Ove the past week i have been going crazy reading up about the meaning of Unbranded and Unlocked.
I live in Argentina, and i am very interested in buying 2 Galaxy S3 (one for the wife and the other for me). So i started looking at the phone on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. The reason being is that thw phone might not come out here, or if it does it won´t be for along time (prehaps in 6 months). So i have been looking for the phone that would work with any network provider (Clao, Movistar o Personal). So i keep on seeing the phone with the words "Unbranded" on one S3 phone (on Amazon.co.uk) and "Unlocked" and "Unlocked International" on another (Amazon.com). I even sent a message to one of the sellers and they said that "unbranded = factory unlocked, means its sealed in box and manufacture unlocked it prior to sending out. It will never lock up. It will work on all gsm networks around the world". But from what we have read (the wife and i) unbranded isn´t the same as unlocked. So as you can see, this is very confussing.
Can someone please help me out and tell what each one means a.s.a.p..
Unlocked means the phone is not tied to an individual carrier on a SIM-card basis. Unbranded typically means the phone is not tied to a carrier on a software-basis. I'm unsure what the benefits are of being unbranded on Android, but on Windows Phone it means that whatever carrier you have doesn't have a say regarding when your phone can get updated.
Expansys has the unlocked Galaxy S3 also. I believe the difference between Unlocked and Unlocked International is that the international version is the one that is usually released in places like Europe while the non-international version would be some specific carrier's that has been unlocked to work on other networks. Just make sure the unlocked phone uses the same technology as your carrier (GSM, CDMA, etc)
One thing you should look for is if the 3G/4G frequencies work with the carrier in your area you want to use it on. You don't want to spend this much on a new phone and be stuck with EDGE speeds.