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October 16th 2011 8:36 pm

Can you switch carriers (AT&T to Verizon) with the new iPhone 4S?

Can you ever do this, or will you ever be able to do this? I currently am contemplating purchasing an iPhone 4S, however, I do not want to use my upgrade, and spend another 2 years with America's worst cell provider.

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Based on the article below, which references the Apple FAQ about service, the answer is "no". While the GSM radios inside are available for international use, they are locked out of domestic use once you activate the phone on Verizon or Sprint. If you activate on AT&T the CDMA radios are locked out.

From what I have seen, this is true of any carrier subsidized phone in the US and the FAQ also indicates the unlocked versions they plan on selling will be AT&T compatible only. The key is not what the phone can do but what the carriers dictate you can do in your service agreement when you activate service with a them. None of the major US carriers have shown any indication in the past to be willing to sell truly unlocked phones.

In addition, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are all deploying LTE in a different spectrum, so they will have even less incentive to make phone compatible on competitor's networks.­/tech­/articles­/9781­-iphone­-4s­-i...­/article2­/0,2817,2388526,00.asp­#fbid­=...
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Pardon my french, but that is complete BS. I may be able to understand the terms of conditions of this ridiculous rule if you purchase a subsidized iPhone, but if you buy it outright, you should not be restricted to a GSM carrier, especially when we all know that AT&T will soon be the only GSN carrier in the United States. There should be laws against this type of corporate bullying.

When I purchase a TV, I am not restricted to a single Cable provider nor satellite ON THAT TV! I can use that TV set any way I like. As a person who often calls himself a fiscal conservative, who believes in the power of a free-market, I find myself quite often frustrated with large mobile phone carriers.

And in this case, carriers like AT&T and/or Verizon are implementing practices which prevent free-market principles from taking place. If your service was the best, you would not have to worry about people switching carriers. That is why we have competition. Because it inspires innovation and yields better service.

These rules make me ill. Sorry for the rant.
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The only way to get an iPhone on Verizon or Sprint is to buy it from them, not even the unlocked iPhone can be put on the CDMA carriers. Sucks for me, thinking about going to America for a holiday but I can't put my iPhone 4S on Verizon I'm stuck with AT&T or T-Mobile.
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If you buy an unlock mobile you can switch between the networks provided the mobile supports both GSM and CDMA.If it is a locked mobile then you need to unlock the phone to switch networks.I like to share my experience in unlocking my mobile...I got the remote unlocking service from­/apple­-iphone­-4s­/rs16wp9/ since it was a permanent unlocking solution.Now I am free to switch between the GSM networks and even if I upgrade I do not have the fear of losing the unlock.
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