Verizon has announced a new method to combat phone theft that will see the devices carrier locked to its network only. The phones have traditionally been unlocked and have allowed users to use SIMs from other carriers inside. That is very useful for folks who often travel internationally.
With the new change going into effect this spring, that SIM swapping may no longer be possible. As for why Verizon is making this change, it says the move will help to deter thieves who steal pheons before customers buy them and that the phones will be unlocked for customers after they are purchased.
What’s not clear about this move is exactly how long it will take before the phone is unlocked. We also don’t know for sure exactly how the customer will have to go about getting the phone unlocked.
One possible point of contention with the carrier locking of devices is that it runs afoul of rules that are specific to the “C Block” 700 MHz wireless spectrum that Verizon owns. Those rules said devices had to be unlocked. Verizon maintains its move doesn’t violate the spirit of that rule reports Ars Technica.