Burner phones are ubiquitous with regular cell phones. They appear exactly the same to a normal person, the difference is in the details. Average people have no need to locate the personal information associated with a cell phone, but law enforcement has lots of incentive to locate the personal information of cell phone users. Locating the personal information of a cell phone on any of the major carriers is public information, available upon request, and easily done. Locating the personal information of a burner phone is a completely different request. Only certain companies have the ability to even attempt a search on a burner phone, and even those companies do not have a 100% success rate.
What is the difference between a regular phone and a Burner Phone?
A cell phone bought through a carrier will be linked to your personal information. Your name, address, and other pertinent personal information will follow that phone number around the world. Anyone accessing the information will be able to track that phone number back to you. Now, a burner phone is the exact opposite. A burner phone will not have any personal information associated with it, and if anyone attempts to track down the owner of said burner phone, they will usually hit a brick wall of nothingness.
Can a regular home/cell phone be a Burner Phone?
Nope. A regular home/cell phone is not the same as a burner phone. This is because personal information is tied to a home/cell phone. The entire reason to own a burner phone is to not have it tied to any personal information. If any of this information is tied to the phone, it completely defeats the purpose of the burner phone.
Does it take a special type of phone to be a Burner Phone?
It does not take a special type of phone, but it does take a special type of process to have a proper burner phone. Any type of phone can be converted to a burner phone IF there is no personal information tracing the phone back to the owner. A brand new Iphone 6 could be used as a burner phone if someone were so inclined, but the very nature of a burner phone is to get rid of the device after its use has come to an end. It would take a very rich fellow to use an Iphone as a burner phone, that is why the majority of burner phones are low cost, pre-paid headsets.
It is impossible for the average citizen to identify a burner phone reliably because the very nature of a burner phone enables personal information to be kept completely private from prying eyes. Certain companies like ReverseCallerID.com have access to services that can trace a burner phone, but there is no guarantee without opting for a private investigator. It is impossible to tell if a cell phone is a burner phone in public.