looks like there will be?) for VoLTE (Voice over LTE).

    • Peter Kanguchu

      t-mobile unlimited data plus talk and text for $85 just saying if i need LTE speed i have wifi at home lol

  • http://twitter.com/Zach_Krase Zach Krase 

    so for $200 it’s unlocked on Verizon?

    • ongxadayne

      it free

    • http://www.facebook.com/LethoeshatedadedicatedfatherGreen Keith Green

      All Verizon 5’s r unlocked.

  • Titombg

    Tmobile are updating their networks for the lte and will be compatible with the att iphone version once it is done

  • ongxadayne

    1st verizon is cdma there can put mini tower anytime anywhere you get 5 bar.
    2nd att tmobile is gsm can only have big tower.you canot put in side factory or —.
    3rd gsm sound clear.cdma sound like walky talky.

    • ic0dex

      It sounds exactly as ATT.

    • John

      Or microcell from AT&T….

    • http://profiles.google.com/nikki.art.10 Nikki bie

      What it sounds like depends on where you are at for both companies. ATT in SD sounds like… well nothing in a lot of places and if you do connect it sounds like a walky talky in a washer. Verizon will have no problem in the same spot and sound as good a ATT does in most WY towns. It depends where you are at both bands are better at different things.

  • http://twitter.com/MrThatsLife TG

    So what device would be better to use on T-Mobiles Network.. Verizon Iphone 5 or ATT Iphone 5.. this being both devices would be unlocked

    • http://twitter.com/WDLTHeaux NoLove

      Or even the factory unlocked i5 that Apple might sell

  • http://www.facebook.com/qasminisar Nisar Qasmi

    Will Verizon iPhone 5 work internationally on any GSM network?

  • http://www.facebook.com/wuseine Hoseine Alayon Wu

    Will its LTE service (AT&T version) still work even after unlocking it and using another carrier that isn’t from the US?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000707133179 Asmi Wt

    Just wanna know which iphone 5 model number you have is it the A1428 or A1429 ? You can find this information at the back cover .

  • attiphoneunlocking.com

    We can unlock any at&t iphone 5. Even if its been lost or still under contract. We providing a very fast and professional unlocking service. We can unlock your phone under 90 mins permanently.

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  • samamaa

    All operators here in Finland sell the new iPhone 5 without any kind of SIM-lock, earlier models (4S,4,3GS,3) were sold with SIM-lock (cheaper) or more expensive without SIM-lock. I guess due to the lack of SIM-locks the price of iPhone 5 here is ridiculously high, basically it doesn’t matter if you buy your iPhone 5 from a carrier with a contract or from Apple Store. Well, buying from a carrier has the advantage of part payment though. Hmm, could by an iPhone 5 from Verizon and use it here in GSM-networks if there’s no SIM-lock in them..

    Anyway, just read some comments here about the pricing of different carriers in US, and had a little smirk on my face. I have UNLIMITED (no data limit) internet connection in my iPhone 4 (well, with the limited speed of 1Mb/s) and i pay for that 4,99€/month (~6,50$/month)(where I live, there’s always full 3G) The data plan with no speed limit / no data limit (up to 42Mb/) would cost 13.90€/month or 19,90€/month (~18$/month or ~26$/month) depending of the carrier you choose. (I got WiFi at home so i see no need for the full speed connection). I thought that I should go and change the type of my telephone subscription to the one that has 12 000 min/SMS of talktime with just 9.95€/month :P (so you could for example send 6 000 SMS and still have 6 000min of talktime left, here carriers go with the pricing that 1SMS=1min talk)

    So the whole package for me with a data plan without data limit (but 1Mb/s) 4,99€ + 9,95€ for 12 000min/SMS subscription= ~15€ = ~20$ for total. NOT BAD :)