Locked Phones? Just Swipe, Yeah? Nah.
When people think of a locked phone, they usually think of the state it’s in before you run your finger across the bottom and open it up (or press ‘Off’ and the ‘*’ key, if your phone is really old). Whilst this is also a locked phone, the term is applied to the phenomenon whereby a mobile phone supplier will stop you from using any other SIM card within the phone. An example of this would be buying the latest Samsung Galaxy from Vodafone and it being locked by them so that you can only use a Vodafone SIM within the handset. You can unlock the phones, but more on that later.
Why Do They Do It?
Essentially, so they can get more business from you. I find this a really stupid and outdated policy to have. Suppliers should be putting more effort into brand loyalty than insignificant locks to stop you from switching that are actually just a nuisance and nothing more. It’s even stupider when you consider that it’s fairly easy to unlock the phone again, but you have to pay the supplier to do it, and wait up to a month (there is an easier way, but I’ll cover that in a bit).
What Do You Gain From Unlocking?
By unlocking your handset you get to keep the handset you love, but are then able to switch suppliers once your contract is up if you aren’t happy with them. If, at the end of your contract, you’re not ready to give up the phone, enter into a SIM only deal and you get to keep the great handset, but also get a much cheaper contract. Another perk that comes from unlocking your phone is if you are travelling you can buy a cheap SIM in the country you are in and pop it into your handset, meaning you avoid all the nasty roaming charges.
How Do You Go About Unlocking?
The obvious way is to simply get hold of your supplier as they will unlock your phone if they have to. Depending on your provider and contract, there can be some complications, however. Some will only unlock your phone after a fixed point within your contract (O2 will only do it after 12 months); will charge anywhere from £8.99 to £20.00, which is just cheeky; and some, as I said earlier, will take up to 30 days to get round to doing it for you. This is a hassle, especially if you’re with one of the more difficult suppliers, so the other way is to go to a dedicated company. Unlocking Smart will be able to help you unlock almost any make and model of phone, which bypasses the stupid waiting time; the only after a fixed point in your contract’ bit; and the stupid cost.
Knowing about unlocking phones – especially how to circumvent the will of the suppliers – is very handy as it makes life easier for you and can save you quite a bit on not only your phone contract, but also those nasty roaming charges.