Over the past ten years, we have seen an exponential growth regarding the use of smartphones. The number of smartphone sales has gone up drastically in ever country. Likewise, we have also seen new mobile phone manufacturers enter the market that has successfully broken down the monopoly created by Apple and Samsung.
In the market today, there are two types of phones; locked and unlocked. This post discusses the difference between the two and the disadvantages of buying an unlocked phone from your network service provider.
Difference Between Locked and Unlocked Phones
These cell phones work only with a single network service provider. They work with special CDMA technology. These phones also come with a pre-loaded SIM card that cannot be replaced. You can try putting another SIM inside a locked phone, you’ll immediately get a notification saying the SIM card is undetectable/unacceptable. Carriers usually do this so you don’t go off and shift your business to the competitors. If you want to switch network carriers, you’ll have to buy a new phone altogether.
On the other hand, unlocked phones are quite the opposite. They do not come with a built-in CDMA technology and neither with a pre-installed SIM card. Get any SIM card anywhere in the world, put it in and you’re good to go. Most carriers offer to unlock your phone once you’ve paid off the entire cost of the mobile. This way, they get business from you, even if it’s for a brief time period.
Disadvantages of Unlocked Cell Phones
- No Support from Carriers
Perhaps the biggest issue of unlocked phones is if you get network issues at any time, you’ll have to solve it independently; the service provider won’t offer support for anything. Although the phone company’s tech support is available 24/7, they might not be able to help you with a network or cellular issues.
- Warranties and Insurance Packages
Of course, every new phone you get comes with a warranty card, but proclaiming it is even tiring. Not only do you have to wait on the customer service phone line for hours, but you would also have to ship it to them and then receive it back all on your own expense. In contrast, if you bought your phone from a carrier, they offer their help and complete the process on your behalf.
The insurance deals are also worthwhile and are hard to ignore. They cover your phone in case of misfortunes like theft, drops, and software malfunctions. You get peace of mind which you’d lack with unlocked phones.
- Pay Full Cost Upfront
Another disadvantage of buying unlocked phones is that you have to pay the entire cost, whether $100 or $2,000, upfront. Since these gadgets can be expensive, phone carriers offer monthly installments plans to ease the burden. Seeing $50 deduct every month is better than $1,500 going all at once.
Now you know why buying locked phones is better than going for the unlocked ones. While you will be able to switch carriers on unlocked phones, you wouldn’t have access to exclusive cellular packages, great insurance plans, or network support.