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Cricket Says Their Prepaid iPhone 4S is Unlocked for International Use

According to an article on usatoday.com, Cricket Communication's iPhone 4S, which is available for $499.99 stating to today in some Cricket markets, will be sold SIM unlocked for international use. The phones will be programmed so that they will not work on US GSM operators like AT&T and T-Mobile.

That's in sharp contrast to other US carriers including Sprint, Verizon and AT&T whose iPhones are sold SIM locked. All three will unlock a customer's iPhone on request, subject to certain conditions. And then there's Sprint's Virgin Mobile brand, which will also offer the iPhone starting June 29th.Virgin's iPhone's will be SIM locked and Virgin has indicated that they will not unlock them for customers.

I applaud Cricket for their customer friendly willingness to sell the iPhone 4S unlocked. Unlike with other US operators no unlocking will be necessary to use a local prepaid SIM when outside the US. USA Today quotes a Cricket spokesperson as saying that a customer could buy an iPhone 4S, pay for one month's service to activate it and then immediately use the iPhone with a foreign SIM.

Cricket's iPhones are only available in areas like Denver, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Houston, Salt Lake City and Kansas City where Cricket operates their own network on the 1900 Mhz PCS band. You can check availability in your zip code on the Cricket site.

Update: Cricket iPhones sold after June 18, 2013 are not unlocked for international use. There are also reports that Cricket phones before after that date become locked if reset, restored or reactivated. Cricket will unlock iPhones for international use on request provided the phone has been in use for six consecutive months on the same Cricket account.

46 comments:

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  1. Wait so what are you saying? You can use SIMs in Cricket's iPone, or does it only support Europeon SIMs like T-mobile UK? Or can I pick this up and use a T-mobile USA sim or Straight Talk?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Non-US SIMs only. A T-Mobile USA or Straight talk SIM will not work.

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    2. That's a shame :(

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  2. that messeddd up!! boooooaahh!!!

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  3. So Cricket iphone can use international sim card, but not US carriers sim card. So it is a "partially unlocked" phone.

    but this gives an arbitrage opportunity to sell the iphone abroad where it costs more than $555 dollars. Very interesting.

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  4. So once i put a international sim in can i use it here in the usa as well?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it will still work on Cricket and if your non-US operator supports roaming in the US that should work as well.

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  5. It says that it only works n certain cities. I have to travel constantly to San Diego, LA and NC for work, will it not work on those cities?

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  6. I was trying to decide what was best; buying an unlocked iphone from apple (which costs $50 more [plus tax] than the cricket iphone)or just buying the cricket unlocked iphone. I guess I will be spending the extra money to buy it straight from apple because i am a T-mobile customer.

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  7. can cricket version be unlocked like other iphones from att,verizon&sprint. even though it is unlocked for international mkt

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't know. It might be possible to remove the block on US GSM carriers like AT&T or T-Mobile by using a Gevey SIM interposer or through a remote locking service. You need to ask Gevey or an unlocking service

      Using a Cricket phone on a CDMA carrier like Verizon or Sprint isn't possible as they will only activate devices that have ESNs that are in the carrier's database.

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  8. So confused so cricket can use SIM as long as the phones unlocked? Does it have to be the iPhone can it be a android?

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    1. Cricket doesn't use SIMs. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are the only Cricket phones that have SIM slots. The SIM slot is only usable outside the US.

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  9. i have a iphone 4s can cricket provide me a sim card? or i should buy iphone itself

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    1. The only iPhones that will work on Cricket are the ones Cricket sells. Cricket will not provide you with a SIM card and none is needed to use the iPhone on Cricket.

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  10. They just lie. I tried to pop in a Russian SIM card and it says "No Service". Can't even get a network list. I've spent ours on the phone with Cricket and Apple and they could do nothing. I'm just going to file a chargeback with my credit card company and sent them their iPhone back.

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  11. well you cant use the russian sim card if it has no service and the phone will not work in the usa u have to be in another country and ur phone has to say no service

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  12. I just bought the 4s specifically because I was told that this is the only cricket phone which could be used internationally, and not the iPhone5. I will be in China May 2013 for a month and I have since been told by others after purchasing the 4s that CDMA technology is not supported in most other countries overseas and that they use GSM so my phone may not get service in most areas because of this? In effect, it would mean that my phone is totally useless to me if this is indeed the case, since I bought it specifically to be able to use overseas. Please advise.

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    1. Both the Cricket iPhone 4S and 5 are CDMA plus GSM world phones and the GSM side is supposed to be unlocked for international use. The phone needs to have been activated on Cricket in the US first.

      Some people have reported problems getting Cricket iPhones to work with non-US SIMs. The phone accepts the SIM but can't find the network. The solution is do a network reset (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings).

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    2. I think the Tru SIM, from British operator Truphone should work in the US. They have roaming agreements with both Tmobile USA and AT&T.

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    3. It might but world phones from US operators often don't allow connecting to US networks even when using a non-US SIM.

      For example, I have a Telcel Mexico SIM which roams of AT&T in the US when used in an unlocked GSM phone. The SIM works in Mexico in my Sprint Motorola Photon Android world phone. But in the US the Telcel SIM can't find the AT&T network.

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    4. How would I test this in a Verizon iPhone5 that is active on Verizon? Would the SIM automatically fail, or is there an easy way to just turn off the CDMA radio?

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    5. My understanding is the Verizon iPhone is unlocked for both domestic and international use, so it should fine with a Tru SIM or a domestic one. It would default to Verizon if available. Most world phones have an option to use GSM only but I don't know if the iPhone does.

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  13. hello yeswap can you please tell me if indee i can use the cricket iphone 4s with a sim card from mexico? (movistar).

    some say yes and other say no.

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    1. I believe that a Mexican SIM card will work with a Cricket iPhone 4S provided the iPhone has been used on Cricket previously.

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    2. i just called cricket customer service and they said that it is LOCKED for Mexico, Canada and USA, which means that it is not gonna work.

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  14. thanks a lot dennis, i was under the impression that it will work international but only in europe.

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  15. I have a question: I bought an iphone 4s here in China (China Mobile network). It is originally a Japanese iphone sold here in China. It has Cydia which I believe is unlocked but I dont know too much about these things. I will be returning to the usa next month but still want to use my iphone and would hate to dish out more money on a new phone. My question is: Will I be able to use my iphone in the usa with any sim card and not have to get involved with a contract? If not, is there anything I can do to be able to utilize the phone I bought here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your iPhone has Cydia it is jailbroken which allows you to install apps form apps stores other than Apple's and modify the phones software. Jailbroken phones aren't necessarily unlocked but yours is if it's a Japanese market phone and a China Mobile SIM works in it.

      The phone should work on any US GSM network ,

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  16. Simple question can I unlock a cricket iPhone to work on T-Mobile?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No simple answer however. It might be possible but won't be easy and probably isn't cost effective. The Cricket iPhone 4S and 5 are unlocked for international use after activation but that requires paying $55 for a month od Cricket service.

      However US SIMs are still blocked. You might be able to get around this by using a SIM interposer like the R-SIM or TPSIM but I haven't heard of any one trying that and the interposers aren't cheap. Also, I believe they only work with the 4S and older versions of iOS. Even if the interposer works you won't get 3G or 4G HSPA+ speeds except in refarmed areas and you won't get 4G at all.

      Better to buy the T-Mobile iPhone 5 which will work out of the box and get 3G, 4G HSPA+ and LTE everywhere T-Mobile offers it.

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  17. Can someone confirm if the cricket iphone 4s will work with Mexican SIM cards, for example with a Telcel sim card?

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  18. Can someone confirm if the cricket iphone 4s will work with Mexican SIM cards, for example with a Telcel sim card?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so. Several people have tried and failed. One person said that Cricket support told him that the Cricket iPhone 4S and 5 is unlocked to work with all GSM SIMs except ones from the US, Canada and Mexico.

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    2. I wonder whether the Cricket iPhone 4s would work with Lycamobile, since their SIM card *roams* on Tmobile, unlike Ptel.

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    3. Highly unlikely, Lyca SIMs have a US MCC (mobile country code) which is what locked phones check to determine of the SIM of allowed.

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  19. So I just bought a Samsung G S3. I wanna know if I can use other SIM cards in other countries. Also this GS3 does have a slid for small SIM card. Please Mr. Dennis Bournique if you are not certain, let us know. Because if it can't be unlocked for international us, I will return it ASAP and get the iPhone 4S which I don't really like.
    BUT THANKS ANYWAY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Return it, it's unlikely to work in any other countries except possibly Mexico and Canada.

      Cricket's S III is a CDMA and LTE phone, it doesn't support GSM. The SIM is for LTE.

      The CDMA (800/1700/1900MHz) and LTE (Band 2 (1900MHz), Band 4 (AWS)) frequencies it supports are not used outside North America.

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  20. I JUST BOUGHT A SAMSUNG GALAXY S4, 4G LTE, FROM CRICKET. CAN THIS PHONE BE UNLOCKED TO WORK OVERSEAS, IN CHINA AND PHILIPPINES? OTHERWISE I WILL RETURN IT ASAP. WILL A IPHONE 4S OR 5S WORK THERE INSTEAD?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Cricket Galaxy S4 won't work outside of North America. The iPhone 4S or 5 if unlocked will work globably.

      Delete
  21. Hi Dennis, just like to question from tommymclowd, I also bought a samsung galaxy s4 4g lte, but is it possible to unlock this phone to use with other carriers oversea and in US such as Tmobile?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlike the iPhone, T=the Cricket S4 is a CDMA-only phone it's not possible for it to work on a GSM opperator like T-Mobile.

      Delete
  22. Hi Dennis I as gonna ask how do u know about these cricket phones so much ?
    And are you sure that cricked Iphone 5S will work outside usa like in India if we buy it online and then dont activate it from cricket ?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I don't know that much about Cricket as it's not available here in San Francisco.

      This post is about the Cricket iPhone 4S which is unlocked, I don't know if the 5S is. With the 4S you do have to activate the phone on Cricket before you can use it outside the country.

      If you want an iPhone 5S that will work in India for sure buy an unlocked one from the Apple Store.

      Delete
  23. If you ask on a cricket store, will they unlock the iphone 4s for you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt it. Phones are unlocked through iTunes, to unlock the Cricket iPhone 4S:
      Activate the phone on Cricket
      Connect the phone to a PC. In Tunes
      Back up your iPhone.
      Erase your iPhone.
      Complete the setup assistant and restore your backup.

      The Cricket IPhone is only unlocked for non US SIMs it won't work with a US SIM

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