How to Unlock an Android Cell Phone

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Android is not a telephone (nor a robot). Android is software designed to be used on cell phones [source: Android]. It was developed by Google, which later headed the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). The Open Handset Alliance is a consortium of over 80 companies dedicated to moving forward innovation in cell phones. Android is based on Linux and Java and users of Android enabled phones are offered wider and cheaper ways to maximize the use of their phones [source: OHA]. You may want to unlock your phone in order to change service providers or perhaps to use your phone abroad. Here are some ways to unlock an Android cell phone. How you unlock the phone will depend on who your telephone service provider is.

  • T-Mobile You must have had a contract with a T-Mobile cell phone for ninety days before you can apply to the company to unlock the phone. Call T-Mobile and give them the necessary details about your phone and your contract, and they'll supply you with an unlock code to enter into your phone in order to unlock it. You're entitled to receive an unlock code if you wish to travel abroad and insert a foreign phone company's SIM card in your phone.
  • Nokia If you have a Nokia phone, you can search the Internet for a free online calculator to find out what your unlock code is. Once you have the code, simply enter it into the phone to unlock it.
  • Other locked phones Often however, you will have to pay for the convenience of unlocking your Android phone. You may have to purchase software or even a cable. Be prepared to pay up to $60 to get the job done. Some Android phones cannot be unlocked at all, or require hardware modification to unlock them [source: Segan].

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