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My HTC A9 phone is asking me for an 8-digits password only when a SIM is in the device. I already tried it with the PUK of the SIM what does not work. If there is no SIM in the device, there is no password prompt and I can use the phone normally. With no SIM in the device, I did a factory reset of the phone, but nothing changed.

The password prompt says: "Network locked". Is this a SIM-locked phone?

What is going on here?

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Since the PUK does not work (which usually would only be asked if the PIN has been entered wrong three times) and the prompt says "Network locked" this is most likely a SIM-Lock of the phone by the carrier.

Using a SIM from the carrier the phone is branded with you should not get this prompt and it should simply work, to use a SIM card from another carrier you will need the unlock code.

You can get this code from the carrier, most carriers charge only a very small amount or nothing at all after some period of time.

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Let me explain you PUK is different thing and network locked phone is different thing. When you enter wrong password many time your sim card is locked and it need PUK code. You can get PUK code from your sim provider. Call to customer care number and they will provide code.

But when mobile is locked then you need unlock code. When you purchase mobile on monthly installment plan. Then those mobile are network locked. For that you need to provide 1)imei number of mobile, 2) Name of sim provider and 3)Location country of phone locked. After that you will get code at your register email address. you will get detail process at my below blog. https://mobile-cellphones.blogspot.com/2020/08/sim-unlock.html . Now insert any sim card and start mobile. It will ask to enter code enter code you get at your email.

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