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When you hear the term “open/unlocked phones” it means that the phone will work with any service provider that uses a SIM card. The SIM card is small and thin, even smaller than memory cards for digital cameras. It typically slides into a phone underneath the battery.
The SIM card is what stores your personal information like billing and your phone number. Simply pop the card out of one phone and into the next, then dial your number and the new phone will be the one that rings.
Certain companies, like T-Mobile for example, do use SIM cards. Some other companies do not. If your service does use this method, you can purchase any “open/unlocked phone” from a retailer and place your SIM card in it. Now you have a new phone. There are tons of cell phone deals available from retailers for these types of phones, since they can work with several different companies.
Make sure you are certain that your phone uses this technology before making a purchase. If it does not, there is no way of transferring your service to the new phone. In this case, you have to purchase a phone that is meant specifically for your carrier.