Unlocked-what does it mean?

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by timtruro, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. timtruro
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    timtruro iPF Novice

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    I was looking at iPads for sale on EBay recently and several are described as 'unlocked '. I'm not sure what this means. Does it have to do with whether the machine was assigned to AT&T or Verizon from the factory, so that unlocked means it is unassigned? I know that when I have gone to buy cellular data plan time my iPad directs me to AT&T . But it also looks like I could deal with Verizon or another carrier if I wished.
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Unlocked means it is not locked to any one carrier. That does not mean you can switch between AT&T and Verizon. There are basic hardware differences in their services. What it does mean is that if another carrier supports the same frequencies and protocols, you can use that carriers.

    It is mostly about being able to move between the GSM carriers on the AT&T iPad, though even there you have to pay attention to what frequencies they support. In the U.S. the selection is sparse. In Europe it's a big deal, with their many carrier choices all running GSM.

    Verizon is pretty much a rule unto itself. It's CDMA 3G service is not compatible with anything else in the U.S. and little else world wide. Being locked or unlocked has almost no meaning for Verizon's iPad 2 model. For the new iPad it does mean something, since the Verizon version will include a world GSM radio as well as CDMA.
  3. timtruro
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    timtruro iPF Novice

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    Thanks, that helps....
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No problem.
  5. eco41679
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    eco41679 iPF Noob

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    I am also looking to purchase an ipad on Ebay. How was your experience? What did you do in the end? Did you purchase a "locked" or "unlocked" one?
  6. eco41679
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    eco41679 iPF Noob

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    I am a new ipad user and am still not clear what you mean in your post. I assume I will need to purchase a data plan for my ipad from either of the two carriers mentioned. Are they both good?

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