One of the advantages that Verizon had over its competitors is that you can get their smartphones unlocked, which a lot of consumers appreciate of course. But it looks like those happy days are over as the carrier announced that they will start locking the phones that they offer for subscribers and at their stores to prevent people from stealing their phones at their stores. We’re not really sure what locked or unlocked devices have to do with it though, but it looks like the company is set on doing this.
We don’t know yet how long the locked period will last or if people can actually pay a certain amount (oftentimes paying off the device’s full price) to be able to unlock the smartphone or tablet. While some people actually don’t mind being locked to a carrier, especially if they’re loyal to the brand anyway, those who want to transfer to another carrier or those who travel often will probably prefer an open line device.
They didn’t really explain what they meant by protecting their stocks by locking their devices to their network, although it does make a certain kind of sense. And it actually seeming violates rules from the FCC which required Verizon to stop SIM-locking their devices more than a decade ago. But they will probably get away with it through some loophole that they have figured out, and chairman Ajit Pai was a former Associate General Counsel for the company, so connect the dots.
If ever you will be traveling internationally and your device is locked to Verizon (or any of the other networks), you won’t be able to get a local prepaid SIM and so the solution would be to either just get your carrier’s roaming service or to get another phone with an open line.