First, you need to unlock your iPhone or Android smartphone.
Remember that this issue of locked and unlocked phones today is really only relevant when you're talking about devices made for GSM networks. In this edition of her advice column, CNET's Marguerite Reardon explains the differences between locked and unlocked phones and helps a reader figure out how to get an unlocked device. In the past, the iPhone was treated differently than other devices when it came to lock codes.
Even if you don't actually buy one of these locked phones from the carrier, such as buying a used iPhone , it is still tied to a carrier. Don't show this again.
The lock is really a software code that's put on the phone by the manufacturer as per the requirement of the carrier that sells the device. In this edition of Ask Maggie, I re-examine this issue and offer some basic information about what a cell phone lock is. This artificial locking would also get in your way if you were travelling and wanted to use a local carrier in the country you were visiting rather than paying expensive roaming fees.
The GSM radio is included in these phones so that subscribers can roam onto networks in Europe and other parts of the world. Join 250,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles.
Many people have been looking for ways to unlock their devices. Some phones you purchase are unlocked when you purchase them. Phones reported as lost or stolen will not be unlocked. In general, CDMA carriers don't reprovision devices made for other networks for use on their own networks. Mobile handsets are sometimes 'locked' to the network from which the handset is purchased.
That's particularly the case for iPhones , which are a top target for thieves because of their high resale value.
Another way to get an unlocked phone is to buy one that's specifically advertised as unlocked. The company will also still accept unlocked phones from other carriers. Inside Amazon's effort to make its voice assistant smarter, chattier and more like you.
Confused about locked vs. A Verizon version of this phone comes unlocked out of the box.
That said, its 3G devices are locked. Are you considering switching cell phone carriers?
You can also follow me on Facebook on my Ask Maggie page. Alternatively, you can pay a third party to unlock your phone, but doing so probably voids any warranty you may have and present problems when you want to update the smartphone's software. Some handsets can be unlocked relatively quickly, for example most providers unlock iPhones within three days.