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Pros and Cons of an Unlocked iPhone

Carriers lock phones to protect their interests and ensure they get their monthly bills. It is hard to decide whether to buy a locked or unlocked iPhone. Each gadget offers several benefits but also has its own list of problems.  You get informed when you understand these pros and cons before making a decision.

An unlocked iPhone has great flexibility when choosing a carrier. It lets you use different providers and local SIMs when touring the world. Regardless, these phones have a higher upfront cost. Weigh these pros and cons before you decide whether to go with a locked or unlocked gadget.

What is an unlocked phone?

Mobile service carriers rely on the monthly bills you pay them to survive. Due to this, they lock your gadget to ensure you do not switch to another carrier. An unlocked cellular gadget is different. It is not tied to any service provider. It gives you the freedom to switch at any time.

You might want the freedom to use your iPhone with any carrier. This is important especially when you are traveling to another country. You might also want to switch carriers and use a cheaper service. It is common for people to unlock iPhonesfor different reasons. You may contact your carrier to release the restrictions. Your carrier may agree under certain conditions and for a limited time. Before you unlock iPhone from carrier, know their conditions. Many of them will ask you to pay off the phone in advance. Some may ask you to pay a fee to be allowed to switch to another company.

Benefits of an unlocked phone

You might benefit more from your iPhone if it has no restrictions. Here are some benefits you may get.

Greater freedom to choose carriers

When your iPhone has no carrier restrictions, you get greater flexibility. You can switch to different carriers at any time. Your current provider might have higher charges. The provider’s network might be poor. You will not have problems switching to the better provider.

You don’t have to buy another iPhone while traveling

You can only use a locked phone within your country. Buying another gadget is the best option if you go beyond the borders. An unlocked gadget is different because you can use it anywhere globally. You will not be forced to budget for another gadget.

Easier to sell

Assume that you want to sell your phone for some reason. When a gadget is locked, you can only sell it to someone willing to use your provider. If they are unwilling, both of you have to go through a process to remove the restrictions. Your gadget might earn you less value. An unrestricted iPhone is easier to sell and gets a better value.

Cleaner smartphone

Locked phones come with additional software from your provider. These applications take up more space and limit your storage. An unlocked gadget does not have additional provider apps. The gadget has more space to install your apps or store files.

Disadvantages of unlocked iPhone

Despite the benefits, unlocked phones have some drawbacks.

More upfront cost

There is higher competition among cellular service providers. Most of them provide subsidized prizes to overcome competition. Many of them collaborate with banks and other institutions to offer financing options. They spread the overall cost of the gadget over a longer period. This makes your initial cost lower and affordable. The situation is different with unrestricted gadgets. You will pay a higher upfront cost which can be costly to you.

You will not enjoy discounts

Providers come with bundled offers to promote their services. They often give attractive discounts or promotional deals. You may get trade-in deals or seasonal promotions. You will miss out on all these deals once you opt for an unlocked iPhone.

No full support from a carrier

Providers prioritize support to customers with locked phones. This is because they know these customers cannot switch to another company. You will still get support from a carrier even when using an unlocked gadget. However, this support could be limited. Your phone might not be fully compatible since it has no pre-installed apps from the carrier.

Limited warranty                                                                    

Most providers give a warranty and insurance coverage to customers with locked gadgets. These warranties may cover free repair services or gadget replacement. You might not enjoy these services if you opt for an unlocked iPhone.

Decisions before you buy a new iPhone

Make the following decisions before you buy a new iPhone.

  • Decide the flexibility and freedom you need to switch carriers.
  • Compare the upfront and long-term costs for locked and unlocked options.
  • Check your travel habits to determine how often you might want to switch SIM cards.
  • Compare carriers in terms of voice and data costs, reliability, and customer support.

Conclusion – Is it better to buy an unlocked phone?

Whether to buy a locked or unlocked iPhone might be a hard decision. Weigh the pros and cons to make an informed choice. Apart from the benefits and setbacks, consider several other aspects. Check your budget to see whether you can afford the upfront costs of an unlocked gadget. Check if you have another provider with better and more affordable services. Consider your travel patterns and how often you would like to switch carriers.

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