Originally Posted by chanchan05
It doesn't vary I think. If the phone is bought from a service provider and it came with a contract, it will be locked to that provider. If you bought it straight up from a phone store for full price however, it won't be locked. The difference is that in the US, people tend to get their phones from providers instead of paying it outright.
Providers lock their phones as part of a contract agreement since some phones will be discounted or free from them inclusive of your contract. For example, my provider gave me a Galaxy Tab 7 Plus for free due to my contract. It's locked to that provider only for two years, because their earnings from my contract over two years would be the payment for the device. If they did not lock it, the people can just run off with the free phone without the company earning anything.
She bought the phone as an upgrade. She wasnt happy with the service but does own the phone because she paid for it. They did confirm it. Does she need them to unlock it or get a code for it?