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What exactly does it mean if your iPhone is unlocked
It’s time to talk about the biggest advantages of unlocked iPhones and what to be aware of when buying one.
First of all, please be aware that just because an iPhone is unlocked, it does not mean that it will work with all carriers! Please check on our website to ensure that the carriers you intend to use are listed under the featured product. Often, an unlocked phone will work with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, but not CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint.
Please note: MetroPCS runs on the T-Mobile network, Boost Mobile runs on Sprint, and Cricket runs on AT&T. If you have one of these smaller carriers, make sure the corresponding larger carrier is mentioned together with the product.
But what exactly does this mean? I thought that unlocked iPhones are meant to work with all carriers? Ideally, yes, but some don’t because not all iPhones are manufactured with the appropriate antennas for all service carriers. Therefore, even if a phone is unlocked, it won’t work with all service carriers because it is limited by the equipment inside :(
This is perhaps the biggest misconception when it comes to unlocked iPhones: That every unlocked iPhone will work with every service carrier. This is not the case.
However, there are many iPhones on our website that do come equipped with all necessary components to work on Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon! Make sure to look for the postings with all of these logos pictured below them (if you need a phone that is compatible with all four)!
Sprint is particularly difficult if you want to bring your own phone. Even if your device has Sprint antennas, I would suggest Googling whether your desired phone will work on their platform, especially if it’s an Android device. Sprint only certifies certain phone models to utilize their network, so if you buy a phone that they haven’t certified, even if we list on our website that it should work for Sprint, it might not :/ We know this is annoying, but alas this is how it is with Sprint. We love their service, but we’ve had some customers have trouble using their unlocked Android devices on their network for this very reason. iPhones generally have less trouble since they are more mainstream.
There are many factors that determine whether an unlocked phone will work on a carrier. It really is hard to tell sometimes, but if you’re still unsure, I suggest scouring Google or asking your carrier to find a definite answer.
The kind of guy that likes technology a little too much and can't stop talking about it. Good thing I work at Back Market :D
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