AP has gotten word on Monday that Verizon Wireless will not relock the iPhone 5, essentially giving customers an unlocked phone. This new feature means that the phone can be used on other U.S. networks (yes, even T-Mobile!).
Although this may not mean too much to customers initially since they will be locked into a 2-year contract, the new feature means a lot in the long run. Customers will now be able to switch carriers either when their contract expires or opt to break the contract by paying an early termination fee and switching to another service. It should be noted that the phone will be tied to the Verizon network, regardless of it being unlocked, which means customers will only be able to access 4G LTE speeds through Verizon. If you want to switch to AT&T, be prepared to access their non-LTE 4G network. Further, an unlocked phone can make reselling much more easy as Verizon customers would not be limited to sell to just Verizon customers.
Verizon’s move to keep iPhone 5s unlocked is definitely a step in the right direction and may inspire other carriers to follow suit. Currently, AT&T will only unlock a phone upon the end of a contract and Sprint will only unlock a phone for international use.
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