Although Indian consumers have been used to buying carrier unlocked phones, in the US, most phones come partnered up with a carrier which restricts the users from using another carrier’ services on the device. Many popular manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and Google, offer their devices in partnership with carriers along with some bundled attractive offers. However, in the past, there have been some inconsistencies regarding how the two types of devices functioned, but now Google might be on to some changes to its operating system which will allow the locked and unlocked phones to function how they are intended to be.
Devices to Come with Much More Carrier Based Restrictions
As per a report by 9to5Google, the search giant will bring newer features to its latest upcoming Android operating system, Android Q which will put in place much more restrictions regarding locked devices. According to some developers who have had a thorough look at the Android Q code, some carriers will find it easy to secure the phones to their network. This, in turn, will also make it harder for the users at the same time to unlock their phones so that they could use it with other carriers or other SIMs. On top of that, Android Q is probably going to come with a list of designated “allowed” and “excluded” carriers. This will be a list of carriers which will and won’t work on particular models of the phone. The report has said, "this can be done with a fine-grained detail even to allow blocking virtual carrier networks that run on the same towers as your main carrier."
No Sparing for Dual-SIM Devices
Now typical users might think that there might be a backdoor to this restriction with the usage of dual-SIM models of the devices. However, the restrictions have been placed for the dual-SIM variants of the phone as well. In order to use the dual SIM models, the user will be required to insert the SIM from the locked carrier in the primary SIM card slot to be able to use the second slot. Android Q will come with specific parameters which will restrict the use of the second SIM if the system detects that the SIM in the primary slot is not of the designated operator.
Another thing to note is that there has been no official confirmation about this change from Google, but if the reports are to be believed then it is likely that the consumers in the US will rather buy the unlocked devices instead of the locked ones.