With Cell phone use exploding around the world and in some cases being the main or only telephone service used, Understanding the difference between "Locked" and "Unlocked" becomes rather important. Not only financially but also for the convenience of having service anywhere without buying another phone. So here's the difference in a nutshell:
When you buy a cellphone, you should have the choice of it being either locked or unlocked. If you just walk in and buy it from a phone service provider, it will in all likelihood be locked into their service. And they probably won't explain the difference for you. That means if you move to some location where they don't have service, your cell phone will probably not work with another provider.
If you buy your cell phone from a manufacturer, like our friends at Motorola®, you have several choices, all of them explained right up front! You can purchase it loaded with service from a provider, locked or unlocked. If you're just tired of your old phone and want to upgrade, you can swap your chip out of your old phone and be on your way with a new UN-locked phone from Motorola using your present provider. Then, say, you later move clear across country or even somewhere else in the world. Or maybe you travel a lot. All you have to do is sign up with the new provider, get their chip, slide it into your own UN-locked cell phone, and you're back up and running with the new provider. This freedom of choice is important to folks who move around or travel a lot. And you don't have to buy "big packages" to get secondary or new cell phone service!
The Old Man invites you to take a look at the fine offerings at Motorola®. You'll be very surprised at the reasonable prices; they're much lower than you'll find elsewhere, straight from Motorola. And they'll make sure your present chip fits your new phone for a seamless changeover to new technology. They even have real, live people on their toll-free lines that will make sure you get exactly what you need.
And, What is a "Smart Phone"?
Lots of phones are truly "smart" today, but the bottom line is, a real "Smart Phone" by definition has an operating system kind of like your computer, a much-easier keyboard function, and you can add programs and features that don't come from your phone company.
And, why might I Want "GPS" In My Cell Phone?
Some people would, while others wouldn't. For instance, if you're lost and you can dial 9-1-1, the police dispatcher can pick up your position by your GPS coordinates transmitted with the call. Really handy, if you're lost, hurt, or need other emergency help.