One of the Sprint employees was kind enough to snap and slip a shot as solid evidence with a note about SIM Locking. The iPhone locking activity is reported to begin in background during the activation process without the knowledge of customers.
Starting tomorrow, all iPhone 4S devices will have the SIM locked. The locking occurs during the activation process and is invisible to the customer (no extra action is needed by customer or rep).
The memo additionally notes that “this SIM lock update will not impact any current iPhone 4S customers (activated prior to 11/11/11).” Which means that those who purchased and activated iPhone 4S before November 11th will be able to continue their unlocked SIM slot. New customers will be tied to Sprint Worldwide for international services, however.
The unlocked iPhone 4S is the best choice, if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad since it avoids international roaming fees. Meanwhile, Apple has already stated that unlocked iPhone 4S will arrive without a micro-SIM card sometimes in November in USA. Frequent business travelers who are hopping between countries, or those who don’t want to be locked into a lengthy carrier contract can wait till then to buy the unlocked iPhone 4S.
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