Do I Need To Unlock My Sprint Iphone?
By no means do not feel obligated that you NEED to unlock your Sprint iPhone. If you plan to continue using Sprint services alone, then it really doesn’t matter if you are locked to Sprint services or not. However, if your phone hasn’t been yet automatically unlocked (more on that in the following section), probably means that you haven’t met their unlocking requirements and as such may need to consider other unlocking alternatives if you want to be able to use your iPhone with other SIM cards.
If you determine that you do need your phone to be unlocked, start by contacting Sprint support. If they tell you that they can’t unlock your phone yet, then you may want to explore alternative options. We will present some of those herein.
What Do I Need To Know Before Trying To Unlock A Sprint Phone?
Before you try to unlock your Sprint phone, make sure you know why you are unlocking your phone. Are you planning to travel abroad and use foreign SIM cards? Do you want to sell your phone? Do you want to switch to another carrier and use this phone?
Moreover, know at least the basic information about your phone; your phone number, phone’s brand and model, phone’s IMEA, etc.
Since Sprint has an auto unlocking policy set in place, you should know that if your phone is still locked, you may need to consider third-party unlocking services to get it unlocked.
Furthermore, know that there are roughly two rather different unlocking procedures set in place; one for phones produced before February 2015, and the other one for phones produced after February 2015, which is the most common one.
In any case, you should always start by reaching put to Sprint support and explain that you want to unlock your phone. This is the Sprint customer support number: 888-211-4727, call them, and request unlocking. If your account and your device are eligible, they will provide you with detailed instructions on how to proceed.
The info you should have at hand before you call Sprint support for unlocking your device:
- Your full name (should be an easy one)
- Your account number
- Your account password
- The last four digits of your social security number
- Your phone’s IMEI or MEID number. (You can find it on the body of your phone, usually on the back.)
Why Should You Unlock Your Sprint Phone?
If you are completely satisfied with being able to use only the Sprint SIM card and their services, you may have the need for unlocking your phone. However, if you are interested in using any other carrier’s SIM card with that device, you will absolutely want to unlock your Sprint phone.
There are several reasons why you may want to use other SIM card with your phone; perhaps you are traveling to foreign countries and want to be able to use their local SIM cards, maybe you want to simultaneously use other national carriers, sell your phone, or switch over to another carrier.
Whichever the reason, you will want to unlock your device. Moreover, unlocking your phone provides you with complete freedom to use your phone freely. Maybe you just want to help out a friend by letting him or her use your device with their SIM card. As long as your Sprint phone is not unlocked, you won’t be able to do so, unless they are also using Sprint SIM card.
That said, it is completely up to you to determine whether or not you should unlock your Sprint phone.
Sprint Unlock Eligibility Requirements
Sprint has a very detailed unlocking policy set in place. Herein, we will cover the most important details of that policy, including the Sprint unlock eligibility requirements.
Sprint unlocking requirements are divided into three categories: Sprint Postpaid Devices, Sprint Forward Devices, and Inactive Devices.
Sprint Postpaid Devices
Sprint will unlock a device from Sprint’s network under the following circumstances:
- The device is SIM Unlock capable
- The device must be or have been active on the Sprint network for a minimum of 50 days
- Any associated Service Agreement (or any Minimum Service Term, where applicable), Installment Billing Agreement, or Lease Agreement has been fulfilled including, but not limited to, payment in full of any applicable: 1) early termination fees, 2) accelerated installment or lease payments, and/or 3) end-of-lease purchase options. Because leased devices are not owned by the user, the end of lease purchase option must be exercised and paid in full before the SIM unlock is completed.
- The associated account is in good standing
- The device has not been reported as lost or stolen, associated with fraudulent activity, or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked
NOTE: For SIM unlock-capable devices (generally most devices launched after February 2015), Sprint will automatically unlock postpaid devices when they become eligible.
Sprint Forward Devices
Sprint Prepaid will assist with unlocking a Sprint Forward device under the following circumstances:
- The device has not been reported as lost or stolen or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked.
- The device has been active on the associated account for at least 12 months with the account active at that time.
Sprint Forward customers must contact Customer Care to request that their device be unlocked. If you believe you meet the above requirements and would like to request that your SIM unlock-capable device be unlocked, contact Sprint Prepaid Customer Care by dialing 855-639-4644.
Sprint Inactive Devices
For inactive devices, customers must contact Sprint Customer Care to request that their SIM unlock-capable device be unlocked and may have to take steps to perform an over-the-air update to ensure the unlock programming has been relayed to the device. Additional validation may be required to ensure eligibility.
NOTE: Sprint makes no guarantee that an unlocked device will work on another carrier’s network. Whether another carrier will accept and activate a device is subject to that carrier’s policies and capabilities. Additionally, Sprint devices which the owner has attempted to reprogram or activate on another carrier’s network or otherwise altered from its initial programming or settings may not be able to be reactivated on the Sprint network.
Minimum Criteria of Unlocking
All Sprint criteria of unlocking are listed in the previous section. Make sure to refer to the right type of device.
The minimum time spent on the Sprint network is 50 days for postpaid devices and 12 months for prepaid ones.
How to Unlock a Sprint Phone For Free
Sprint offers to unlock their phones for FREE. As such, this is by far the best way to get your Sprint device unlocked. Of course, to be able to use their unlocking services, you will need to meet the requirements present in the ‘Sprint Unlock Eligibility Requirements’ section above.
Though, keep in mind that if your phone is still locked, there is a great chance that it doesn’t meet the unlocking criteria since Sprint has an auto-unlocking set in place for the devices that meet all the requirements.
To request Sprint unlocking, you need to call their customer support. If you are using a postpaid device, you need to call Sprint Customer Care at 888-211-4727. If you are Sprint Forward customer (prepaid devices), you need to call their Customer Care at 855-639-4644.
There are other free unlocking alternatives, though they are absolutely not as efficient and have a rather poor success rate. They come in the form of online sites, apps, or hardware alterations.
Here are some popular free phone unlocking site: Unlockitfree, Trycktill, Nokia-Free, CanadaUnlocking.com, etc.
Unlock a Sprint Phone Online
If you are not able to unlock your Sprint phone through Sprint, your best option is third-party unlocking services. These are essentially websites that offer unlocking services. You provide them with your phone’s details and payment, and they send you an unlocking code or unlock your device automatically (depends on your phone’s type, brand, and model).
This online unlocking method is highly efficient and a perfect alternative for those of you who need to be able to use other SIM cards with your Sprint phone before it is unlocked by the Sprint themselves.
Expect to pay for these kinds of services anywhere between $5 and $50.
Here is a list of reputable third-party unlocking websites:
- Official iPhone Unlock – BEST FOR iPhones
- DoctorSIM Unlock Service
- Unlock Base
- iPhone IMEI – another option for iPhones
- Mobile Unlocked
- Cell Unlocker
- DirectUnlocks – the offer very fast results and promise to get your phone unlocked in less than six hours.
How to Unlock a Sprint Phone by IMEI
All of the unlocking methods, at least the ones that are legit and safe for your phone and relate to phones produced after February 2015, are performed based on the phone’s IMEI number. Sprint is no different.
IMEI is a 15-digit number that corresponds only to one specific device. It is also known as a phone ID number. By providing this number to a third-party unlocking company, you will get your phone unlocked directly or be provided with an unlocking code to enter.
Sprint Unlock With Third-party Service
We have mainly covered this in the ‘Unlock a Sprint Phone Online’ section above. Let us just add here that there is also a local business that performs this sort of service in person. If you are not comfortable using online services, perform some search, ask around, and you should be able to locate reputable local third-party unlocking service providers that should be able to unlock your Sprint mobile phone.
We highly recommend you to avoid using those third-party unlocking services that use any hardware manipulation since these could lead to you ending up with a dysfunctional device.
How to Unlock Sprint CDMA Phone
Lately, Sprint joined the T-Mobile family, which operates on GSM devices. As such, Sprint is now switching over to the GSM network. However, before this transfer, they used the CDMA network, which is still in use for their older devices (3G).
The unlocking for CDMA phones is the same form as described herein, at least for all 4G-operable CDMA phones. Start with the most legit way, which is Sprint unlocking service and then, if needed, move to other alternatives (free options or third-party unlocking services).
However, for all devices produced before February 2015, the unlocking is slightly different. These devices are not operating on SIM cards (are not SIM Unlock capable), and are as such limited to CDMA networks.
For devices that are not SIM Unlock-capable, Sprint may be able to provide a Master Subsidy Lock (“MSL”) code to eligible customers.
The MSL code was utilized to lock many devices manufactured before February 2015. For these MSL-based devices, Sprint will provide a bill notification and/or text message when you are eligible to receive your MSL code. The bill notification will direct you to Sprint Customer Care who can provide you the MSL code.
NOTE: Sprint can provide the MSL code to eligible customers, this does not mean that the device will be accepted by another carrier or interoperate with another carrier’s network. Whether another carrier will accept and activate a device is subject to that carrier’s policies and capabilities. Additionally, Sprint devices which the owner has attempted to reprogram or activate on another carrier’s network or otherwise altered from its initial programming or settings may not be able to be reactivated on the Sprint network.
How Do I Unlock My iPhone on Sprint?
Unlocking iPhones on your Sprint account follows the same rules and guidelines as presented thus far in the article. Follow the instruction provided above and call the corresponding Sprint customer support (postpaid or prepaid phone).
If Unlock issues occur with Apple devices after Sprint confirms that they have unlocked your phone, do the following:
- Ensure the device is powered on and within Sprint’s network coverage area, or at minimum connected to a Wi-Fi network
- Back up your phone.
- Restore your iPhone to factory settings
- Restore your iPhone from a backup
Sprint Unlock Policy CanadaUnlocking.com
- The phone must be activated and used on Sprint for minimum of 50+ days to be eligible.
- After successfully unlocking you will be able to use your Sprint phone only on compatible networks.
- Check network compatibility before ordering this service.
- If you plan to use another CDMA network you will need to register the IMEI number in their database (by calling customer service) before it will work.
- If you are planning to use a CDMA or GSM network contact them to make sure the phone is compatible first.
- Only active/clean IMEIs supported.
- This service will work in the USA, and outside of the USA.
- Spcs: yes only supported.
- Spcs: no not supported. important: if your device reverts from spcs: yes to no your device will be relocked as these devices are mostly unbarred. Unbarred IMEs not supported. devices that have been unbarred first through sprint unbarring is not allowed in this service.
- Device fed met: yes supported
- Currently active=no supported
- Device active for 50+ days.
- Check status with “USA sprint – clean/active/unpaid/blocked/fraud check” before ordering
Sprint Network Unlock Process
SIM Unlock refers to enabling the SIM slot of your device to allow you to insert another carrier’s SIM card (either domestically or internationally). Unlocking a device will not necessarily make a device interoperable with another carrier’s network as that is fully up to each individual carrier.
Additionally, unlocking a device may enable some functionality of the device but not all (e.g., an unlocked device may support voice services but not data services when activated on a different network).
NOTE: Not all devices are capable of having the SIM slot unlocked. Moreover, Sprint will only activate devices certified to work on the Sprint network. Sprint cannot unlock phones from other carriers.
Sprint has an automated unlocking process set in place. In case your device has not been auto-unlocked, make sure to get in touch with the Sprint customer support.
Sprint Isn’t Willing To Unlock My Phone, What Do I Do?
If Sprint is not willing to unlock your device, that means that either your account or your device does not meet their unlocking policy criteria. As such, we first advise you to do all that is in your power to meet those criteria. If that is not possible, you may explore alternative unlocking options, such as free unlocking sites, apps, or third-party unlocking services.
Keep in mind that third-party unlocking service may also refuse to unlock your device if you do not meet Sprints requirements.
Most Popular Sprint Unlock Services
Below is a list of 5 most popular Sprint phones, on which unlocking services are applying.
Apple iPhone 11 – Unlock Sprint Phone
The iPhone 11 is current Apple’s flagship model. It is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB internal memory versions. It also comes in various colors to best meet your needs. The iPhone 11 supports talk time of up to 26 hours, weighs 6.84 ounces, has an A13 Bionic chip processor, iOS 13 operating system, 6.1‑inch (diagonal) all-screen LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology display, measures 5.94″ x 2.98″ x .33″, and packs Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology.
For those looking for maximum performance, there are also iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max versions available.
Apple iPhone Xs – Unlock Sprint Phone
The iPhone Xs is another highly popular device available at Sprint. It comes with a battery that offers up to 20 hours of talk time, weighs 6.24 ounces, has an A12 processor, iOS 12 operating system, 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display, measures 5.65 inches x 2.79 inches x 0.30 inch, packs Bluetooth 5.0, and has an internal storage of 64 GB. The iPhone Xs offers face ID, 12 MP camera, and is water and dust resistant.
Samsung Galaxy S10 – Unlock Sprint Phone
Although there is Galaxy S20 out there, the Galaxy S10 still remains highly popular. This amazing android phone packs 6.1” Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Display (2960×1440), face recognition, all-day battery, 16MP ultra-wide camera, is water and dust resistant and more. The Samsung Galaxy S10 comes with a 3400mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery, measures 2.77″ x 5.90″ x 0.30″, weighs 5.53 ounces, has an internal memory of 128GB, 8GB of RAM, operates on Android 9.0, and is powered by the SDM 855 Octa-Core SDR8150, 7nm processor.
Samsung Galaxy S9 – Unlock Sprint Phone
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is another extremely popular device that is often being unlocked. This smartphone packs a Reimagined camera that takes professional-quality photos using Pro Mode. The Dual Aperture Lens produces stunning super low light allowing you to capture the right amount of light, day, or night. Super Slow-Mo captures 4x as many frames per second so you can slow down reality. The innovative AR Avatar feature lets you create an emoji that looks and moves just like you. Seamlessly translate signs, menus, or maps in your native language with Bixby Translate.
Galaxy Note9 – Unlock Sprint Phone
The Galaxy Note9 allows you to achieve more in work and life so that you feel ahead of the pack and enabled to do what drives you allowing you to create change. A Remote Control S Pen takes the power of the S Pen beyond the screen giving you remote controllability via Bluetooth. The Galaxy Note9 features Android™ 8.1, IP68 Water and Dust Resistant, Wi-Fi, Entertainment, GPS Navigation, 6.4” Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Display (2960×1440), a powerful 4000mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery that enables you 38 hours of talk time, advanced Dual Camera, SDM845, 2.8GHz Octa-Core Processor, Mobile Hotspot, Calendar, HD Voice, and more.
Benefits of Sprint Unlocked Phone
The benefits of having Sprint unlocked phone are no different than the benefits of an unlocked phone; it provides you with ability to use your phone with other carriers’ SIM cards, which is extremely practical if you are traveling a lot, planning to use your existing phone on other carriers, or sell your phone.
Moreover, it has been reported that unlocked devices receive phone updates first.
Sprint Buyback Program
The Sprint Buyback Program allows you to sell your used devices online or at a Sprint retail location. Online transactions generate an account credit within 4 weeks from the date Sprint receives your device(s), while In-store Retail transactions can be used as instant credit toward the purchase of a new device, accessories, or applied as an account credit.
The Sprint Buyback Program offers trade-in credit for many devices from other carriers. To see if your device is eligible, select your device information in the Carrier, Manufacturer, and Model sections.
Here is how you create a Buyback transaction:
- Click Sell to get started.
- Find the device you want to trade using the Filters or the Search feature.
- Review the estimated values and add the quantity in each size you plan to return that device.
- Click Add and proceed. or click Add and select another device. to continue selecting devices.
- Next, select the device conditions for each of your devices, enter the device IMEI or MEID, enter device mobile number, click I´m not a robot and click Add to cart, I´m done. to proceed or Add to cart, select another device. to add more devices.
- Complete the Customer Information section and review your Buyback Cart, once you’re ready to proceed with your transaction click Accept offer.
- Read through all the Terms & Conditions as well as the warnings, if you understand and agree to all the terms, conditions and warnings, click the checkbox, then click Complete offer.
- Once the offer is accepted, you will receive your shipping materials within 5–business days. Follow instructions provided on your packing slip, be sure to turn off the FMiP feature, Reactivation Lock and remove Google Account on any applicable devices and factory reset your devices before dropping them off at your nearest FedEx location.
For more details on Sprint Buyback Program visit https://secure.sprintbuyback.com/bbt/.
Why should I unlock my cell phone?
Unlocking your device will enable you to use it with other SIM cards. This means that you will be able to switch carriers and continue using your phone, use local SIM cards in foreign countries, and experience complete freedom of your device.
Can I use my Sprint phone with another carrier?
Yes but only after it has been unlocked. That may have happened automatically or you may need to request your device to be unlocked, using the instructions provided in the above article.
Why do carriers lock their phones?
Carriers lock their phones for two main reasons; one is to protect themselves from frauds and ensure that their clients use their services at least while they haven’t fully paid off their devices, second is a marketing strategy, which ties customers to their services.
What is a SIM unlock?
SIM unlock is the process of unlocking a phone for it to be able to work with other carriers’ SIM cards as the opposite of being locked and working only with a single carrier’s SIM card.