An iPhone is typically set to work with a specific carrier based on the data from the SIM card in the phone, essentially locking it to that provider. As of December 2010, the only carrier for the iPhone in the greater United States is AT&T. However, there are rumours that other carriers might be offering the iPhone in the future, which means that SIM cards can be changed and carrier plans moved to additional networks. Discovering which carrier an iPhone is locked to is a very simple process and can be done directly from the phone.
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Turn the iPhone on and navigate to the Settings button. This will open a new menu.
Navigate to the General button in the Settings menu. Select this button to open up the next menu in the series.
Select the About option in the menu. The About menu displays the carrier that the iPhone is locked to under two sections: the Network option and the Carrier option. The About menu also displays the model, serial number and firmware attached to the phone, as well as a variety of other information about the phone including legal and regulatory information. All of this information is gathered from the SIM card installed in the phone.
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