If you've been going through our website you may have noticed that we offer higher for an unlocked phone versus a phone that is linked to a carrier. What does "unlocked" mean? This means that the phone can be used with any GSM network (a network using a SIM card) in the US or worldwide. Unlocked does not mean that the phone is no longer "linked" to your account. Here are some guidelines that can help you assess whether or not your phone can be unlocked by the carrier:
- iPhone 4: Does it have a SIM card slot? CDMA iPhone 4 cannot be unlocked such as Verizon or Sprint.
- iPhone 4S: Is your account in good standing/out of contract? AT&T users are able to unlock such phones online by completing a quick form. Verizon iPhone 4S can be unlocked for international use only. What this means is that it cannot be used with another GSM network in the US, however can be used overseas on another carrier. As for Sprint customers; you can try. But from what we hear, it's really hard to get these phones unlocked. I guess Sprint has attachment issues or something like that. We rarely see unlocked Sprint phones. If you can get this phone unlocked, it's only going to be for international use.
- iPhone 5/5C/5S : Here's the good news! Verizon iPhone 5/5C/5S comes unlocked. So you're phone can already be used with any other GSM network in the US or worldwide. For AT&T, the same rules as above stand. If your account is in good standing and out of contract, you can go ahead and do so online. Sprint customers will have to call their carrier and try to get the device unlocked.
Some other important things to note:
- Before you submit an unlock, check to see if your device has been blacklisted. It could be blacklisted due to a number of reasons such the device being reported lost/stolen or unpaid bills. CheckESNFree.com is a good resource to use to check a device's blacklist status.
- There are plenty of paid services out there that will unlock a phones for you. A quick Google search should turn of a few good websites.
- Make sure the phone is not iOS 7 linked. If the phone is linked to an iCloud account, these services will not work.
- If you are looking to buy an unlocked phone or confirm the phone you have is indeed unlocked, you can use an IMEI Info Check to verify the SIM Lock status of the phone.
If you have any questions about unlocking, you can email us at [email protected], or call us at (855) 487-9678, or click to chat!