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What does unlocked mean when buying a smartphone?

An unlocked smartphone means one of two things; you can use it with any network provider or you can install any app on it. With current smartphones priced in the hundreds of dollars, phone companies and network providers have to come up with some attractive offers for users to upgrade their smartphone. The most common tactic is to offer the phone for free or at a deep discount, and in return, agree to a contract where you agree to pay a minimum amount of money each month. The sting in the queue is that while you get the newest smartphone worth several hundred dollars, it is locked to the carrier you signed the contract with. Consequently, if you want to change providers or switch to a monthly plan when the contract expires, you will have a hard time taking your own mobile phone with you.

The quickest route to find out if your device is locked to one network provider is to put in a SIM card from a different provider and see if you get a signal and can make and receive calls. If you can’t, you probably have a locked phone. Is the ‘lock’ not a physical lock but a hidden program in the operating system? This program verifies that the network service provider is valid and inhibits any attempts to connect to a different provider.

It is possible, but a bit dangerous, to unlock a device by entering a sequence of numbers through the keyboard or by connecting it to a personal computer that has some software to erase or reprogram the main files. You won’t find any retailers that provide this service, but certainly small, individually owned mobile phone providers will offer this service for a small fee if requested. However, keep in mind that when you choose to unlock your device for use on some other carrier, it will likely void your warranty. There’s always the chance that you can wipe the system memory permanently, after which you’ll have a plastic block as effective as a brick.

One of the reasons you might want to unlock your device, and one of the driving factors many are looking to do so, is when you’re traveling abroad for any length of time, want to keep your phone but use a local SIM card to cut costs on the move. telephone. calls, text messages and data transfer. A locked smartphone will not provide the ability to do this, therefore the only alternative is to unlock the phone.

An additional form of blocking is restrictions made by the manufacturer of the device. Apple’s iPhone is known for this because Steve Jobs made the decision that he doesn’t want customers to tinker with the operating system or configure unapproved apps. This has given rise to the expression ‘jailbreaking’ for the iPhone. Many consumers try to crack and unlock their iPhone by jailbreaking. However, doing this voids the warranty and support.

In contrast, Google Android phones are open source, giving you the freedom and flexibility to customize everything. Developers are free to develop and install any type of application which, according to most, makes Android a top-tier operating system because there is no need to jailbreak, jailbreak, or bypass the limitations that have been set. That said, most network service providers will lock the device to their network and you may want to unlock services from a local cellular store.

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