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I have a factory unlocked iPhone 4S that I bought in France. I am coming to visit in California. Will it work on the Verizon network?

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Have you consulted Verizon to ask? You will need your phone's model number, but AFAIK the iPhone 4S isn't sold in different models for GSM versus CDMA so it's not clear if it can shift over to CDMA if used with a Verizon Micro SIM. –  bmike Sep 26 '12 at 21:57
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@bmike Verizon SIMs don't do anything in North America. My phone runs exactly the same (if it can talk to a Verizon tower) with or without the SIM. (The SIM is optional outside North America if you get the phone unlocked, as it is there only to let you use Verizon's international roaming arrangements.) CDMA phones have to be registered to the network some other way than a SIM. That's not to say Verizon won't do that activation temporarily, but it's not as easy as tossing a SIM in the slot. –  CajunLuke Sep 26 '12 at 22:04
    
@CajunLuke Phew - This rings true with all the trouble friends have had when they needed an iPhone 4S and 4 swap at the genius bar and the new phone was a hassle to get activated. Your answer is now clear that popping in a GSM SIM will be a slam dunk - guaranteed to work and the blame will be on the seller of the SIM if issues arise. The VZW case clearly is more hassle. –  bmike Sep 26 '12 at 22:08
    
I have a preference for Verizon because I had a contract with them before and they kind of "owe" me a month of service. So I guess it's worth asking them if they can activate my phone right? –  nute Sep 27 '12 at 4:40
    
@nute The worst that can happen is they'll say "no" and you'll have wasted the time spend trying to cajole them into activating the phone. –  CajunLuke Sep 27 '12 at 15:21
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2 Answers 2

Probably not. Verizon (like Sprint) uses CDMA, not GSM. Your phone will probably work on AT&T, T-Mobile, or one of the smaller regional GSM carriers around here. All of the above have prepaid SIM plans available with and without data so you can compare options before you arrive.

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What about the comments above regarding being only one version of the iPhone 4S? –  nute Sep 27 '12 at 4:38
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@nute According to MacTracker, there's only one model of iPhone 4S. –  CajunLuke Sep 27 '12 at 15:28
    
There are 3 models of the iPhone 4S, CDMA, GSM, and GSM china - see support.apple.com/kb/ht3939 –  Kevin Grabher Mar 16 at 18:41
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No. Verizon only allows verizon provisioned/ purchased phones on their network.

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