What is a Locked Phone?

Person entering password to unlock their locked phone.

What is a Locked Phone?

If a phone is described as locked, it can refer to several things. A keypad lock prevents a user from accidentally pressing the keys; for example, while the phone is in a pocket. A security lock, on the other hand, typically refers to the security that prevents an unauthorized user from using the phone, such as a 4-digit number or a pattern. Typically, when people talk about a locked phone, however, it means that you can only use it with a specific carrier. 


Carriers sometimes lock phones to offer their customers high-end devices at a reduced cost. The customer gets the benefit of a high-end device but pays only a percentage of the retail price in exchange for signing a contract. Such a contract typically lasts for one- to two- years. This gives the carrier time to recoup the cost of the mobile device.


Unlocking a phone allows users to take advantage of cheap deals offered by various SIM cards. Phone unlocking is a legal procedure. And while it can sometimes be tricky, it can also be straightforward and performed for free.


Why it’s good advice to unlock your smartphone

When it's time to sell your smartphone, it's typically easier to sell an unlocked phone. And unlocked phones generate more money because they are less hassle for the consumer. It can be sold and used internationally, which means that you can sell your phone to more people and they will be willing to pay more money for it. And unlocked phone can be used with any carrier compatible with the phone. This flexibility is what makes an unlocked phone more valuable than a locked phone.


There are some problems that can arise when purchasing a locked mobile phone. Not only will the buyer be locked into using a carrier, but also, they may not be able to unlock the device if they are not the original contract owner. This would leave them with a phone that is locked to a single carrier. 


It's possible to unlock a phone, but this can be expensive. A lock can often be removed by entering a numeric code. Depending on your phone, your carrier, and your circumstances, unlocking a phone can be tricky. These disadvantages are the reason for the lower demand for locked phones. 


With an unlocked smartphone, a user can switch out the SIM card easily. This allows him or her to change carriers at will. As long as both carriers use the same technology - for example, GSM - then the switch should be easy.


Now you know what it is to have a locked phone. We recommend maximizing earning potential from a second-hand phone by ensuring that you buy a phone that is unlocked or that you are confident in your ability to unlock it at a later date.

December 7, 2020
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