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Detailed info about Unlocking

I would like to learn more about what the difference between a locked and unlocked iPhone 4S is.

A couple of points I would like answered:

-How do you tell if an iPhone 4S is currently locked or unlocked?

-What does an unlocked iPhone 4S allow me to do that I cannot do with a locked iPhone 4S? (Details! I know the basics already, but what are the technical details of the change?)

-What are the disadvantages of an unlocked iPhone 4S that a locked one doesn't have?

If you are a Verizon Rep, please no canned responses, no advertisements, etc.

If you are a random person, please do not post links to random websites that claim to unlock phones.

I already know HOW to get an iPhone 4S unlocked, I am looking for more detailed info about the concept of "locking" itself.

Additionally, it would be great if someone could provide some context with regard to AT&T's policies if you happen to know them, like how is AT&T unlocking diff. from Verizon unlocking, if there even is a difference.

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Re: Detailed info about Unlocking
Sr. Member

Verizon Wireless does not help people unlock devices for use with other US carriers and it's also against the terms of service to help others with information on it - so the official Verizon Wireless forums are probably not the best place to ask.

Re: Detailed info about Unlocking

Again, I have no interest in learning how to do it. I am interesting in getting some no bs information about the entire concept of it. Because all parties involved, from Verizon to AT&T to Apple all give very conflicting information about everything. I have no idea how this stuff works, and what it even means to different companies.

My biggest concern is the fact that I am not allowed to take the phone that I purchased and actually utilize all the cellular hardware inside it. I am paying Verizon monthly. We make all the payments. We have been paying them longer than the initial two year contract that my dad started a while back. So we have already payed for Verizon's subsidies. So why are we restricted from using a Verizon-activated iPhone on American GSM networks? Sure we can use the GSM nets overseas, but I can't just get a simple $60 prepaid data plan with AT&T ALL WHILE STILL PAYING VERIZON MONTHLY?

If the above is false information, please correct me, but I am getting this directly from AT&T reps, Apple reps, and secondary Verizon information.