If you visit Amazon, Walmart, or any other online shopping sites, you may find Unlocked cell phones, including iPhone and Android smartphones. So, you might have the question, what does an unlocked phone mean? Here in this artcile, we are looking at a few points, including unlocked phone meaning, sim locks, how to remove sim lock, etc.
What Does SIM Locked Mean?
When we look into the point of Unlocked SIM, then the main thing to be considered and answered is, what does sim lock mean? So let’s see that first. SIM lock is a software restriction added to the service provider’s smartphone or cell phone. These restrictions were imposed to restrict mobile phone use with other network providers’ SIM cards.
You might have noticed that some mobile service providers, like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc., sometimes offer bundled packages that include a cell phone and prepaid or post-paid connection. In this case, the company provides the smartphone at a comparatively lower price. And if any provider offers the bundled connection, they put some restrictions on the smartphone with some software restrictions.
As a result, the same smartphone cannot be used with any other SIM card. The phone will only work with the bundled SIM card and not other SIM cards. This refers to SIM locks. We can say that the particular handset is locked with the service provider’s SIM card. No other SIM card will work with that cell phone unless it is SIM Unlocked.
Why the SIM Locked Devices Introduced?
The SIM lock and the SIM locked devices were implemented initially by Apple in collaboration with AT&T. Initially, the intention was to restrict the user to stick to the same service provider, primarily until the initial contract ends. However, in partnership with the device manufacturers, some telecom service providers sell the handsets with some data plans as bundled plans. As a result, the handset price will be less than the regular price.
However, once the user purchases the bundled device and data pack, they need to stay on the same service provider for a particular time. The device will be SIM locked or network locked during that time, preventing the user from switching providers. The user can’t replace the SIM. Once the contract ends, the service provider will share the SIM Unlock code that can be used to Unlock the device. Once the network lock is removed, the device can be used with any other SIM and exported to another country without any issue.
What Does it Mean When a Phone is Unlocked
It is just opposite to what we explained in the above part. Since SIM locking is added as a smartphone restriction to prevent it from getting used on other networks can cause many drawbacks. Thus service providers decided to offer an official SIM unlocking option. As a result, any locked SIM can get unlocked easily, and if a device gets opened, it can be used as a regular cell phone and can be used with any SIM card per the user’s choice.
So, if you are using a Simlock-enabled handset and wish to remove the SIM lock on your iPhone or Android device, now you can remove the SIM lock officially itself without any third-party software or tools. We will let you know how to remove the SIM lock on AT&T, T Mobile, and Verizon networks.
Why SIM Unlocking is Important and Benefits of Removing SIM Lock
As we said above, a SIM lock enables a service provider to prevent their customer from using the smartphone with other service provider’s SIM cards. This ensures each provider that the device is only being used with the initial SIM card. Because it is not compatible with any other SIM card, this locking also creates many disadvantages.
- If the SIM lock is enabled, the handset cannot be used with other SIM cards. So customers have to stick to the existing plan itself.
- If someone wishes to sell the handset or gift the mobile, it is impossible as no one prefers to buy a locked handset.
- If you are holding a SIM-locked mobile and traveling to another country, you may face some issues, as you can’t insert a local SIM card on your device during your journey.
If you remove the SIM lock, all the issues can be resolved and used as a standard SIM in any country.
How to Remove SIM Lock
You can remove the SIM lock on AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon network. If you find it tricky to do it by yourself, you could opt for a reputable service from a provider like Mobile Unlocked US, but there are many to choose from.
Unlock SIM on AT&T
If you find that your att unlock status is disabled, you can unlock it by visiting the official website. Before proceeding, you need to note the IMEI number by dialing *#06#. Then proceed to the official website and provide some basic details, including AT&T mobile number and some related account information to unlock your AT&T mobile phone.
SIM Unlock on T-Mobile Network
If you are a T-Mobile user with an Android device, you can unlock the mobile from the Network Setting area. Go to settings, Network setting, and click on Unlock option. Make sure your device is listed in the eligible handsets to unlock.
Unlocking the iPhone can only be done by submitting the request, and T-Mobile will do it for you.
Remove SIM Lock on US Cellular
US Cellular has an extended lock period for the locked device. If you purchase new iPhone or Samsung devices from USCellular, the default lock period is 120 days, and you can only unlock the device after 120 days.
Unlock Verizon Smartphones
Verizon Mobile offers an auto-unlock feature for all its phone. The device will be locked for 60 days from activation if you purchase a prepaid or postpaid Verizon mobile. After the 60 days lock person, the phone will get automatically unlocked. And after that, the sim never locks again, and you can use it without restriction.
Verizon offers relaxation in 60 days if you are a military person. In that case, you can request to unlock the SIM lock anytime, and Verizon will do it for you.
Is SIM Unlocking is safe?
SIM unlocking is entirely safe. It is not like rooting the device. Locked devices are those having some restrictions embedded by the service provider. If the lock is removed, you are free to use the device anywhere. So there is no security issue with SIM unlocked handsets.
How to Remove SIM Lock on iPhone
You can remove the SIM lock on iPhone by disabling the SIM Pin. Open the Settings app and then tap on the Mobile Data option on your iPhone. From the Mobile Data section, tap on the SIM PIN option.
Disable the SIM PIN option from the SIM PIN section, and the SIM PIN will be removed for the active SIM Card on your iPhone.
How to get the SIM Unlock Code
The mobile service provider can collect the SIM Lock Code or the SIM PIN. So you need to reach the customer support of your respective mobile service provider and request them to issue the SIM Unlock code. First, however, they will verify the mobile number ownership by asking a few questions, and the code will be shared upon the validation.
Is it Safe to Purchase a SIM Locked Phone?
Even though the SIM lock can be removed, it is recommended not to buy a SIM Locked Phone. If you get an unlocked phone, there won’t be an issue. However, if you get a SIM-locked phone, then you may find it difficult to get it unlocked easily.
Can i Purchase SIM Locked iPhone
It is always recommended not to buy a SIM-locked iPhone. However, if you received a sim-locked iPhone and wish to use it with another network, you can visit any authorized iPhone store to get it fixed and unlocked. As said, make sure to buy SIM unlocked iPhone if you are going to buy a used iPhone.