What is a locked iPhone and is it worth buying


Note that in 2022 iPhone prices dropped noticeably? 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’ll talk about what is a locked iphonewhether it is 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 understood a locked iPhone is cheaperbut the tariff plan itself cannot be called cheap – in many countries, communication prices “bite” a lot.

In Russia 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 has nothing to do with 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 the iPhone by IMEI through a special service that will give you all the necessary information.
  • Insert your SIM card: if you see the message “SIM card is invalid” or “Activation Required”, it means that iPhone locked to carrier.

By the way, buy a locked iPhone in official Russian stores is impossible: even despite parallel imports, sellers sell only SIM-free smartphones that are not tied to operators.

How to identify a locked iPhone

Despite the two previous methods, to find out iPhone locked or not, very easy. 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.

Besides, unlocked iphone quickly finds the SIM card (if, of course, you inserted it correctly) without errors. By the way, even if she appears, and iPhone does not see SIM card, you probably still have an unlocked iPhone, but it has some problems. We wrote more about this in our material.

Is it possible to unlock iPhone

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

  • iPhone hardware unlock implies 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 – official release 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 listed in list of unlocked devices and the ban will be lifted. You can check the possibility of unlocking on the Apple page.

Both procedures are quite inexpensive in 2022: we managed to find both the first and second methods for 3,000 rubles, although they say they can take more depending on the operator under which the iPhone is locked. For example, my friend paid almost 9 thousand rubles for this service 7 years ago, but the iPhone still came out cheaper than in official retail.

Definitely a great way save money on buying an iPhone, but you need to be prepared to spend money on unlocking. In most cases, it really comes out cheaper than buying a new smartphone. Basically, these iPhones have no other drawbacks and will work properly. In any case, you can always take a look at exchange iPhone or restored – about how they differ, read our material.

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