Verizon iPhone 5's secret feature: It's 'unlocked'

Sep 23, 2012 by Peter Svensson

(AP)—The Verizon version of the iPhone 5, which went on sale Friday, comes with a secret and unexpected feature: it works on AT&T's network as well.

Confirming blog reports, The Associated Press found that the Verizon accepts an AT&T "SIM card"—a little chip that identifies a phone to a wireless network. The phone can then be active on AT&T's network.

It's the first time Verizon iPhones have been able to access AT&T's network without complicated hacking procedures. The feature may mean little to most buyers, since they're signing up for two years of Verizon service. But it does give them the option of switching carriers.

It's unclear whether the feature is intended and whether the phones will work with other carriers, such as T-Mobile USA.

It's unclear whether the feature is intended and whether the phones will work with other carriers, such as T-Mobile USA. But Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed Saturday that the iPhone 5 models it's selling are "unlocked."

Last year, the first shipments of the Sprint 4S were unlocked and worked on AT&T, but Sprint later issued software updates that turned off that capability.

Explore further: Google challenges nonprofits on ideas to use Glass

3.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

T-Mobile USA to make data network work with iPhone

Feb 23, 2012

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA on Thursday said it will revamp its wireless data network this year, with the side effect of making it compatible with iPhones and some other smartphones sold by competing carriers.

Tiny US phone company is getting iPhone

Oct 19, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. said Tuesday that C Spire Wireless, the country's eighth-largest phone company, will start selling the iPhone 4S in a few weeks.

5 US carriers to sell new Samsung Galaxy in June

Jun 04, 2012

(AP) — Samsung's new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, will be launched by all of the Big 4 national U.S. wireless carriers this month, starting at $199, the phone maker said Monday.

Recommended for you

Japan's digital eyes show your emotions for you

Apr 21, 2014

Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer—a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.

Review: With Galaxy S5, Samsung proves less can be more

Apr 20, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5S: the Galaxy S5. The device, released over the weekend, is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S ...

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Vermont moves toward labeling of GMO foods

Vermont lawmakers have passed the country's first state bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods as such, setting up a war between the behemoth U.S. food industry and an American public that overwhelmingly ...