Although Sprint initially began selling iPhone 4S handsets with unlocked SIM slots, this is now officially a thing of the past. Starting today, all iPhone 4S sold through Sprint will be SIM locked to the network.
The information was revealed through an internal memo sent to Sprint employees, according to a SprintFeed report from yesterday:
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 locking will occur during the activation provess, and will require no extra action on the part of the customer or sales rep. Fortunately, it also appears that users who have already purchased a SIM-unlocked handset will not be affected.
This follows Sprint’s previous notification that the unlocked devices would only be available for a short time:
Sprint’s policy is to have the iPhone 4S SIM locked to our network domestically and internationally. At launch, the International SIM will be unlocked. We do expect a SIM lock to be pushed to the devices shortly after launch. We will then allow existing customers in good standing to unlock the SIM for international use if needed in the future.
The unlocked devices will only work on other CDMA networks, and considering that CDMA networks are fairly few and far between, the usefulness of having an unlocked SIM slot is certainly up for debate.