Bring your own Sprint iPhone 5?

    I'm not yet a T-Mobile customer, but I'd like to be...


    I have an iPhone 5 with Sprint service.  It is "unlocked" for international usage, and I'm aware of contractual requirements to pay an ETF.  I did use it for international usage and still have British and French nano SIM cards.  Ironically, when I have these SIMs installed in my phone while back in the USA, I can "roam" on both the Three and the Orange networks (international providers), and I can SELECT T-mobile as my provider.  When I install a T-mobile SIM, I get shut down.  Locked to Sprint.


    Apparently, the Sprint iPhone 5 is not like the AT&T or Verizon versions that come "factory unlocked" for migration to other providers.  However, on the T-mobile homepage, the option is given to select your own device that you are bringing over to T-mobile service.  The iPhone 5 for Sprint is approved as one of these such devices. 


         a) How can this be done?


         b) Please update your webpage and remove this device, as it provides false hope to Sprint iPhone customers looking to transfer service!!

      All replies

      • I see what you are saying, but I do not see the fault with T-Mobile in this. If you are going by compatibility, the sprint iphone 5 CAN be used on tmobiles network and tmobile is has the right to say that on their website. It is SPRINTS fault that it is locked for USA carriers. However, some people have found a way to force the unlock to make the phone work on tmobile either by jailbreaking or by using an R-Sim (search it on google).

          • That's an interesting idea.  Please understand that I'm not faulting T-mobile for the root cause of incompatibilities.  I hold each of the big mobile carriers responsible for locking the phones to the providers.  I am holding T-mobile accountable for being pragmatically inaccurate.  If they are going to try to get my new business, then they need to accurately explain how the carrier change could possibly be made rather than saying that it's theoretically possible.  If you were to use the site to check for compatibility, the link T-mobile sends you to is a shady site that does not even state that it's possible to unlock a Sprint iPhone! 


            Otherwise, they should not list it as compatible, because for 99% of us Sprint customers with iPhones, it is NOT feasible at all.


            For lack of a better illustration, that is like a car manufacturer posting on their home page that a Chevrolet Corvette engine could work in a Mazda.  It's been done before, so it is theoretically possible.  It takes a tremendous amount of technical prowess, patience, and risk, and the end result is not street legal.


            So from what I've read, a Sprint iPhone could theoretically be jailbroken and unlocked using various methods.  But the end result is not even comparable to the ease and functionality of an AT&T iPhone migrated.  Nor is it currently legal.

            • cesaribenitez95

              Re: Bring your own Sprint iPhone 5?

              An R-Sim does work, but anytime that Apple Inc send out an update for iOS will cause it to stop working. Apple Inc, has made an agreement with the CDMA carriers that the GSM part of the Iphone will not work with USA GSM carries. The hardware is the same but the firmware is not. DO its best to sell off your iphone and use that money to get a T-Mobile USA one

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Can I use a Sprint iPhone 4s on tmobile?

              • losione

                Re: Bring your own Sprint iPhone 5?

                monched, I agree T-Mobile is being misleading.

                If T-Mobile technicians have sucessfully activated a Sprint iPhone 5 on the T-mobile network then they have all the right to advertise it'll work.

                If T-Mobile technicians are basing this claim on the radios & antennas in the device, that is misleading.


                Sprint states they cannot unlock their iPhones for other domestic use in their unlocking policy. Whether this is a firmware setting as cesaribenitez95 mentions, or Sprint putting off the implementation of CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service ("Unlocking Commitment") until February 11, 2015, I do not know.


                Sprints unlocking policy: Legal / Regulatory & Consumer Resources


                If Sprint iPhones are mechanically unable to work on other domestic (US) carriers, as stated in their policies they have "no technological process available to do this," then T-Mobile should not advertise it is possible.


                BYOD & Sim Cards | Get a Sim Card For Your Unlocked Phone | T-Mobile