Visual Encyclopedia

SIM lock

A SIM lock, simlock, network lock, carrier lock or (master) subsidy lock is a technical restriction built into GSM and CDMA mobile phones by mobile phone manufacturers for use by service providers to restrict the use of these phones to specific countries and/or networks. This is in contrast to a phone (retrospectively called SIM-free or unlocked) that does not impose any SIM restrictions.

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Please note: this post is only for individuals who have an iPhone with a SIM card slot (most commonly AT&T and T-Mobile, but sometimes Verizon and Sprint). If your iPhone does not have a SIM card slot, this post is not for you. Check out my article about carrier flashing. There are three ways to unlock your iPhone: a hardware unlock, software unlock, and a carrier unlock. Generally, I recommend the carrier unlock--simply asking your carrier to unlock your iPhone for you. This is because it is the only way to ensure that your iPhone will stay unlocked through software updates and changes.

Contributed by Jeremy Flood

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