Unlocked iPhones

If my unlocked phone is only GSM compatible, what is GSM?

GSM is a network used by wireless service providers. It stands for Global System for Mobile Communications and its main competition is the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network. GSM and CDMA used to differ in terms of signal quality and consistency. Eventually both improved to the point where there are very few differences between […]

Why are phones locked in the first place?

The reason that your carrier locks phones is to keep their customers from switching to another carrier. Phone locks ensure that carriers keep your business until you buy a new phone from a different carrier. When made to defend this practice, the carriers basically argued that locks help protect their property. You see, when you […]

Does unlocking affect my contract?

No. Contracts are not affected by the status of your phone. Unlocking merely allows your phone to be compatible for use with other carriers. You still are contractually obligated to continue your contract or risk paying early termination fees.

How does travel work with an unlocked phone?

When you take an unlocked phone to a different country, we recommend buying a SIM card for a local carrier. Activating your phone on a pay-as-you-go plan will allow you to pay local rates and avoid your home carrier’s roaming rates. This method will allow you to recoup the original cost of unlocking within the […]

Can I use an unlocked phone internationally?

Yes. An unlocked phone will work with any GSM compatible carrier abroad. GSM carriers make up about 93% of all wireless carriers internationally, so you shouldn’t have any problems locating one in the country of your destination.  Please note: in some cases, you may only be able to receive 3G data when in a foreign […]

Can I buy a locked Orchard phone and have it unlocked?

Yes, but Orchard is unable to unlock the phone for you. Only the carrier that the phone is locked to can unlock their phones. Most carriers do charge a fee to unlock your phone, though it is often less than what a grey-market supplier will charge. They do stipulate that you must have a contract […]

Why would I unlock my phone?

There are a number of benefits of unlocking your phone. If you’re a frequent traveller, then an unlocked phone is a must as it allows you to use a pre-paid SIM card for a local carrier, which helps you avoid astronomical roaming fees.  Some users also prefer unlocked phones because of the flexibility that they […]

How does unlocking work?

Some phones are manufactured to be unlocked phones— these phones are called “factory unlocked” phones. Most phones, however, are manufactured with a software lock in the phone to make sure it can’t be used with any other carriers. These phones become unlocked when the carrier permanently removes or uninstalls the software lock, which can be done remotely on […]

What is an unlocked phone?

When you buy a phone on contract with a carrier, they install software so that the phone can only be used with that original carrier. These phones are “locked”. An unlocked phone is one that never had this software installed in the first place or has had this software uninstalled sometime after purchase.  An unlocked phone has […]