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iphone 5 Softbank on Sprint


Shima
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Good evening S4GRU members.  My son recently moved in with us from Okinawa, Japan.  Ironically, he has an iPhone 5 with Softbank that he brought with him.  We were wondering if a Sprint SIM card will work with his phone, so he can utilize it here.  If not we were debating selling it and taking the money over to a new contract with Sprint.  Thanks for any advice!!  Also, the 4G LTE here in Grand Rapids is more noticeable every week. 

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Sadly, I do not believe he will be able to use his Softbank iPhone. Softbank uses the iPhone model GSM A129, while sprint uses the CDMA A129. Even if Sprint were to allow the device, it would not have access to their Voice and 3G data network without that CDMA support. Your best bet would probably take it to an apple store and get it unlocked, then selling it. 

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Thanks ChadBroChillz!  I was hoping it would work, but wasn't sure.  I know for international roaming it was pulling up AT&T, I guess that would explain the GSM A129 model.  He mentioned paying about $1,500 for it, so I guess they are very expensive in Japan.  We will probably work on getting him a new iPhone with Sprint. 

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Good evening S4GRU members. My son recently moved in with us from Okinawa, Japan. Ironically, he has an iPhone 5 with Softbank that he brought with him. We were wondering if a Sprint SIM card will work with his phone, so he can utilize it here. If not we were debating selling it and taking the money over to a new contract with Sprint. Thanks for any advice!! Also, the 4G LTE here in Grand Rapids is more noticeable every week.

I'm not familiar with the difference between the CDMA model A1429 vs the GSM model A1429, but Sprint uses the former while Softbank uses the latter. See this link for details of which model is used by which international carrier & the associatd LTE bands each model is able to utilize: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/ . There's an outside chance that a GSM A1429 could be flashed to the CDMA A1429 variant, but even if that is possible you then need to have Sprint add the IMEI to their database in order to activate the phone on Sprints network which in itself is a long shot. Long & short, sell the SoftBank model online and buy a Sprint variant here in the US.

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