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Verizon iPhone 5 secret? It works on AT&T, too.

Verizon iPhone 5 is 'unlocked,' the wireless carrier confirms. Verizon iPhone 5 accepts an AT&T card that allows use of that network, although buyers are typically signing up for two years of Verizon service. 

By Peter SvenssonAP Technology Writer / September 23, 2012

Aiden Villa, left, waits online to get the first iPhone 5 at the Verizon store in Odessa, Texas, on Friday. The Verizon iPhone 5 is 'unlocked,' which means it can be used on the AT&T network.

Mark Sterkel/The Odessa American/AP

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NEW YORK

The Verizon version of the iPhone 5, which went on sale Friday, comes with a secret and unexpected feature: it works on AT&T's network as well.

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Confirming blog reports, The Associated Press found that the Verizon iPhone 5 accepts an AT&T "SIM card" — a little chip that identifies a phone to a wireless network. The phone can then be active on AT&T's network.

It's the first time Verizon iPhones have been able to access AT&T's network without complicated hacking procedures. The feature may mean little to most buyers, since they're signing up for two years of Verizon service. But it does give them the option of switching carriers.

It's unclear whether the feature is intended and whether the phones will work with other carriers, such as T-Mobile USA. But Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed Saturday that the iPhone 5 models it's selling are "unlocked."

Last year, the first shipments of the Sprint iPhone 4S were unlocked and worked on AT&T, but Sprint later issued software updates that turned off that capability.

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