What Does Unlocked Mean for iPhone

If you are planning to purchase a new phone, you might be wondering what all the fuss about the locked and what does unlocked mean for iPhone is? What are these locked and unlocked phones? Before selling Factory unlocked phone, Apple was only selling Locked phones. These phones are considered to be bound with specific carrier companies. If you buy a locked phone, you cannot use any other carrier on this iPhone until or unless your contract with that specific carrier company is expired.

However, by using an unlocked phone you are free as a bird to switch your network at any time, you can purchase any package plan from other companies. So, before purchasing an iPhone, you must be aware of if your phone is unlocked, locked, or refurbished phone, You might be wondering now that What Does Refurbished Mean iPhone, refurbished phone that is sent back to the company due to some fault in it.

The iPhone was preowned by some person and he returned that phone to the company to repair and his phone was replaced by a new one and now this phone is repaired. This repaired phone is again available for sale at less price. To get a phone, one must look for the best place to buy unlocked iPhones, because these unlocked phones are not associated with any carriers and you allowed to use the carrier according to your own will.

But if these carriers have some packages restricted to the phone models which are bound with them by a contract. In another word, if you are using an unlocked iPhone, you might miss some of the facilities from carrier companies that are restricted to locked phones.

Your carrier company also facilitates you under certain circumstances to unlock your phone. They unlock your phone only if you pay the price of the phone and meet their requirements. In other circumstances, they might provide you package plans that might be useful for you if you want to travel abroad. Both locked and unlocked phone comes with their pros and cons so one must be careful in choosing their cell phones. In an era of technology, everyone wants to use the iPhone, which is difficult if one does not know about locked and unlocked phones.

So, one must be looking for a way on how to know if an iPhone is unlocked? Or how to unlock an iPhone using another iPhone? Or what methods should be used to unlock an iPhone? Several methods have been told by the folks to complete the process. Among all that information, a few methods have been discussed below so that you can have sight about what to do and what not.

What Does Unlocked Mean For iPhone

1. Unlocked iPhone

An unlocked iPhone is one that can be used with any carrier of your choice. If your iPhone is unlocked you can use any carrier. For instance, if you are using Sprint today and want to change your network to version. You can do it at the very moment and it won’t be any problem. If you get an iPhone directly from the manufacturer or Apple store, your iPhone will be unlocked already.

But if you purchase the phone from any other carrier company, you will get a locked phone. Your phone will be locked for the time until you are in contract with the company, or you will pay the total amount to purchase the phone. So, It is very important to know whether you are getting a locked iPhone or the other one.

2. Contact Your Carrier

To unlock your phone your first step would be calling your carrier. The easiest way to unlock your phone is by contacting your carrier. A few steps must be followed for unlocking your phone via the customer care representative at your carrier office.

  • Contact your customer care representative by dialing the toll-free number provided by your carrier company.
  • To unlock your phone, you might need to fulfill some of the company’s requirements, and clear your account associated with the company. So, after completing the requirement request them to unlock your phone. It might take several days to unlock your phone.
  • Your company will provide you the confirmation after your phone is being unlocked.

After your iPhone is unlocked you might need to follow some instructions before using your phone with any other carrier.

If you have a Sim card from the new carrier:

  1. Turn off your phone and remove the sim card you were using from the old carrier.
  2. Insert the sim card of your new carrier company.
  3. Set up your phone to new settings.

If you do not have a Sim card from the new carrier:

After unlocking your phone, you must go through the following steps if you don’t own any sim card from your new carrier.

  1. Back all your phone data on iCloud or any other device.
  2. After backing up your phone, reset your phone to factory setting.
  3. Restart your phone and set up a new setting on your phone. Now restore the data from your backup device.

Now you can use your phone with a new sim card at any time.

3. How to Check if Your iPhone is Unlocked

If you buy an iPhone, sometimes after inserting your sim card it displays a message that your sim card is not compatible or supported please try again. In this case, you should know that your phone is locked. In this case, you must use the sim card that is provided to you with your phone. In case you dint have that sim card you might follow the steps to unlock your phone.

  1. Restart your phone and set up your phone to factory settings.
  2. Contact the carrier to apply the unlock services to your phone.
  3. Wait for the confirmation from your company.
  4. Restart your phone and set it up.
  5. Restore the phone from a backup.

Sometimes some people might get confused with the fact that whether their iPhone is still locked or not. Even naïve users are unable to tell whether the phone is unlocked or not and maybe tricked into getting an iPhone that is locked. So, before getting an iPhone from a third party, you must know if it is unlocked or not. A few essential to check if a phone is locked or not are discussed below:

4. iPhone Unlock Check Via Settings

If you are making a purchase and you are not sure if your phone is unlocked you must go through the following steps to check your iPhone is unlocked and you are making the right investment.

  1. Turn on the iPhone.
  2. Open the icon ‘Setting’ from the iPhone.
  3. Go to the option ‘Cellular’ from the settings. Settings> Cellular.
  4. In Cellular if you can see the tab ‘Cellular Network settings’ your phone is unlocked. But if you cannot see network settings your phone is still locked.

  • User compatible method.
  • No time is required to complete the process.

  • It might not work with some mobiles.

5. iPhone Unlock Check Via SIM Card

If that method is not working properly and you are still confused, you can check the iPhone by using your sim card. To check your iPhone from the Sim card method, you should have two Sims from two different carriers otherwise this method will not work. You can borrow another sim for the purpose for some time.

  1. Turn of the iPhone.
  2. Remove the previous Sim from your iPhone.
  3. Insert a new Sim card of a different carrier.
  4. Turn on the iPhone.
  5. Make a call or message from this iPhone to some friend. If you can make a call or leave a message your phone is unlocked and if not, you should look for another phone.

  • Time taking method
  • Easy Method

  • Require another Sim.

6. iPhone Unlock Check Via An Online Tool

Several online websites help you find out of your phone is unlocked or not. The online websites cost you almost $3 to complete the process. So, if you are willing to pay the amount required to fulfill the process you might follow the given method:

  1. Get the IEMI number of your phone.
  2. To get an IEMI number, go to the icon ‘Setting’ on your iPhone.
  3. In Settings, You will find a tab named ‘General’ in the second list, go to that tab.
  4. In general settings of the iPhone, click the tab ‘About’ which has all the information about the phone.
  5. Get IEMI listed forth in the ‘About’ tab.
  6. After getting the iPhone IEMI number, Open the Website
  7. Enter the details required about your iPhone
  8. Pay for the services through an online transaction
  9. After the payment, the website will give you details about the status of the phone from the Apple database.
  10. The ‘status’ of the phone shows if iPhone is Unlocked or not.

  • Save you from the mess.
  • Easy method

  • Might cost you some bucks
  • Need to provide your IEMI number

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How Do You Know if Your iPhone is Unlocked?

A: There are different ways to check if your phone is unlocked. You can check that the iPhone is unlocked by contacting the carrier company:

  • You can also check if your iPhone is unlocked by going to the setting from your iPhone and making sure if there is any cellular network available.
  • iPhone unlocks can be checked by using two different sims from two different carriers.
  • If your iPhone works properly with both these Sims at the same time. Your phone is unlocked.
  • You can also check the iPhone but using inline websites, you might have to spend some bucks, but you will get the status of your iPhone by providing the IEMI number.

Q: What Does Unlocked Mean?

A: Unlocked means you can use your phone on two different carriers. This does not mean that you can do it at the same time. You can use two different carriers without being bound to their carriers. You don’t have to fulfill any contract with Carriers Company and you can switch to any other carrier.

For instance: if you have an unlocked phone and you are a customer of sprint Company, you can switch to any other carrier company like AT&T, T mobile, or Verizon. Unlike other people who have locked phones and they are stuck with other networks until their contract is over.

Q: What Does a Fully Unlocked iPhone Mean?

A: A fully unlocked iPhone means that iPhone is not bound to any company. If you have a fully unlocked iPhone it means whether the contact of the carrier company with iPhone has expired and you are free to use this phone with any other supported carrier or the iPhone was originally purchased from the manufacturer or Apple Company and is already unlocked. This may include the Factory unlock settings in which you can use your phone with supported carriers of the iPhone.


An unlocked phone can be used with different carriers and service providers. Some of the iPhones have different limitations that may be bound to some carriers like AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. If you buy a locked iPhone you are stuck with the same carrier for a specific period and you can only use package plans from their carrier even if they are not suitable for you.

But if you buy an unlocked iPhone you can switch to any network and you can buy package plans according to your needs. Your unlocked iPhone helps you to get reliable plans and you can use different carriers according to your needs. So, one must go to purchase an unlocked iPhone as they are more reliable and suitable and if you are more of a traveler these unlocked iPhones are more reliable.