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Verizon iPhone 5’s secret feature: It’s ’unlocked’

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.

Confirming blog reports, The Associated Press found that a Verizon iPhone 5 accepts an AT&T “SIM card” – a chip that identifies a phone to a 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 gives Verizon customers the option to switch carriers rather than renewing an expired contract.

It’s unclear whether the feature is intended and whether the phones will work with other carriers such as T-Mobile USA.

Verizon Wireless referred questions about the SIM card feature to Apple, which did not respond.

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