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carrier unlocked phones


I know the difference between factory unlocked and carrier unlocked, but I am still hesitant to buy a carrier unlocked phone. I am looking for a iphone 13 pro max - wouldn't a carrier unlocked phone function EXACTLY the same as a factory unlocked phone in that I could use on any carrier I wanted? For for this particular phone is there any reason why I shouldn't buy a carrier unlocked phone? Not sure who I will eventually be using as a carrier, but it would be one of the big 3, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.


Carrier unlock basically brings the phone back to factory unlock state, so you are right.

No reason not to buy a carrier unlocked phone.

It’s the software unlocked phone that may restrict you with full potential of the phone when used with another carri.

Robert B. on Swappa
Robert B.

When a carrier unlocks a phone, lets say Verizon in this case. Verizon software will remain on it, but it will still work on another carrier. My carrier unlocked Verizon phone works on T-Mobile, but you get pop-up's and errors sometimes saying that certain functions no longer work because you are not on the Verizon network. But everything will still work, just not the Verizon pre-installed stuff.


To the best of my knowledge ; • A carrier unlocked phone doesn’t work with all carriers .

• A factory unlocked phone will work globally.

Don O. on Swappa
Don O.

I’ve owned a variety of Verizon-locked cell phones — iPhone SE (1st gen), iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and 11 Pro Max — and once unlocked and reset to factory default, they were 100% indistinguishable from the factory unlocked iPhones I have owned. After reset there was no longer any Verizon-specific software remaining and they could be used without issue on any other carriers.

In fact, unless you tell them when creating the sales listing, neither Swappa nor prospective buyers have any way of knowing your unlocked phone was previously locked to a carrier, meaning when buying an “unlocked” phone on Swappa, there’s a good chance you’re buying a “carrier unlocked” phone.

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