Originally Posted by TenoBell
Which was my whole point from the beginning. They may attempt to lock, but as long as the consumer can change the sim card you cannot really permanently lock it.
I think you are digging yourself into a big hole here.
In Europe nearly all phones are sold in a carrier subsidised model, i.e. your brand new Nokia smartphone is a small upfront price or normally free in return for you signing on a contract with the carrier for a 12/18/24 month contract. The phone is then locked to that network for the duration of your contract. This is to ensure that the carrier recoups the money back for the handset they paid for.
Th European union have ordered that all phones must be unlocked by the carrier at the customers request, but you still have to buy yourself out of the contract.
There is a thriving black market industry for unlocking phones but this still does not change the fact that you are still in a contract with the carrier and will get chased by debt collectors if you do not pay, so the carriers are not that worried.
There is also a market for buying unlocked phones outright similar to the iPhone model, but you do not have to have a carrier contract to go with them. You can choose to go pay as you go or get a special rate with a carrier seen as they are not subsidizing your handset.
Not all phones are branded at all, only Orange ever used to brand the actual handsets but Vodafone do this too, but not to all the handsets.