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Jailbroken vs. Unlocked iPhones

Before I give you the difference between the jailbroken iPhone and an unlocked iPhone, let’s first define the two.

First off, a jailbroken iPhone, according to EHow.com, “is an iPhone that has unofficial software installed that allows the iPhone to work on any Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular network and also to use applications not approved by Apple, the iPhone maker. A jailbroken iPhone will void the terms and conditions of Apple's warranty.”

Meanwhile, an unlocked iPhone, according to About.com, “is an iPhone that is not tied to a particular service provider in order to be used. Unlocked iPhones can be used on the network of any compatible provider with the insertion of a compatible SIM card. It can also be legally unlocked by any cellular service provider.”

There are a lot of differences when it comes to these two iPhone versions. Though they can be similar with the model and brand, features and other phone capabilities, they vary in a lot of ways.

The Jailbroken iPhone

A jailbroken phone allows its user to run unofficial codes on the device. It can enable the user to download third-party applications and other stuff which cannot be found in Apple’s Apps Store.

These apps can be downloaded from an application store which is similar to iTunes. Cydia and Icy are examples of this.

Some popular third-party application installers that can be downloaded from Cydia and Icy are:

·         Winterboard (To install Themes)

·         SB Settings (Faster Method to Manage iPhone Settings), 

·         Tricker3G (For running Wi-Fi only App on 3G or EDGE), 

·         Cycorder (Video Recorder for iPhone 2G, 3G) and a lot more.

The Unlocked iPhone

An unlocked iPhone is an iPhone that can enable its user to connect to any carrier its user would prefer. This can be done as the phone accepts SIM cards or Micro SIM cards from any GSM carrier.

If you are using an unlocked iPhone, it can bypass any SIM check when you update the software you are using. This happens because your unlocked iPhone has its own separate firmware – the baseband firmware- that keeps your phone free from the restrictions of your carrier.

However, even if you are using an unlocked iPhone, it does not mean that you can freely download third-party apps like the jailbroken one.

At first, you might think that having a jailbroken iPhone is better.  But this is not really true. Why? Let’s find out.

According to EHow.com, here are some concerns explaining why a legally unlocked iPhone is a lot better than having a jailbroken unit.

1.      Warranty

A legally unlocked iPhone does not change the terms or conditions of Apple's warranty. If you have an issue with your iPhone after the phone has been legally unlocked, you can bring it to an Apple retail store for repair.

2.      Non Apple-Approved Applications

A legally unlocked iPhone will not be able to download applications not approved by Apple for the iPhone. Jailbroken iPhones have access to hundreds of free and paid applications available through the jailbreak Cydia application. But the unlocked phone is not subject to viruses, malware and bugs that can be attributed to downloading these unwarranted apps. Also, a jailbroken iPhone can turn to a bricked phone which is a very unfortunate thing.

3.      Unlock Permanency

The process that legally unlocks the iPhone is permanent. Once the process is performed by your cellular service provider, you will be able to continue to use different subscriber information modules, or SIMs, even after updating the iPhone's operating system. With a jailbroken iPhone, the software requires frequent updates to continue to work properly with updates to the iPhone's operating system.

4.      Service Contract

Generally, cellular service providers will not legally unlock your iPhone unless you have completed your service contract. Exceptions would be iPhones that have had their service contract "bought out" through an upgrade promotion or payment of an early termination fee. Also, cellular service providers will usually unlock iPhones that are purchased at full retail value without a service contract.

Meanwhile, having a jailbroken iPhone violates the end-user agreement and therefore voids all elements in the contract. With a jailbroken iPhone, you are on your own.

5.      Cost

If you meet your cellular service provider's qualifications, the provider will usually unlock your iPhone for free. Jailbreaking your iPhone is also a free process, but when problems creep in, you can no longer ask for assistance. You can fix it yourself or pay for someone to do it.


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