What Exactly Is an Unlocked Cell Phone?

When my beloved smart phone fell in a toilet a last year (a sad, true story) I knew I was in a real pickle.

I was pretty heartbroken after this unfortunate incident, and was kicking myself for the frugality that resulted in me not purchasing cell phone insurance. I remember thinking, What’s the worst that could happen?

Toilets! That’s what.

So I was out a smart phone, and out 300 big ones. I started to hunt for a relatively cost-effective solution. That meant that I was going to need to bypass the T-mobile store (unless I wanted to pay $500, sign on for a two-year contract extension, offer them my soul for eternity, first-born, etc. )

In desperation, I turned to Craigslist and found an abundance of what were called “unlocked phones”. I had no idea what unlocked phones were, but they seemed fishy and quite possibly, illegal. My friend is a real cell phone nerd, so I consulted him and he told me that unlocked phones weren’t illegal at all and were actually cell phones that recognize a SIM card from any cell phone carrier. The “lock “ is a software setting that keeps the cell phone tied to a particular carrier. This genious friend of mine also told me to steer clear of Craigslist scams and head to IceMonkey.com for the best selection of unlocked phones. Now, thanks to IceMonkey.com and my friend Steve, I’m very happy with my unlocked phone.