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June 26, 2008

Wirefly Expands Its Catalog To Include Unlocked Cell Phones

By Vinti Vaid, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Wirefly, an e-commerce Web site owned and run by Simplexity, announced the launch of an unlocked cell phone category.
An unlocked cell phone enables users to change carriers and handsets whenever they choose, unlike locked cell phones that mandate the long-term services of a single carrier.
The category is popular for the flexibility of picking up a new cell phone without having to extend the contract with the current carrier being used. The unlocked phone is especially useful for international travelers, who can now buy and use a local SIM card to save on roaming charges.

According to Brian Westrick, Wirefly's President, unlocked phones are fast growing in popularity and there are many desirable phone models available for prospective customers to choose from. The market has received a further boost from the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of unlocked phones.
Unlocked cell phones models were originally designed to support a GSM network. GSM phones come with a removable SIM card. A ‘locked’ phone would only recognize and operate when a SIM card from a specific carrier is inserted in the cell phone. An unlocked cell phone, on the other hand, would accept SIM cards from any carrier.
"Our customers have been clamoring for an unlocked phone category for a long time, and it appears that our new 'unlocked' category is already performing well from our initial consumer tests and sales. We see unlocked phones as a significant market opportunity in the years ahead," said Westrick.
Wirefly allows its customers to compare and buy cell phones and wireless plans. By adding this category, the Web site has effectively expanded its catalog and launched a range of cell phones that are already in high demand. Some of the brands offering unlocked cell phones on wirefly.com are Nokia, Samsung, and HTC (News - Alert).
Vinti Vaid is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vinti’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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