Unlocked vs Verizon

Aubrey O. on Swappa
Aubrey O.
466 Views

I do have Verizon but what is the difference of buying unlocked vs Verizon on this site for a iPhone?

Will Verduzco on Swappa
Will Verduzco

Hey there, Aubrey! This is quite a common question, so thanks for asking!

Unlocked iPhones are iPhones that aren't software-restricted to any particular carrier. In other words, they can operate on any carrier with compatible network bands.

However, not every unlocked phone has the appropriate radio hardware to connect to every carrier. This means that if you have the wrong combination of device and network, you may experience reduced connectivity or no signal.

iPhone Network Compatibility

Every iPhone originally sold in the US from the iPhone 11 onward (not counting iPhone SE 2020) is fully compatible with all US carriers. But "GSM-only" variants of older iPhones like the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and iPhone XS aren't compatible with Verizon's legacy 3G CDMA network. This means that if you're in an area with poor 4G coverage, you may experience signal dropouts.

Fortunately, we've detailed all the supported network bands and model numbers in our Unlocked iPhone Buyer's Guide. So head over there to learn more about which unlocked iPhones are fully compatible with your network.

Should you buy an unlocked iPhone or a Verizon iPhone to use on Verizon's network?

  • If you're buying an iPhone 11 or later (not counting the iPhone SE 2nd Gen), either option works. Because of this, I'd suggest going with an Unlocked iPhone so you have the freedom to change carriers whenever you want -- like if you spot a great deal on another network.
  • If you're buying an older iPhone, you'll need to pay attention to the model number or buy a Verizon iPhone.

Hope this helps!

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