Most people don’t realize that their phone is locked to their wireless carrier. This means that the phone technically has the capabilities to work with other wireless carriers, but until it is unlocked, it is limited to only the service you bought it from.
You can and you should unlock your phone and here is why:
1. Your phone is worth more money unlocked. Yes, you can sell your used cell phone for a higher price if you unlock it first. You may not realize this, but if you are selling a locked phone, you are condensing your buyers market to only include customers of the same wireless carrier. However if you unlock it first, you increase the demand for your product. Offering a handset that is unlocked and completely free of restrictions will be far more appealing to potential buyers as they will instantly be able to use their existing SIM card or one from their chosen carrier. Additionally, unlocked phones can then be used with wireless carriers that don’t sell that particular phone model.
2. It is free to unlock your phone. You can ask your carrier to unlock your smartphone, and the carrier must do so without complaint.
3. You can take your phone to a new wireless carrier without a contract. Not happy with your current service? When you leave your wireless service to join a new one, usually you have to sign a 2-year contract to receive a new phone at the subsidized price. However, bring your previous phone from your old wireless carrier, and if it is unlocked, now you can use it with a new service on a month-to-month plan without a contract. The reason most new customers sign a 2-year contract is to receive a phone at a discounted price. Mobile phone carriers don’t want you to leave, especially if they helped pay for your phone. Because phones use either GSM and CDMA technologies and several different frequency bands, unlocking a phone doesn’t mean you can use it on any other US carrier. Some phones will only work with specific frequency bands even if it unlocked.
4. You can use your phone globally. A factory unlocked phone is the best choice for users who travel frequently to other countries because they can change their SIM card with relative ease when they travel. This will also save you money because a locked phone will be charged roaming fees when traveling internationally. However, with an unlocked phone you can simply pop in a new sim card for the service that is available in the area you are charging. Buying a sim card with minutes is cheaper than paying roaming fees.
How To Unlock an AT&T Phone
Go to AT&T’s Unlocking Page and submit a request. AT&T will send you instructions on how to unlock your phone within two days.
How to Unlock a T-Mobile Phone
Call 1-877-746-0909 or use the online chat on TMobile.com and ask to unlock your phone. They’ll send you instructions within two days.
How to Unlock a Sprint Phone
Go to sprint.com/sww or call 844-665-6327 to unlock your phone.
How to Unlock a Virgin Mobile Phone
How to Unlock a Boost Mobile Phone
How to Unlock a U.S. Cellular Phone
How to Unlock a Verizon Phone
How to Unlock a Cricket Phone
Call 800-274-2538, or chat online.
How to Unlock a MetroPCS Phone
How To Make A Quick Buck Flipping Locked Phones
Here is a hint for anyone who flips phones to make some extra cash. I bought an Apple iPhone 5s 32GB locked on AT&T for $355 back in January. I activated it on my wife’s AT&T account and requested it to be unlocked. I then resold the phone for $900 as an unlocked device on eBay. That’s right, the unlocked version sold for over 250% more than what I bought it for and made me $545 profit. Do your research and you can find some great opportunities buying and selling used phones.