Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm.

Macworld: Verizon and Sprint unlock the iPhone 4S SIM card slot for international roaming

Big news for frequent travelers. Here’s Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

Sprint plans to sell the iPhone 4S with its micro-SIM slot unlocked; Verizon’s will be initially locked, but if you’ve been a customer in good standing for 60 days, you can call Verizon and ask for an “international unlock.” (A Verizon spokesperson told me that this is Verizon’s standard policy for all world phones—it’s just the first time it’s manifested itself on an iPhone.)

Translation: Much cheaper international roaming, if you’re willing to go through the trouble of acquiring a prepaid SIM card in the country you’re visiting.

Let’s see if, as a result of this, AT&T decides to unlock the iPhone 4S for people who request it. I am very tempted now to ditch AT&T for Verizon or Sprint, in part to potentially use this bonus feature. (Mostly, though, because AT&T service is still unacceptable where I live in Brooklyn.)

Update: Ars Technica reports that Sprint won’t be selling the iPhone 4S with the SIM card unlocked, directly contradicting the Macworld report. Interesting! I’ve reached out to Sprint for clarification (and with a few more questions) and I’ll update again if I hear back.

Related: Goodbye, iPad 3G data plan