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What is a locked iPhone and is it worth buying


Have you noticed that iPhone prices have dropped significantly in 2022? You can buy the model you like at an indecently low price, however, after the first turn on, it turns out that the iPhone is incompatible with the SIM card of your operator: it is for this reason that it is necessary to check the iPhone’s performance when buying, so as not to be left with nothing later. Blocking a mobile operator is one of the most common problems when buying an iPhone. Today we will talk about what a locked iPhone is, is it worth buying, even if it is sold almost for nothing.

What is a locked iPhone?

In some countries, Apple sells the iPhone not just in stores, but exclusively with a mobile operator’s network contract, which sometimes turns out to be more profitable for both the buyer and the seller himself. True, at the same time, smartphones can work exclusively with a SIM card from one operator, so the user receives the latest device at an attractive price, but with limited communication and a kind of installment plan: you have to pay not only for the tariff but also for the iPhone itself. As you understand, a locked iPhone is cheaper, but the tariff plan itself cannot be called cheap – in many countries, communication prices “bite” a lot.

 locked iPhones are imported from other countries by private individuals for further resale. They are distinguished by a low price (as a rule, much lower than the market), as well as a serial number that is not related to Russia: pay attention to the first two letters of the serial. If it is not “RU”, then the iPhone is not intended for Russia and may not work properly. However, even iPhones from other countries may not be tied to a carrier, so you need to check everything manually. Identifying a locked iPhone is very easy.

  • Check iPhone by IMEI through a special service that will give you all the necessary information.
  • Insert your SIM card: if you see the inscription “SIM card is invalid” or “Activation Required”, this means that the iPhone is locked under the operator

How to identify a locked iPhone

Despite the two previous methods, it is very easy to find out if the iPhone is locked or not. To do this, you do not even need to insert a SIM card into it.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click “General”, then “About this device”.
  • Look at the line “Operator lock”: if it says “SIM without restrictions”, then you can purchase this smartphone with peace of mind – it will definitely work with your SIM card.

In addition, the unlocked iPhone quickly finds the SIM card (if, of course, you inserted it correctly) without errors. By the way, even if it appears and the iPhone does not see the SIM card , you probably still have a locked iPhone, but it has some problems.

Is it possible to unlock iPhone?

A friend of mine decided to take a chance and buy a locked iPhone at his own risk and try to use it. He had two options: use hardware unlock or contact a service to unlock it. Here’s what it means.

  • Hardware unlock of an iPhone involves the use of a Turbo SIM adapter, into which a SIM card from a Russian operator is installed. This is a chip suitable for any operator – it helps to bypass restrictions. It has disadvantages: for example, the signal often disappears.
  • Another way is official decoupling from the operator. In this case, you will also have to contact a service center or do it yourself through an intermediary site. It is not worth doing this manually: it is better to trust professionals so as not to lose money. Your iPhone will be added to the list of unlocked devices and the ban will be lifted. 

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