It’s not uncommon for mobile companies to offer package deals on slick handsets and contracts, providing incentive for customers to stay loyal to the network. For that reason, many mobiles are sold locked to the service provider, limiting a customer’s future options.
However, you’ve purchased, say, an iPhone 4S that has been locked to your network provider, you do have options for unlocking, your phone to take advantage of more freedom and benefits. Why might you want to unlock your iPhone 4S? Well one obvious reason might be to make your phone compatible with other SIMs.
Perhaps you might want the freedom to use one network for Internet, and one network for texting abroad. Some networks offer great SIM deals that will only work in an unlocked handset. The SIM only network giffgaff helps potential customers via the giffgaff Unlockapedia—offering useful hints and cautions to users who wish to unlock iPhone 4S.
So, you might be wondering if unlocking is legal. The answer is: Yes! In 2002 Ofcom reviewed the policy of phone locking and decided that locked handsets are a restriction of consumer freedom, and thus it is within the consumer’s rights unlock their iPhone 4S or any other handset in order to choose whichever operator best suits their needs.
What are the other advantages of deciding to Unlock iPhone 4S? Beyond the freedom of choosing your own network, having an unlocked iPhone 4S is quite handy in other ways. For instance, while travelling you’ll be able to pop a local SIM into your handset and potentially save yourself loads on roaming fees. Alternatively, you may want to use the same handset but have separate numbers (say for work versus personal use). As an added bonus, unlocked phones always command a higher resale value.
Though all these benefits certainly make unlocking an iPhone 4S appealing, there are a few notes of caution worth mentioning. Depending on how you go about unlocking your handset, you may invalidate your warranty so it is definitely worth reading the fine print of your phone contract and being aware of the consequences before unlocking your handset.
Though phones are designed to be unlocked, not all methods used to unlock a handset follow what the manufacturer intended. Connecting your handset to third party hardware or software runs the risk of changing or damaging phone settings. This is worth a word of warning because if your phone is in need of repair due to an unlocking attempt, you may have already voided handset’s warranty.
The best way to go about unlocking your phone is to leave it to the experts at Apple. If your network allows unlocking, they may even be able to facilitate this for you. Alternatively there are a number of unlocking services and free DIY approaches available—just ensure that you’re entrusting your handset to a legitimate programmer or expert.
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