No Jailbreak Needed: Verizon iPhone 5 Ships Factory Unlocked for GSM Carriers

And so, after plenty of overnight camping and hullabaloo, the Apple iPhone 5 has officially been launched into the mobile world. The assumption is that when you buy the iPhone 5 on subsidy that it’d be locked to that service provider. That’s mostly true, except when you buy it from Verizon, because it comes unlocked.

This has now been confirmed by the Verge. If you go out and buy the iPhone 5 from Verizon, assuming that you can find stock, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that the iDevice comes fully unlocked right out of the box. What this means is that you can go ahead and replace that Verizon nanoSIM with one from AT&T or T-Mobile and have it work too. This is particularly useful if you are traveling internationally, because it means that you can pick up a prepaid SIM at your destination and avoid those nasty roaming charges. Of course, many carriers don’t have prepaid nanoSIMs yet, so you may have to break out the scissors and carefully snip the regular SIM or microSIM down to nano-sized proportions.

The good news is that the Verizon iPhone 5 should be fully compatible with the 3G network from AT&T. The bad news is that it won’t work with AT&T’s 4G LTE, since it uses different bands that Verizon. This also means that you’re likely stuck with 2G/EDGE if you pop in a SIM from T-Mobile, though Old Magenta is reportedly rolling out some iPhone-happy 4G HSPA+ coverage in cities like Seattle, Las Vegas and New York.


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  1. Jessica says:

    Does this mean if I buy an iPhone 5 from Verizon, it will come unlocked out of the box and I can use it with my tmobile SIM card?

  2. tinaaaa says:

    Can an tmobile user just walk into a verizon store and buy the iphone 5?

  3. Mobile Magazine says:

    Sorry for the confusion. No Jailbreak needed, meaning, no baseband downgrade or unlock required through Cydia.

  4. The title is very misleading. Jailbreaking and Carrier Unlocking are two very different processes, and have immensely different purposes.

  5. Ach3r0n says:

    Verizon runs on CDMA; AT&T runs on GSM. The iPhone 5, unlike the 4S, comes in separate CDMA and GSM models and thus a Verizon phone will not and cannot run on AT&T’s network.

    • Kamina says:

      All iphone 5′s have GSM capabilities. The CDMA iPhone 5 will work on at&t 2g and 3g networks and most networks around the world. Not their LTE though. Also the writer of this article needs to realize that jail breaking has nothing to do with unlocking a phone.

    • Gregory Nuttcruzer says:

      WTF are you guys smoking? “The CDMA iPhone 5″? There is no such thing as a specific “CDMA iPhone 5″. The iPhone 5 is a world phone. Exact same hardware as any carrier. The Verizon iPhone just happens to be carrier unlocked.

    • Ach3r0n is correct. wtf are you smoking,
      Gregory Nuttcruzer ?

    • Omego2K says:

      Wally, the iphone 5 unlike previous models has the same hardware irrelevant of what carrier you get it from. Carriers however put a software lock on them. I’m not sure whether this software lock is specific to GSM or CDMA of to just the carrier. Either way the iphone has no special versions with respect to network types anymore.

    • Mr. Magoo says:

      @Ach3r0n The Verizon phone can and will run on AT&T’s network, this has been proven many times over. I hacked up the sim from my Lumia 900 and popped it in a VZW 5 myself and bars came right up.

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