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Unlocking cellphones without carrier permission will be illegal come Saturday

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
As per U.S. federal stipulation, the unauthorized unlocking of certain cellphones will be considered illegal, and enforcement is set to start with new phones purchases made from Saturday onward.

Unlocked iPhone 5
Apple sells factory unlocked iPhone 5 models at unsubsidized prices. | Source: Apple


The new rule is a result of the Librarian of Congress' decision to dissolve an exemption to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), which previously allowed mobile phones to be unlocked by users. While the determination came in October of 2012, Tech News Daily pointed out that the librarian provided a 90-day buffer in which wireless customers could purchase and unlock their phones. That period ends on Saturday.

Cellular providers "lock" the phones they sell to their proprietary network bands to stop people from using a competing carrier's service. The practice is meant in part to ensure subscription revenues from customers who purchased subsidized hardware, like the iPhone. By unlocking a phone, owners can use their handsets on other compatible networks, a plus for frequent travelers and those wanting to switch carriers.

Users can readily purchase unlocked handsets like the iPhone 5 directly from Apple, while AT&T offers an unlocking service for out of contract phones. It was also reported in September that the Verizon version of Apple's latest iPhone comes unlocked out of the box.
post #2 of 95

My device, my rules.

 

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is. If not, it doesn't matter, as the telecoms won't be able to tell.

 

To make it clear again, it's just phones sold after that date, correct? All phones purchased prior to it are still legally user-unlockable, right?

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #3 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

My device, my rules.

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is. If not, it doesn't matter, as the telecoms won't be able to tell.

To make it clear again, it's just phones sold after that date, correct? All phones purchased prior to it are still legally user-unlockable, right?

The difference is $450.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #4 of 95
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
The difference is $450.
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
…operationally…

 

Good to know, though. 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #5 of 95

Telecoms throwing money at the lawmakers to get what they want.

An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #6 of 95

Only in the U.S.A.... the "land of the free" ... NOT...

 

What a load of rubbish. Other jurisdictions *require* carriers to allow unlocking... Truly, the US is captured by corporate interests...

post #7 of 95
Originally Posted by majjo View Post
If you brought your phone from the carriers, they'll have your IMEI, and if the telcoms colluded to do so, they could theoretically blacklist any IMEI that was sold on another carrier.

 

Oh, they couldn't do that. What of the legally unlocked phones? There'd be no way of tracking.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #8 of 95

Everything's a bit goofy.

 

For example, under the new rules, you can jailbreak a phone, but not a tablet.   If that's not a good argument for tablet-sized phones, I don't know what is - grin.   Heck, maybe Samsung saw this coming.

 

Of course, everyone remembers (or should) that three years ago, Apple argued against allowing jailbreaking.   They claimed their reputation would be hurt by jailbroken phones that are "more prone to bugs" (not like Apple has none of their own).

post #9 of 95
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post
They claimed their reputation would be hurt by jailbroken phones that are "more prone to bugs"

 

They are.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They are.

 

Obvious next question:   have jailbroken phones hurt their reputation?    Or do people understand that it's not stock software.

 

(I'd think that jailbroken iPhones have HELPED their product's reputation, since it's often a way that their users can claim to have at least the availability of equal functionality to some of their competition.)

post #11 of 95
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

(I'd think that jailbroken iPhones have HELPED their product's reputation, since it's often a way that their users can claim to have at least the availability of equal functionality to some of their competition.)


HA, subtle. Sad, but subtle.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #12 of 95

I can't imagine many people actually care. Kind of like they care about ripping DVD's. Sure a few might, but the majority will go about their unlocking business as usual. Unless they get tracked...

post #13 of 95
So I guess they can get rid of ETFs... Like that will happen.
post #14 of 95

The Verizon iPhone 5 comes unlocked.  Just sayin'... 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Of course, everyone remembers (or should) that three years ago, Apple argued against allowing jailbreaking.   They claimed their reputation would be hurt by jailbroken phones that are "more prone to bugs" (not like Apple has none of their own).

 

3rd party jailbreaks require an exploitable security vulnerability, the availability of which hurts their reputation more than anything.  IMO.


Edited by John.B - 1/27/13 at 10:48am

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #15 of 95
Originally Posted by John.B View Post
The Verizon iPhone 5 comes unlocked.  Just sayin'... 

 

Unlocked for GSM, and sans LTE bands. 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #16 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

HA, subtle. Sad, but subtle.

 

It wasn't a dig, if that's what you think.   Heck, a dig would've been really easy to do, yes?

 

I was trying to be as polite as possible in pointing out that jailbroken phones offer a way of saying, "Hey, this phone can do it all, too."

 

Make better sense?

post #17 of 95

Agreed. I also agree with the post below yours. I've never understood how locked phones actually benefit carriers. If I unlock my ATT iphone and use it on T-mobile for example, I'm still in my ATT contract unless i pay the ETF. Either way ATT gets their money.

 

Perhaps they claim that because customers are paying subsidy, that until the phone is fully paid for it is not fully theirs, therefore they are not free to do with it what they want. Well that's what a contract is for. It guarantees the full amount for the plan and hardware.

 

The only fair options then, are 1. treat devices sold under contract as 'fully owned' by the customer and give them their rights to do with the device WHATEVER they want. or 2. have no contract with the option to return the phone at any time with a prorated refund.

 

Carriers would never go for #2 because phones can get damaged, etc. This 'unlocking is illegal thing' is totally stacked in favor of the carriers. They don't have to be responsible for the devices they sell, while they limit our freedom with the devices we buy.

post #18 of 95
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post
I was trying to be as polite as possible in pointing out that jailbroken phones offer a way of saying, "Hey, this phone can do it all, too."

 

I just love your definition of "it all", is all.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I just love your definition of "it all", is all.

 

Oh, good grief.   

 

Change it to "the same things" or whatever doesn't  offend you.  1smile.gif

 

Cheers!

post #20 of 95

Don't.get.this. I understand that the phones are locked so the carrier can recover their subsidy, but unlocking the phone and moving to a new carrier doesn't really prevent them from recovering their subsidy, does it? Either I have to continue paying on contract as if I hadn't jumped carriers, or I have to pay an early termination fee. Either way, they get their money.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is. If not, it doesn't matter, as the telecoms won't be able to tell.

 

The difference is that the carrier will (generally) only unlock a device after the contract is up. Oh wait, you asked if there was an operational difference... :)

post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Doubtful anything like that will happen, but still makes me wish the European system was more prevalent here.

Careful what you wish for; in Belgium it used to be illegal for telco's to sell you a subscription together with a phone. Reason behind it was that a seller can sell you something, but not make it mandatory to sell you another product at the same time. Don't know if this still applies; we have other issues with telco's here.

1. Hardly any Visual Voicemail here. And if the carrier has it? € 1.99/month.
2. Hardly any LTE. Many carriers go for the 'cheaper' version on the 800MHz band. So no iPhone/iPad.


Unrelated: I live in an area where the (call) reception is bad and there's no 3G. Strange, because one member of the BoD from our largest telco KPN also lives here. Maybe he doesn't use a phone(?)
post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

My device, my rules.

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is.

The carriers can't tell but with a user unlock you have a great chance of updates and epecially restores bricking your phone and Apple doesn't have to and won't help you

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #23 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, they couldn't do that. What of the legally unlocked phones? There'd be no way of tracking.

Actually there is. The carriers know from their records what imei they unlocked. And they could easily ind out from Apple etc what units were sold unlocked.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #24 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by exsangus View Post

So I guess they can get rid of ETFs... Like that will happen.

ETFs are tied to subsidies, not locking

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

They are.

 

Hardly. Everyone who jailbreaks does so with the knowledge they are circumventing Apple's wishes, and I've never met personally, nor read comments from in any forums, a jailbreaker who blamed Apple for any glitches encountered after the jailbreak.

What they do blame Apple for, however, is the NECESSITY to jailbreak in the first place. Case in point: if I purchase an unlocked iPhone, the damn cellular data settings menu should be accessible by default. That they tie that unlock into the carrier's ID is ridiculous. Because of this, I've had to jailbreak a legally unlocked 4S just to get data and MMS working on StraightTalk. No other tweaks are enabled, not a custom icon theme, no tethering hacks, nothing besides a small app that unlocks the cellular data setting tab in Settings.

post #26 of 95
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post
Hardly.

 

Sorry, the 'they' refers to 'jailbroken phones'. So, by definition, not hardly.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

My device, my rules.

 

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is. If not, it doesn't matter, as the telecoms won't be able to tell.

 

To make it clear again, it's just phones sold after that date, correct? All phones purchased prior to it are still legally user-unlockable, right?

I'm waiting to read whether this only refers to phones under contract.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


HA, subtle. Sad, but subtle.


There are good reasons to jailbreak. It doesn't mean you want to pirate software.

post #28 of 95

when are the fucktard writers of this site going to realise it's a global website? 

 

how about '

Unlocking cellphones in the US without carrier permission will be illegal come Saturday'

post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

when are the fucktard writers of this site going to realise it's a global website?

I agree that the internet is a global thing, but certainly do not mind the vision from AI, being a US-based website / organization where they write from their own perspective. What's next; you want them to switch over to the metric system?

Just read it as-is, and learn something from American habits, writing styles and not be bothered by your own shortsightedness/narrow-mindedness. I'm not.
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. Hardly any Visual Voicemail here. And if the carrier has it? € 1.99/month.

 

I'm sure your total bill is still waaaaaay lower than the average US bill. 

post #31 of 95
This still pisses me off. It doesn't just stop you from using it on a competitor, it forces international roaming at exorbitant rates. If you have a contract, they will get their money if you leave. Legally screwing you during the contract term is BS.

Since I moved my 4 to a corporate account, AT&T is giving me the runaround while trying to unlock it even though I meet their requirements. Looks like I have to move it back to a personal account to get it unlocked. The good news is that I'm out of the country and can unlock the phone if I want since I'm out of the jurisdiction that this applies too. 1smile.gif
post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

My device, my rules.

 

Is there operationally any difference between a user unlocked device and a carrier unlocked one? Aside from needing to redo it each software update, that is. If not, it doesn't matter, as the telecoms won't be able to tell.

 

To make it clear again, it's just phones sold after that date, correct? All phones purchased prior to it are still legally user-unlockable, right?


The question is "if you buy an off-the-shelf-model-from-apple", can you get a subscription with those 450$ off, or do you get ripped off?

If you can't, this should be stricked down, because ti's not designed to protect a business model, it's designed to protect an immoral market lockdown.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Careful what you wish for; in Belgium it used to be illegal for telco's to sell you a subscription together with a phone. Reason behind it was that a seller can sell you something, but not make it mandatory to sell you another product at the same time. Don't know if this still applies; we have other issues with telco's here.

1. Hardly any Visual Voicemail here. And if the carrier has it? € 1.99/month.
2. Hardly any LTE. Many carriers go for the 'cheaper' version on the 800MHz band. So no iPhone/iPad.


Unrelated: I live in an area where the (call) reception is bad and there's no 3G. Strange, because one member of the BoD from our largest telco KPN also lives here. Maybe he doesn't use a phone(?)


Maybe he uses Ben.nl :p

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. Hardly any Visual Voicemail here. And if the carrier has it? € 1.99/month.

I'm sure your total bill is still waaaaaay lower than the average US bill. 

True indeed. They US rates are simply exorbitant. I'm on (KPN) subscription, paying € 32.50/m which includes, gee, don't even know what it includes as I never go over it. But take a peek at that site, even though it's in Dutch you will understand MB / SMS / € ...and 500 means 500 lol
post #35 of 95

So glad I live in Ireland. $45 a month for 10,000 minutes, 10,000 texts and 15GB (including tethering). the carriers must unlock by law at the end of your contract. And no anti consumer legislation. benefits of the EU.

post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joady Sinnott View Post

So glad I live in Ireland. $45 a month for 10,000 minutes, 10,000 texts and 15GB (including tethering). the carriers must unlock by law at the end of your contract. And no anti consumer legislation. benefits of the EU.

Wow, that is cheap! And more than one could get through I'd wager. We could make a poll out of this who's the lowest paying dude on this site. Thanks for posting, and welcome to the forum.
post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

 We could make a poll out of this who's the lowest paying dude on this site. 

 

Great idea. I know the UK is cheaper than Ireland but I'd be interested to see who else is cheap

post #38 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

True indeed. They US rates are simply exorbitant. I'm on (KPN) subscription, paying € 32.50/m which includes, gee, don't even know what it includes as I never go over it. But take a peek at that site, even though it's in Dutch you will understand MB / SMS / € ...and 500 means 500 lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joady Sinnott View Post

So glad I live in Ireland. $45 a month for 10,000 minutes, 10,000 texts and 15GB (including tethering). the carriers must unlock by law at the end of your contract. And no anti consumer legislation. benefits of the EU.

That's funny - I'm in the US and I don't consider my rates to be out of line with what the two of you are paying. I pay $45 per month for unlimited texts, unlimited voice, and unlimited data. You just have to avoid the major carriers.

The biggest problem here is that you're paying a premium to the carrier because your phone is subsidized, but when you complete the contract, the rate stays the same. That's a large part of why Apple (and other suppliers of high end phones) have done so well here - you're paying the higher monthly rate even after you've "paid off" the subsidy, so why not get a new phone? I'd like to see the monthly rates drop after the contract period is finished. I like the idea of requiring them to unlock at the end of the contract, but in practice, that's not a problem here - I believe all the major carriers will do it upon request.
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post #39 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's funny - I'm in the US and I don't consider my rates to be out of line with what the two of you are paying. I pay $45 per month for unlimited texts, unlimited voice, and unlimited data. You just have to avoid the major carriers.

Well, that certainly is a reasonable price! With the keyword being unlimited it is actually cheaper than my subscription.
Quote:
I'd like to see the monthly rates drop after the contract period is finished.

I don't actually know what they offer here; people just move to the next telco, getting a new phone and porting their number over.
Quote:
I like the idea of requiring them to unlock at the end of the contract.

Over here they are required by law to do that (free) after one year, upon customers' request.
post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


True indeed. They US rates are simply exorbitant. I'm on (KPN) subscription, paying € 32.50/m which includes, gee, don't even know what it includes as I never go over it. But take a peek at that site, even though it's in Dutch you will understand MB / SMS / € ...and 500 means 500 lol


http://www.ben.nl/abonnementen

That's what I now have since I'm still using my iPhone 4 (Ben doesn't yet run the iPhone 5-compatible sims).

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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