Monday, November 25, 2013
Unlocked Cell Phones: Why are they Unlocked and their Benefits
When you get your cellphone as part of a package from a particular cellphone service- provider, you’ll typically be receiving a unit that has been “locked” at the factory. Although they may advertise this phone as being “free,” the fact that it’s been locked makes it anything but free! It’s been locked for the benefit of the service provider, to prevent you from changing to a different company before your contract is up, to force you to use software and apps only available through them and to attach any number of hidden costs into your service with which you cannot argue because you’re “locked in.”
The Advantages of Unlocked Phones
Factory unlocked phones are units that come with none of the restrictions of a locked unit. No alterations have been made to their hardware or software and they come to you just as they were made at the factory. The three main advantages to having an unlocked cellphone are convenience, flexibility and savings.
Convenience – With an unlocked phone, you can choose to go with any service provider you want and to change providers when you desire. All you need is a new SIM card from the provider of your choice. You’re not locked into any contracts and have the convenience to just pay as you go.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, rather than paying the high roaming charges of a US-based provider, simply get a SIM card from one of the local providers and alleviate roaming charges altogether.
Flexibility – If you want to upgrade to a new phone this is easily done without having to satisfy the requirements of a locked-in service contract. Selling your old phone to someone else is also easier, since anyone who buys it can immediately start using it. They simply stick in the SIM card of their choice and they’re ready to go.
Savings – With an unlocked phone you’ll face no hidden charges, get around expensive roaming charges and have the ability to change providers at will. If one company increases their rates you can simply choose another, often obtaining discounts from the new company using low rates or mark downs as part of their marketing efforts.