Those who picked up an iPhone 5 through Verizon over the weekend received some welcome news Monday as the carrier reportedly announced it will never lock the new device.
Last week, a blogger discovered the phone was sold unlocked and worked on other carriers, even while on contract. He was able insert an old AT&T SIM card into his iPhone and successfully jump on that network.
Now, a Verizon representative has told the Associated Press that the carrier will keep the phone unlocked, making it the first Verizon phone that works on competing networks without having to hack the device.
This isn't the first time an iPhone was sold unlocked through a network, though it may be the first time a carrier has said it won't do anything to change the feature.
In 2011, Sprint received iPhone 4Ss that were unlocked and worked on AT&T. However, that didn't last long as it eventually issued software updates eliminating the capability.
What it means for users
The iPhone costs between $649 and $849 off contract, while a two-year contract on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint brings the prices down to $199 - $399.
With the unlocked news, users who bought a cheaper phone but who want to join another network can do so with nothing more than a termination fee.
They can also sell their iPhone 5 for use on virtually any network and switch carriers when their Verizon contract expires.
This also marks the first time Verizon is selling an unlocked phone that can work on other U.S. networks. Both it and Sprint unlock devices upon request, but only for non-U.S. carriers.
AT&T started unlocking iPhones in April, but only those on expired contracts and not to those owned by users who wanted to switch to Verizon.
Although the iPhone 5 can jump on AT&T, it can only access that carrier's non-LTE 4G network. Verizon, according to the AP, is the only U.S. network to offer 4G LTE.
TechRadar reached out to Verizon for comment and will update this story if and when information becomes available.
From the Associated Press via USA Today