Usage of smartphones has been considerably increased in the past five years of time and likewise the number of mobile manufacturers. If we retrospect just 10 years back, the phones at that time were different from what we are consuming nowadays. They are now loaded with exclusive features in order to meet the requirements of today. The smartphones today can be categorized broadly into two categories; locked and unlocked phones. The following headings will explain all about these terminologies.
Smartphones are sold in developed countries in the form of contract with telecom providers or carriers that subsidize these mobiles for the consumers in lieu of annually or biennially contract. A simple example will clear the meaning. Suppose US carrier like T-Mobile or Sprint would offer a US$600 phone in a discounted prize of $199 to the customer. The phone in general will have the same functionality as of the regular phone sold in retail market. The subsidize phone will be locked by Sprint carrier so that it can only be used on its network. Although technically speaking, the phone has the ability to run on any network but since it was locked by the carrier following your contract, it would not allow other cellular network to be operated on this phone. In similar way, if the contract bind phone owner travels to other country, he cannot use that device on the local network of that country until and unless he has to bear the roaming charges of the original contractor.
Reason behind locking phones
Carriers lock these smartphones because they never want that their customers switching to other operators. That is why these carriers sell these smartphone in low price in order to bind the customer to annually or biannually contract and receive their remaining money in the form of monthly installments. In simple words, this obligatory contract guarantees the carriers to recover their subsidy over the course of contract. Moreover, the carriers may restrict access to some applications to be installed and used on these phones. For example, some of the carriers restrict the use Google Hangouts or other such applications on their network while the same applications could be used on Wi-Fi network.
Is it appropriate to buy locked phones?
The nature of locked and unlocked smartphones actually depends on country to country. The only reason of buying a locked phone is the subsidy which the customer gets. People purchase the high-end mobiles from these carriers so that they don’t have to pay the whole amount in one go, rather they select carriers that offers phones in subsidized price and the remaining amount to be disbursed by the consumer each month until the maturity of the contract.
There is also some high risk involved in the locked phones. If customers manage to unlock the phone by themselves, it would prove disaster in favor of company. And there are such tricks which can be found on the internet. Contrary to this, when you go out for selling your locked phones in comparison to unlocked ones, you will not get enough money. So, locked phones have some benefits and drawbacks and it totally vary from person to person. If you are a mover or use to switch mobiles on a regular basis, purchasing a locked phone is certainly not a good choice.