The primary disadvantage to purchasing a factory unlocked iPhone is the cost of the handset itself. When sold unlocked prices are rather exorbitant, whereas when a locked phone is purchased several discounts are often provided by the service provider, which allows significant savings. Service providers primarily offer these discounts so as to buy customer loyalty and ensure that for a certain period the user will use only that service provider.
These customable phone contracts allow CDMA service providers the opportunity to offer customers great savings, thus attracting more users. Another advantage of a phone contract is that it allows the user to pay for the handset and the usage plan on a monthly basis which is usually evenly distributed over a period of 12 months to 24 months.
However if one is to purchase an unlocked iPhone the entire amount has to be paid up front, first regardless the usage plan they choose through their service provider. The price is the only major disadvantage of a factory unlocked iPhone, the factory unlocked iPhone provides the user the mobility to use any service provider and face time over their 3G network however apart from this the operations of the device are exactly the same as that of a locked device.
You’ll invariably find that a factory unlocked iPhone would have you wondering if you might as well consider buying the best in breed phones from other providers, as the prices shoot up! And then, there are ways in which you can make your iPhone work as an unlocked device even if it is not a factory unlocked one bought from Apple. Ultimately, it boils down to deciding as to whether the idea of tampering with your phone by unlocking it after purchasing is worth the savings for you.