Starting this week, America's largest carrier, Verizon has started activating unlocked smartphones on its network. The company has confirmed as much to 9to5Mac, saying that the program applies to devices like Google's Nexus 6 and Apple's iPhone. Verizon has put up a dedicated webpage on its site where potential customers can check the compatibility – or lack thereof – of their devices by following a few simple steps. All someone needs to do is choose the operating system of the device they're looking to activate on the network, and then input the device ID (IMEI, ESN, or MEID number). Once that is done, users will be asked to input the SIM ID of their Verizon SIM if they're already in possession of one. If not, they'll will be required to buy one from a Verizon store before they can progress any further. If everything matches up, the automated procedure will activate the device on Verizon, although the company doesn't say how long it will take for that to happen.
Of course, once you do have a valid Verizon SIM, you'll need to choose your plan, which now comes with just the four options, what with the carrier doing away with device subsidies. It is worth mentioning that earlier this month, Verizon introduced a brand new set of plans, which aims to do away with the whole convoluted multi-year contracts. Of course, that also means no more device subsidies, resulting in large down payments for premium handsets. Customers will however also have the option of paying off the cost of the device in monthly installments, over and above the basic plan charges. While this is good news for companies trying to popularize unlocked, SIM-free smartphones, consumers used to buying premium handsets at nominal down-payments will now probably find it more economical to invest in cheaper, mid-range devices, which these days, come with fairly decent performance, but without a hefty price-tag.
For people who like to use off-beat, non-mainstream devices like the ones from Asus or OnePlus, the new developments at Verizon is a significantly beneficial step, as the abolition of initial subsidies mean that monthly charges will be significantly lower than they have been thus far, and even the monthly installments, where applicable, will end as soon as the device gets paid-off in full.