Sprint decides to get into the spirit of Christmas early by announcing that the iPhone 4S that they sell will be unlocked at the beginning, although a rather draconian SIM lock will be “pushed to the devices shortly after launch.” This is at least a welcome change from their original stance. As to what the definition of “shortly” is, it remains to be seen – after all, time is relative to different people and in this case, companies. Guess those who are about to go overseas immediately after purchasing this phone can always use a pre-paid SIM card in another country, but upon returning Stateside, chances are it will end up SIM locked.
Of course, the moment Sprint sends the SIM lock update to the iPhone 4S, customers who are “in good standing” with the company can always send in a request for the microSIM to be unlocked yet again. In good standing here probably means those who have settled their bills promptly without owing Sprint a single cent, preferably early settlements to boot. Do you think that this would drive customers away from Sprint? I guess it really depends on which part of the country you’re residing in, as well as the kind of network strength you get there.