iPhone 4S Release Date: Will iPhone 4S be Available Unlocked for Verizon and Sprint?

A number of contradictory reports have come in about whether the unlocked iPhone 4S will be available for the Verizon and Sprint networks.

Previous reports detailed that neither the Verizon nor Sprint’s networks would power the unlocked iPhone 4S because their CDMA networks do not allow for direct international usage.

Only the AT&T iPhone 4S was expected to be equipped for international usage due to its globally recognized GSM network.

However MacWorld reported on Oct. 10 that Sprint's iPhone 4S would be available unlocked while users of Verizon's iPhone 4S could request the network unlock the phone after 60 days.

An unlocked phone can use a SIM card, or a micro-SIM in the case of the iPhone, in order to be powered, pre-paid and out of contract.

Many travelers prefer using SIM-cards to power their phones overseas because it allows them to use local phone numbers and not incur added charges from being powered by their network's international affiliates.

The GSM network for AT&T’s iPhone operates in that fashion that allows phones to be powered through its international affiliates.

Subscribers are however locked into paying significantly higher international rates.

Now reports suggest that Sprint and Verizon's iPhones won't be available unlocked for international use with a micro-SIM, but will be able to work globally by being powered through Sprint and Verizon's international affiliates that run on GSM networks.

"While Sprint will now support international roaming on GSM networks with the appropriate monthly plan, the company will not be selling the phone unlocked for use with international microSIMs," said on expert.

Sprint wireless device public relations representative, Michelle Mermelstein confirmed this to be true and also noted that Verizon's iPhone 4S most likely works the same way.