When you purchase a cell phone plan but you already have a phone like an iPhone, you need to know how to unlock iPhone cell phones. Cell phone companies lock the phones they sell so that they can only be used on their network. For instance, an iPhone purchased from AT&T when you sign up with them can only be used with an AT&T cell phone plan. After your 2-year agreement is up and you want to switch to another carrier, you can’t use that iPhone without unlocking for use with other carriers.
When you unlock your iPhone, it can then be used with any cell phone carrier that uses SIM cards. Often you can find unlocked cell phones for sale online at places like eBay or other sites where used cell phones are sold. If the cell phone doesn’t clearly say that it’s already been unlocked, you’ll have to unlock it yourself to use it, unless you plan on using the exact same carrier as the original owner.
When you unlock your iPhone, what you’re really doing is changing the programming a little so that you can use another carrier’s SIM card inside it. That’s the card that actually pulls info from the cellular network. The cell carrier you use puts their SIM card inside the phone, which is what makes it work exclusively with their network.
Benefits of Unlocking iPhones
If you plan on traveling out of the US, your locked phone can only be used with its original carrier which could be either impossible, depending on where you go, or incredibly expensive. If you can replace the SIM card with that of a European carrier, you could get better rates and better service on your trip.
And if you decide you want to go with a different cell phone carrier, when you unlock iPhone cell phones you have that option. You may not want to before your contract is up because then you’ll get stuck with early termination fees, but after you’ve fulfilled the terms, often you can get better and cheaper service with another carrier.
If you don’t unlock your iPhone, you’ll have to purchase a new one with the cell plan for a different carrier.
How to Unlock iPhone Cell Phones
To unlock your iPhone, you need to be comfortable downloading apps and running them, as well as following step-by-step instructions. You’ll want to update your iPhone’s firmware first to be sure everything’s in order. Then you’ll need to download one of the programs that lets you hack into your phone and unlock it. There’s software available that costs from $50 to $100 that will help you do this, but you can also try open source, free software like AppTapp, that lets you download 3rd party software. A program called quickpawn is also available to help you do this.
You must follow their directions precisely to unlock your iPhone, and then you’ll be able to use it with any cell carrier’s SIM card, which is money-saving and convenient.