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? This article looks at a few points, including unlocked phone meaning, sim locks, how to remove sim locks, etc.
What Does SIM Locked Mean?
When we look into the point of Unlocked SIM, 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. Locked SIM are network-locked sim cards installed on a device that you cannot change or alter while completing and properly closing the contract. In that case, another question is asked: how to unlock sim card? That we will see in the later part.
You might have noticed that some mobile service providers, like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc., sometimes offer bundled packages, including a cell phone and prepaid or postpaid 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 must 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 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, it 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 used with the initial SIM card. This locking also creates many disadvantages because it is not compatible with any other SIM card.
- 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 Unlock SIM Card
Unlock SIM Card is a common questions related to locked SIM card. SIM Card lock can be removed by using the Unlock code obtained from the service provider once the service contract is completed.
How to Remove SIM Lock
You can remove the SIM lock on AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon networks. 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 Card on AT&T
Unlock on ATT&T is one main question asked all the time. Many users are asking, what are the steps for att unlock my device? If your att unlock status is disabled, you can unlock it by visiting the official website. Before proceeding, you must 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 a new iPhone or Samsung device 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. If you purchase a prepaid or postpaid Verizon mobile, the device will be locked for 60 days from activation. After the 60-day lock person, the phone will get automatically unlocked. 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. 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 can 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. First, open the Settings app and tap on the Mobile Data option on your iPhone. Then, tap on the SIM PIN option from the Mobile Data section.
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 challenging to get it unlocked easily.
What is SIM Locked iPhone Meaning?
Since the iPhone is the loved phone for most smartphone users, we can see people searching for cheap iPhones. And while looking for a budget iPhone, we can see SIM-locked iPhones at low prices. Here, the question is what SIM Locked iPhone Means, and many users are asking what the sim locked iPhone meaning?. Those are carrier-locked iPhone that is exclusive to some regions and networks. Those iPhones cannot be used outside that particular country without unlocking. So, only prefer an unlocked iPhone, not a locked one, as it requires additional effort and money to get it working.
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 will buy a used iPhone.
My iPhone 14 Doesn’t Have a Physical SIM Card. How to Unlock iPhone 14
On iPhone 14, Apple removed the physical SIM support in the United States. iPhone 14 users in the United States need to use eSIM instead of a standard physical SIM card. However, the iPhone SIM Lock and Unlock are done by the carrier, as before. To unlock iPhone 14, you need to contact your carrier and obtain the Unlock code to completely remove the SIM lock on iPhone 14.
Does the eSIM can Prevent the SIM Lock Issue?
Both standard and eSIM have the same options and work as per carrier support. In the case of a standard SIM, you will get a physical SIM, and with eSIM, you can’t see it. It is virtual. That is the only difference; hence, you can’t prevent the SIM Lock Issue using an eSIM in the Place of a standard SIM Card.
Is it Legally Safe to Buy Unlocked Smartphones
It is legal and safe if you purchase an unlocked smartphone from an official website or a shop. However, never buy locked and unlocked smartphones from untrusted websites or persons. Sometimes, the product you buy might come from the black market, and you may find difficulty in the future. So, always purchase unlocked and locked smartphones from trusted sellers.
Locked SIM iPhone Official Support?
A locked SIM iPhone is a tricky area. If you purchase a SIM-locked iPhone from service providers like AT&T, Verizon, etc., then you will get official support from Apple and the service provider. However, if you use such iPhone in any other region, you will not get official support since the phone is region-locked. Unlocking will break the warranty.
How to Unlock Sim Card on iPhone?
Unlock SIM Card on iPhone is also the same as other phones. However, on a contract basis, iPhones are released in most countries, like the United States, with network providers like AT&T, Sprint, etc. As a part of the plan, customers won’t have to pay the total amount of the brand-new iPhone initially. They can opt for any service plan with a fixed EMI with service benefits, including Calls, SMS, data, etc. So, with the contract, the iPhones can be purchased on an EMI basis, and customers can enjoy carrier service, too.
If the contract and the EMI period is 2 or 3 years, you need to stay on the same service provider with the same plan, and once the contract is finished, you can collect the unlock code from the service provider to use the phone with any other SIM Card. Alternatively, you can terminate the contract by paying the remaining amount and then collect the SIM Unlock Code.
What Does No Sim Restrictions Mean?
The next question here is: What Does No SIM restrictions Mean? As the sentence says, the SIM doesn’t have any restrictions. The phone is not locked anymore, or a carrier unlocked phone. It can be of two types. Either the phone is not a part of any contract service, and it is like a regular phone that can be used freely with any SIM Card in any country. The other one is that it was a part of the service contract, was already completed or terminated, and is fully unlocked. Therefore, that phone is free to use with any SIM card in any region.
What Does Carrier Locked Mean?
Another question generally asked is what does carrier locked mean? It was the same as what we explained above. If a device is a carrier locked, then the device cannot be used with any other operator without finishing the contract. Carrier Locked devices are usually sold on a contract basis with EMI or monthly subscription rather than at full payment. The user/subscriber can only terminate the contract after paying the remaining amount or by fining the contract.
Without finishing the contract, the carrier lock cannot be unlocked or used with other networks or in another region.