What Does Unlocked Mean For iPhone? – Complete Guideline
Apr 30, · A factory unlocked iPhone means that you can keep your warranty. If you are considering purchasing a new or used iPhone, you may be wondering what the differences are between buying a locked iPhone, a factory-unlocked iPhone or a user-unlocked iPhone. Locked iPhones are cheaper, but they come with an added price. A: A fully unlocked iPhone means that iPhone is not bound to any company. If you have a fully unlocked iPhone it means whether the contact of the carrier company with iPhone has expired and you are free to use this phone with any other supported carrier or the iPhone was originally purchased from the manufacturer or Apple Company and is already unlocked.
You may have heard people talk about unlocked smartphones. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to an unlocked phone. Here's what you need to know before you buy one. With iPhones, unlocking is often called jailbreaking. Each carrier offers a limited number of locked phone models to use with its services.
Purchasing an unlocked phone elsewhere such as from a retailer or the phone manufacturer expands the number of models you have access to for use with your provider. However, if you use a phone not provided by the carrier, you may not get all the services that are available from that carrier. Some carriers will unlock your phone, but usually only after certain conditions have been met, such as your phone is completely paid for.
You might want to have this done if you want to sell your phone or switch carriers without having to buy a new one. Unlocked phones make it much easier to change your cellular service carrier while keeping the same phone. If you're thinking of having your phone unlocked by your carrier, keep in mind that purchasing an unlocked smartphone can be a much easier, and more reliable, option than attempting to unlock a previously locked phone.
You can unlock a smartphone on your own, but you may need help. You can pay a third party to unlock your phone, but doing so may void any warranty you may have, or cause problems when you want to update the phone's software. Therefore, research these issues thoroughly before moving forward. A subscriber identity module SIM card is a tiny card in your phone that contains information tied to a specific mobile network.
The SIM provides the device with its phone number, as well as its voice and data services. When you unlock your phone and switch carriers, you may need to get a new SIM from that carrier. To use this type of phone with a specific carrier, that carrier must support eSIM operation, and most major carriers do support it. With some unlocked phones, you may have two SIMs, one for domestic use, and one for international use; or one for a personal line and one for a business line.
As noted above, if you buy an unlocked smartphone, you'll need a SIM to get service unless your device is equipped with an eSIM. Otherwise, there's little difference between using an unlocked smartphone and a locked one, assuming the phone was unlocked by a carrier or was purchased unlocked. Smartphones unlocked by a third party can be trickier to use because their warranties are likely void as a result of this action.
Also, updates to your smartphone's software can relock the phone, requiring you to unlock it again, an option that may not be available immediately after an update. Bottom line, buying and using an unlocked phone gives you more freedom to use your phone as you like, and it can save you money. But, before making your purchase, take time to do your research.
Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic ads.
Create how to download free music from google personalised ads profile. Select personalised ads. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Liane Cassavoy. Liane Cassavoy is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire who has been reviewing and writing articles about smartphones what does factory unlocked mean on iphone 5 Twitter LinkedIn.
Updated on October 28, Christine Baker. Lifewire Tech Review Board Member. Christine Baker is a marketing consultant with experience working for a variety of clients. Her expertise includes social media, web development, and graphic design. Article reviewed on Feb 14, Tweet Share Email. Android Switching from iOS. In This Article. Pros and Cons of Unlocked Phones. Carrier-Unlocked Phones.
Unlock the Phone Yourself. Using Unlocked Smartphones. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting what does factory unlocked mean on iphone 5 know! Email Address Sign up There was an error. Please try again. You're in! Thanks for signing up. There was an error. Tell us why! More from Lifewire. How to Check if an iPhone Is Unlocked. The 8 Best Places to Buy Phones in Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for Lifewire. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the bottom of any page.
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Is an unlocked device really your best bet?
A factory unlocked phone refers to what cellular provider you can use with your device. If it is locked, it's currently only useable with the specific carrier it's on. You can use any eligible SIM from that provider, but that provider only. If it's factory unlocked, by contrast, you can go . Feb 20, · But, what does "unlocked phone" mean? An unlocked iPhone is not associated with any particular cellular service provider and can therefore connect to any carrier. Unlocked iPhones, when sold used, are worth more as well. Once we cover what it means when an iPhone is unlocked, we'll go over how to tell if your iPhone is unlocked or likeloveall.com Time: 2 mins. Nov 25, · So a "factory unlocked" iPhone 5 would allow you to change Verizon SIMS in that phone and still work, while an iPhone 5 that is normally purchased on .
Before buying a used iPhone, use one of these three ways to know if your iPhone is unlocked or locked. You can check if the iPhone is unlocked in Settings, with the SIM card , or using an online resource. But, what does "unlocked phone" mean? An unlocked iPhone is not associated with any particular cellular service provider and can therefore connect to any carrier.
Unlocked iPhones, when sold used, are worth more as well. Once we cover what it means when an iPhone is unlocked, we'll go over how to tell if your iPhone is unlocked or locked. If you just need to check if your iPhone is unlocked, jump to the how-to. Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad. Related: U nlock My Phone! If your iPhone is unlocked, you could switch from Sprint to Verizon tomorrow and your same phone will work just fine.
But if you bought the iPhone through a carrier on a contract, the phone will be locked until the contract is over and paid in full. So to recap:. You could call your current carrier and ask them if your iPhone is unlocked.
But otherwise, calling the carrier is definitely going to tell you if the iPhone is unlocked or not. Not interested? To check your device-unlock status:. However, this isn't quite the end of the story, since some users report that this information isn't displayed in their About page in Settings. If that's the case for you, check out one of the other methods detailed below.
This method requires you to have two SIM cards from different carriers. There are quite a few online tools that allow you to check if your phone is unlocked using the IMEI number; however, the vast majority want you to pay about three dollars to get the info. I found one free tool, though. To do this:. Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via conpoet on Instagram.
She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country. Skip to main content. Open main menu. Search form Search this site. Updated for iOS Updated for iOS 14 Don't buy a used iPhone before you check if it's unlocked! If the iPhone you purchase is locked, you may be stuck with a phone service provider you don't want.
Master your iPhone in one minute a day:. Author Details. Author Details Conner Carey.