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Thread: Unlocked cell phones!

  1. #1
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Unlocked cell phones!

    What are Unlocked Cell Phones?

    Some cell phones are designed to use a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card, or microchip that stores subscriber data. The SIM card is issued by a carrier and provides cell service by activating any phone into which it is inserted. A locked phone, however, will only recognize a SIM card from a particular carrier. If the cell phone is unlocked, it will recognize a SIM card from any carrier. The "lock" is a software setting that keeps the cell phone "loyal" to one carrier.

    In areas like the United States where carriers offer free or deeply discounted phones with cell plans, the phones are commonly locked so that they will not work with other carriers. Carriers claim this is necessary to subsidize the cost of the phones. After a period of time, a carrier might agree to unlock the phone upon request, perhaps charging a fee. However, due to proprietary settings sometimes installed in locked handsets, the phones don't always function correctly with other carriers, even once unlocked.

    From the viewpoint of the consumer, the practice of carriers locking phones and using proprietary settings defeats many of the benefits of SIM handsets. Complaints led to a class action suit filed in California in June 2004 by American watchdog group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). Ideally phones should be left unlocked, or at least unlocked after the initial contract expires.

    One way to get an unlocked phone without proprietary settings is to buy it new from a third party vendor in its original, unlocked state. The downside is that the price is commonly close to full retail. Some consumers might find it tough to dish out big bucks for a phone that they can get for free with a plan. The advantage is that the third party unlocked phone should work equally well with any carrier that uses SIM cards.

    Unlocked cell phones are in such demand that third party services will unlock your cell phone for a fee. This doesn't guarantee the phone will always work correctly, as proprietary settings might remain. There are also hacking instructions online to unlock many models of phones, but a phone that is unlocked improperly can be rendered inoperable.

    Carriers operating on the GSM network use SIM cards. In the United Sates, this includes Cingular Wireless, now one with AT&T Wireless, and T-Mobile. Carriers that use the competing CDMA network do not yet use card-enabled phones. These carriers include Sprint PCS, Verizon and Virgin Mobile. The CDMA equivalent of the SIM card the R-UIM will be used by these carriers in the future. R-UIM cards are already in use in some parts of Asia.
    FYI im trying to get a camera -cell phone on the cheap, so if u know a good way how, let me know! ebay is sucking lately....

  2. #2
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    did you try Ebay or Craigslist?
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    oh yeah, craiglist! thanks ladies i forgot i could go there for stuff other than casual encounters

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Yeah... craigslist rocks. I refused to wash anymore dishes (I had a new set on the way) so I just rinsed them and put them in a box posted an ad on craiglist "Free box of dirty dishes" said I would throw in a bottle of soap and a brand new scrubby sponge... 2 responses before it was flagged and removed. Then I got all freaked out and paranoid that whomever came to pick up the dishes really wanted to murder me in some Seven type sin of sloth fashion...

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    ^heh, I like Missed Connections and Freebies myself.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Missed connections are great!!!! Ummm, you were beautiful and I was standing there. Hit me back if you're interested!

  8. #8
    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    ^too true! Or how about, I saw you on the bus, you were headed downtown, Asian girl, short. I was the guy staring at you with brown eyes.

    Heh heh heh, I sometimes post really crazy specific ones (fake, of course) just to see who answers.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    JKM; you're fucking hilarious!!!!! ^

    well i bit the damn bullet and bought the stupid phone full price at the store cuz i kept losing out on the chances online so fuck it; its a cheapy phone anyways.....like me

  10. #10
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Alice - I always miss the good prices too.

    BTW I'm surprised that Virizon don't have sim-card phones seeing as it's part of Vodafone (& all VF are with Sim cards as its a GSM network).
    I can't (or can I?) believe that there was a class action re: locked phones... I've seen companies say "ok, you wnat the phone unlocked? We'll stop discounting the handsets then" and seeing as handsets cost 300-500... it stoppe any complaints REAL quick!

    Also, with the Pay-As-You-Go phones they weren't locked to start with & shops were splitting packs & selling the phones in Africa, etc... That didn't last long, I can tell you!
    Free Charmed.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Yeah, Damnit!

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    Elite Member DoveFeatheredRaven's Avatar
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    I got my phone from Amazon for a penny because I set up a new account with AT&T. It is a Sony walkman slider phone and has been great!!

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