One of the most asked questions we receive at Search4cellphonedeals.com is can I use any unlocked cell phone for my carrier? The short answer is, no you cannot. There are several things to consider before you run out and buy an unlocked cell phone.First let’s look at what an unlocked cell phone is. Some cell phones are designed to use a Subscriber Identification Module card or SIM card for short. A SIM card is a microchip that stores subscriber data. The SIM card is issued by a carrier and provides cell service by activating any phone into which it is inserted. A locked cell phone, however, will only recognize a SIM card from a particular carrier. If the cell phone is unlocked, it will recognize a SIM card from any carrier. The “lock” is a software setting that keeps the cell phone “loyal” to one carrier. This is done by the major carriers to ensure you don’t get a FREE cell phone under a two-year contract and then not pay on the contract and use that cell phone with another provider. It is in this way that the cell phone providers can justify giving individuals a FREE cell phone that would have otherwise cost the consumer money.