That means you'll have to activate your handset with Verizon, if that's where you got it from, before unlocking it for use on a different network.
Verizon has announced that it has temporarily removed SIM locks from Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices, including those sold at Best Buy. While this might not seem all that surprising given that the Pixel 3 is a Verizon carrier-exclusive device, Verizon has traditionally sold its smartphones unlocked straight out of the box (including previous-generation Pixel phones). "We have temporarily removed it from Pixel 3 and are assessing where it will be implemented in the future". This should prove to be reassuring in particular to those who had already placed a pre-order with Verizon or Best Buy and were still waiting for this device to arrive. You only need a Verizon SIM card to do it, so borrow one from your family or friends.
Based on the previous information, the temporary SIM-locking of phones by Verizon is not something that's specific to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, or created to be a means to lock users into the carrier's network. That policy involved locking Verizon phones to Verizon's network until they had been activated on Verizon's network and then went through an overnight unlocking process. But the Pixel 3 devices are created to work on every major carrier.
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For now, though, customers from any carrier can walk into a Verizon or Best Buy store and purchase an unlocked Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.
Google's latest phone officially launched yesterday, and for the third time, Verizon is the only carrier selling the new Pixels directly.