I was watching the top 10 American Film Institute movie the other day ’12 Rounds’ starring renowned thespian and WWE Wrestler John Cena and besides many plot holes, there was one thing that caught me as striking. The escaped convict who orchestrated 12 high-tech stunts in high-security areas in only a day also changed a card in his phone each time he called Mr. Cena. As a computer junkie who is getting more into cell phone technology, I wondered what these Sim Cards actually did and why the bad guy needed to change them repeatedly. I had also wondered what the so-called unlocked iPhones that I’ve seen offered online consisted of and I set out to do some research…after finishing the movie of course.
“John it’s the Razzie Awards…you gonna be busy in late February?”
So What Is A Sim Card
Sim cards are basically the brains of a phone. They are small microchips that hold detailed information about the user’s phone history. Text messages, call logs, and contacts all originate from the SIM card. Each card has what amounts to be a serial number printed on the card. This number is then given to the desired cell phone carrier to get the phone activated.
What To Do With Sim Cards
Some people would think that vital phone information is stored directly on the handset when it’s actually the small card inside of it that holds the details. This means that when a person wants to switch from their gigantic Zack Morris phone to a more modern sleek design, they can simply swap cards and all their data stays intact. Ideally, if you see a phone you like from one carrier and an awesome call and data plan from the other, you could mix and match the two, in which you’d need a …
What Is An Unlocked Phone?
Imagine the Acme Phone Company has the best cell phone in the market. It’s got apps, the Internet, a cool design and a built in back scratcher. The thing is, their phone only works with their Sim cards and service plan, which is $95 per month and this is called a locked phone. On the contrary, an unlocked phone can be used in conjunction with any Sim card. Phones can be unlocked with certain manufacturer codes and unlocked phones especially are a hot online seller.
Are There Disadvantages Of Using An Unlocked Phone
Some phone providers offer certain advantages of using their phones with their Sim cards on the specified contract. For instance, a promotion such as calling people in your ‘My Buddy’ list for free would only work with the particular Sim card in place. Also, local carriers often pre-configure phones for you depending on your area settings but an unlocked phone purchased online will have to be set up manually. Also, the cell providers who offer 1 cent phones are doing so because they’ll get $700-$800 back from you on a 2-year service contract. Unlocked phones are usually sold at a manufacturers price which is much higher than a penny.
A ‘Jailbroken’ Phone
Some people may have heard the term jailbroken phone and they differ slightly from unlocked phones. Most often used in conjunction with the iPhone, Apple only allows approved apps such as those from the iTunes store to be downloaded to the iPhone. With proper programming, an iPhone can be jailbroken to download apps from everywhere as well as different operating systems. It should be noted that a jailbroken phone often voids the warranty, which can be a slippery slope on a $500 dollar investment.
Hope I’m going to a “cell” block…I need about a day to plan my revenge on Cena, break out of here, secure a helicopter, and update my Twitter. Image source.
Where To Get An Unlocked Phone And Sim Card
Unlocked phones are available online from third party outfits as well as some cell carriers. The cell service providers will also try and sell you an upgraded pre-paid minute card or some other service they offer. It should be noted that almost all unlocked phones are sold at full price. Phones can also be ‘do-it-yourself” unlocked through online instructions if you already have an activated phone. Sim cards are also sold in many of the same outlets in a variation of 3 different sizes so always check which size you need before blindly ordering.