Wholesale Unlocked Cell Phones

The terminology in the wireless industry can at times be confusing and so you may have heard people talk about "unlocked" cell phones or smartphones. But maybe you're not sure exactly what that means, or why you might want an unlocked cell phone vs a locked one. Here's what you need to know about buying an unlocked cell phone.

What is an Unlocked Cell Phone or Smartphone?

Cell phones come basically in one of two ways...they are either tied – or locked – to a certain cellular carrier and will only recognize a SIM card (Subscriber Identification Module) from that particular cellular provider or they are unlocked. With most phones when they are sold they come from the manufacture tied – or locked – to a particular cellular carrier, such as Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint. Even if you don't actually buy the phone from the carrier, the phone is still tied to a carrier. You could for example purchase an iPhone from Target, but it still requires you to sign up for service from T-Mobile, this is a locked phone. Carrier's will typically lock phones to be able to offer them at a discount and entice customers to sign a long term contract. The second way a phone can come is known as "unlocked" and unlocked cell phones are not tied into a certain carrier's network: Meaning it will work with more than one service provider. Since it is unlocked it can receive service from any cellular carrier and can recognize a SIM card from any cellular carrier as well. Therefore, you have the freedom to shop for the latest phones and plans as often or as infrequently as you like. Not to mention, when it comes to international travel unlocked cell phones offer the best chance of working overseas.

As a result of this unlocked feature the phones are typically a little more expensive and can approach the price of their retail counterparts even in the wholesale arena. That is why it is important to find a good and respectable wholesaler of unlocked cell phones where good deals are available with large quantity discounts.

Can a Verizon Phone Be Unlocked?

Wait, I thought CDMA phones couldn't be unlocked you may ask. Well even though Verizon uses CDMA instead of GSM for channel access, most of Verizon's newer devices come with an unlocked SIM card slot. According to Verizon, its 4G LTE devices aren’t locked, and if you want to bring one of them to another carrier, there is no code you need to rejigger the phone’s radios for other networks. However these SIM-equipped Verizon phones that can be used on AT&T, T-Mobile or any other GSM carrier will need to have GSM roaming radios in order to make phone calls and send texts in the United States. While most recent Verizon handsets will work just fine on America GSM bands, your range will vary when it comes to LTE support.