What is an Unlocked iPhone?

Find out more about unlocked iPhones

Here's an Unlocked iPhone

Unlocked iPhones; What are They?

What exactly is an unlocked iPhone? Well, nobody really knows, the answer to this mysterious question is shrouded in secrecy. That’s it, that’s the end of the article, see you tomorrow. Jk. It isn’t the end of the article, not even close, it’s just the beginning :)

To talk about what it means for a phone to be “unlocked,” we first need to talk about what it means for a phone to be “locked.”

What if You Get a Good iPhone Deal from Your Network?

Carriers usually have good deals on smartphones. Thanks to various deals and seasonal offers, you can usually get a new iPhone for much less from a carrier like T-Mobile or Sprint than you can just paying for it straight up from Apple. This obviously sounds great (who doesn’t like a deal) but are you really getting the same product? And the answer to this (surprisingly) is “no.”

You see, when you get an iPhone for Sprint, Verizon, or any other carrier, they’re usually locked to just work on that carrier. Which isn’t a bad thing if you intend to stay on that carrier for the foreseeable future. But maybe you plan to travel to another country, or maybe you’re thinking about switching network carriers, or maybe you just want the freedom of having a phone that can work on any service carrier?

Whichever one of these you seek, you can still unlock a phone that you purchased from your carrier, and there are many ways to do this. If you Google something like, “How to unlock my iPhone,” you’ll find many ways to unlock your iPhone. But even if you do this, there is a good chance it still won’t work on all networks. Why is this the case?

The article isn't over yet, but here are some quick deals on unlocked phones :D

Why Back Market is the Best Place to Get an Unlocked iPhone :D

Well, you see, when you buy a locked iPhone from your carrier, it usually only comes with the antennas that this carrier uses to transmit its signal. And different carriers transmit different signals. So, let’s say you get an iPhone from Verizon, unlock it yourself, and then try to use it on T-Mobile; it probably won’t work. This is because Verizon uses different antennas than T-Mobile. Now, this isn’t the case with all carriers—some carriers use similar antennas—but if you really want an unlocked iPhone, it’s best to buy one that already has all the necessary antennas installed.

So when you view our selection of unlocked phones, make sure to check which ones come equipped with the antennas you need! We made this super simple: instead of listing a ton of technical details and antenna frequencies (headache), we list the carriers each phone will work with. Please look for the name of your carrier under each product to make sure that it works with your network!

Also, if you have a smaller carrier like Cricket or Metro PCS, make sure to check what network they use to operate. Most of these carriers are just subsidiaries of larger carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T and also work great with unlocked phones :D

By Andre Kopacki, Content Manager

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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