Verizon iPhone 5 Comes Unlocked Out Of The Box, Works On GSM Carriers Like AT&T

Verizon iPhone 5 Comes Unlocked Out Of The Box, Works On GSM Carriers Like AT&T

Some really good news just surfaced for current and potential Verizon iPhone 5 owners.

It’s been confirmed that Verizon is actually selling the iPhone 5 factory unlocked out of the box, and you can pop in another SIM card to use the device on even a GSM network like AT&T. Jeff Benjamin of iDownloadBlog has already tried inserting an AT&T SIM card into his CDMA Verizon iPhone 5, and it worked!

This is particularly huge news considering that Apple is selling three variants of the iPhone 5: CDMA for Verizon/Sprint/international LTE bands, GSM for AT&T/T-Mobile and North American LTE bands, and an international GSM version with support for LTE bands in Europe and Asia. Because the iPhone 5 is not technically a “world” phone like the iPhone 4S, most figured that you would be locked to either CDMA (Verizon) or GSM (AT&T) in the states. With the Verizon iPhone 5, that doesn’t appear to actually be the case.

Benjamin put together a video that shows off his discovery:

“I did reach out to Verizon via phone, and they confirmed to me that the phone was unlocked, and that I could use it with another SIM, even though I’m under contract, and just signed on as a customer today,” notes Benjamin.

So an on-contract Verizon iPhone 5 is sold unlocked, and, providing you have an AT&T nano-SIM or cut micro-SIM on hand, you can switch out Verizon’s SIM for a GSM carrier. That’s pretty cool.

It’s worth noting that you can’t gain access to LTE data on AT&T from the CDMA iPhone 5 on Verizon. But AT&T’s HSPA+ network is compatible.

We’ve reached out to AT&T to see if this works the other way around. Hopefully the carriers have started loosening their grip.

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  • ddevito

    That’s awesome, but I’d expect the greedy carriers to block you from doing so without a fee

  • JustWill312

    “We’ve reached out to AT&T to see if this works the other way around.”

    LOL. You’re too funny! Read up on the spec: AT&T iPhone 5 doesn’t have the CDMA antenna. The reason that the VZW’s version works is because it does have both CDMA and GSM capability and IS unlocked.

    So, NO! This won’t work the other way around.

  • MacT

    Wait a minute: Do I see it right that the CDMA Iphone 5 is the way better option for the Asiens/Europeans?
    Because most Carrier in Europe support the Verizon LTE Band 800 instead of the LTE Band 1800 (only T-mobile Germany and one carrier in the UK support it) , and if a Sim Card actually works in the Verizon Iphone 5 we also have our Euopean GSM support.
    Than this phone would be the way better choice as the regular European/World GSM Iphone 5, or am I wrong?

  • RadTech5000

    You know it would actually be a good idea if Verizon and AT&T teamed up to do an option where customers could sign up for both on the same phone that way you have complete coverage everywhere. ;p

  • Florian Gabsteiger

    @MacT unfortunately, no, the CDMA version does not support the LTE800 band.
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

  • more4more

    “We’ve reached out to AT&T to see if this works the other way around.”

    LOL. You’re too funny! Read up on the spec: AT&T iPhone 5 doesn’t have the CDMA antenna. The reason that the VZW’s version works is because it does have both CDMA and GSM capability and IS unlocked.

    So, NO! This won’t work the other way around.

    well, would at&t iphone 5 work on t-mobile right out of the box is still a question

  • nthnm

    Just can’t see AT&T ever doing something like this. lol

  • CooLoverM

    ATT-Unlock.com really did a factory unlocked on my iPhone 5 with just the IMEI number in less than 8 hrs. Now I am using it with T-Mobile.

    check it out http://www.ATT-Unlock.com

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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