locked vs unlocked phones

Locked vs Unlocked Phones

What is an Unlocked phone?

Unlocked phones are available for you to use on any network. This means you can use it with any SIM card, which means you can use it if you travel internationally.


This type of phone is called “UNLOCKED AND UNIVERSAL” because it can work on any network and is therefore also called a “UNIVERSAL” phone or world phone. The main advantage of an unlocked and universal phone is that you can use it with any network, and therefore use it in any country. This means you can use it with any SIM card, which means you can use it even if you travel internationally with a local sim card.

What is a Locked phone?

Locked phones are designed to work only with the network they were factory set up with. This means if you travel abroad, you will not be able to use your phone with the local sim card. The disadvantage: You will be subject to the regional calling rates and charges that are applicable to that particular region. For example, if you use your phone in Europe, you will be charged much more than the standard rate (usually around $2.00 per minute) for making or receiving calls.

Why are phones locked?

The main reason is that the original owner of the phone purchased it from a mobile phone retailer who was a member of an agreement with the mobile phone network operator to only sell phones to consumers who were willing to sign a contract with that network. Another common reason is that the phone was lost or stolen and the previous owner had not deactivated the SIM card from the phone. Yet another is that the phone was purchased but not yet activated by the consumer.

The History of phone Unlocking:

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the authority to regulate the sale of cellular phones. This means that if you purchase a phone from a carrier like AT&T or Verizon they can legally prevent you from using that phone on any other network. This is called “Locking” a phone and is common practice among all major carriers. However, this was not always the case. Prior to the 1990s, it was legal for consumers to “unlock” their phones and use them with any network they chose. This led to a free-for-all where consumers would roam from network to network as they saw fit. This situation changed in the late 1990s when the major carriers banded together to stop this practice. In 1999, the major wireless carriers (AT&T, BellSouth, Cingular (now AT&T), Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) announced they were teaming up to create a consortium called the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). The purpose of this organization was to get an end to the consumer unlocking practice. The major carriers also formed a similar organization called the SIMDE (SIM Device Enforcement) Group. Both of these organizations are trade associations that lobby for laws that support their members’ interests. These groups have been very successful and today, it is against the law for any carrier to prevent you from using your phone on any other network. However, it is not illegal for a carrier to charge you more for using your phone on another network. In fact, most major carriers do just that.  

Types of Cell Phone Unlocking:

here are two main types of unlocking codes: Android Unlocking and iPhone Unlocking.

Android Unlocking: Android unlocking is done by inserting an 8 or 16 digit network unlock code.

iPhone Unlocking: iPhones don’t take unlock codes at all. The Unlocking process for iPhone’s and iOS devices is done over the air through the Apple server and the unlock is pushed to your phone. automatically.

What to Know before unlocking your Phone:

Your first step should always be to make sure your bill is paid, and you owe your carrier nothing from previous months. Keeping your payments current is critical. Most carriers will demand you are a customer for a given period of time, and it varies. Sprint is 40 days, and T-Mobile is 50 days. (Keep in mind as Sprint and T-Mobile have merged, it’s likely the newly formed T-Mobile will default to a 50-day requirement.) Your phone should not be reported lost, stolen, or involved in any fraud, either. The phone should only be active on your account; if you’re on a plan with someone else, like a parent, they will have to get hold of the carrier to unlock your phone.

How to network unlock an android phone?

To network unlock an Android phone all you need to do is provide your phone’s IMEI number and the network unlock code will be sent to you.

Here is a list of steps required to unlock any android phone using unlockmysim.com Android unlock service:

1. Go to the website www.unlockmysim.com

2. Select your made and then click on “Unlock Now”

3. Enter the IMEI number of your phone on the following page

4. Make the payment

5. Once the processing time has passed check your email or online order tracking for the unlock code.

6. Insert a sim card from a different carrier and your phone will prompt automatically for a SIM NETWORK UNLOCK PIN.

7. Enter your unlock code into the appropriate text box on your Android device and click on “OK”

7. Your phone should be fully unlocked!

How to network unlock an iPhone?

There are many ways to unlock an iPhone. The most common way is to have the owner of the phone contact their wireless carrier. If you are not eligible to unlock it with your carrier then you can use a third-party iPhone unlock service found at unlockmysim.com

Here is a list of steps required to unlock any iPhone  using the iPhone unlock service found at unlockmysim.com:

1. Go to unlockmysim.com

2. Under “Select Your Device”, choose your iPhone model and click “UNLOCK NOW”

3. On the next screen select the Country and Network that your phone is locked to now.

4. Submit the payment and wait for the email saying your iPhone unlock is completed.

5. Once your order is completed, connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed and the message will appear on iTunes:  “Your iPhone is now unlocked!”


As you can see, there are many ways you can unlock your cell phone without having to break the law or void any warranties. In some cases, you may be able to get your phone unlocked even if you don’t pay your bills. This is especially true with Android phones. If you are interested in any of these options, you should contact the carrier directly to find out about their specific terms and conditions. This article is meant as a general guide only. It is not legal advice.