Verizon to join other carriers in temporarily locking new iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone
Verizon will soon begin briefly locking all smartphones bought for its network as way of combatting theft and fraud, the wireless carrier announced on Monday.




The company didn't say how long lockdown periods will last, or when they will take effect, beyond sometime this spring. It should however make a second announcement before the change goes live, and it's promising to eventually unlock devices regardless of whether they've been fully paid for.

Although the upcoming switch may seem like a regression to the days of subsidized phones, Verizon's current and future policies are actually more generous than its rivals. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint not only have minimum wait periods, but require that phones be paid off. In fact AT&T subscribers must wait up to 14 days even after they qualify for an unlock.

Under Verizon's present system, it can be relatively easy for thieves to turn around and sell devices, especially if they've stolen someone else's identity first. That lets them make a "legal" purchase, then sell the hardware before the fraud can be undone.

Legitimate iPhone buyers are unlikely to suffer any negative impacts unless they plan to travel outside the U.S. It's often cheaper to use a SIM from a foreign carrier than pay roaming fees, but locked phones can't use any SIM apart from one from the host carrier.

iPhones are a lucrative target for thieves given their popularity and high cost. Ahead of November's iPhone X launch, for example, over 300 units were stolen off a UPS truck in broad daylight. The haul was worth about $370,000, assuming there were no obstacles to the black market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Well that is why I buy only unlocked devices and I do not rely on Verizon sold units. Not worth it. If they lock my devices... well meet my attorney.
    zroger73GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 31
    ... also locking device because of theft from clumsy and badly protected shipping service sounds odd. But I do agree that people should have guns legally in all places that have crime issue, bad policies and laws and protect criminals. Just in case... as deterrent measure.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,902member
    Well that is why I buy only unlocked devices and I do not rely on Verizon sold units. Not worth it. If they lock my devices... well meet my attorney.
    You know carriers cannot lock your unlocked phone unless you install the carrier specific software, right?
    anton zuykovspliff monkeyLukeCageairnerd
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Long over due. Fraud is rampant and it’s happening everywhere in the mobile industry. Insiders are giving criminals data and they are using it to finance as many iPhones as they can get on plans at stores everywhere. 
  • Reply 5 of 31
    I unlocked my old ATT phone for my nephew a couple weeks ago. They unlocked it within 24 hours. Not sure why the author says 14 days to unlock. But it’s not accurate at all. As a matter of fact I was able to do it online without having to visit the store at all. 
    zroger73anantksundaramairnerdSpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 31
    I just want to know, when does it become MY PHONE????

    As an iPhone 6 (quote) owner (unquote) and a Verizon customer....I don't think both companies ever relinquish control. Somehow Apple and Verizon interest trumps whatever I paid for the device or whatever I prepaid to use their cellular service.

    I don't understand.....
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Not good news for me. I frequently travel overseas and always purchase local SIM cards to put in my Verizon iPhone. The next iPhone, I'll have to buy the unlocked version. 
    edited February 12
  • Reply 8 of 31
    bobroo said:
    I just want to know, when does it become MY PHONE????

    As an iPhone 6 (quote) owner (unquote) and a Verizon customer....I don't think both companies ever relinquish control. Somehow Apple and Verizon interest trumps whatever I paid for the device or whatever I prepaid to use their cellular service.

    I don't understand.....
    It becomes your phone when you pay it off. If you buy unlocked phones, you don't have to worry about that. The new policy isn't going to affect current users, just people who buy new phones. So your iPhone 6 won't be locked. 
    edited February 12
  • Reply 9 of 31
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,709member
    Can't EMEI's be used to block phones?
  • Reply 10 of 31
    avon b7 said:
    Can't EMEI's be used to block phones?
    Yes, but just say a phone is stolen then sold overseas, the overseas provider won't know the EMEI is blocked.
    edited February 12 jony0
  • Reply 11 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,258member
    bobroo said:
    I just want to know, when does it become MY PHONE????

    As an iPhone 6 (quote) owner (unquote) and a Verizon customer....I don't think both companies ever relinquish control. Somehow Apple and Verizon interest trumps whatever I paid for the device or whatever I prepaid to use their cellular service.

    I don't understand.....
    I think they meant you can’t unlock it for the first fourteen days after purchase.  The reason stated is a load of garbage of course. Verizon is just hoping you won’t gather up the energy to  bother switching carriers after that time.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    What’s that? Telecoms collude with one another and no one does anything about it? How about that.
    hammeroftruthGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,575member
    Completely stupid.   If they are having problems with fraud there is one concept they need to learn, DEAD people don't commit crime.    I don't understand the current liberal desire to punish the innocent and let the guilty live.
    airnerdhike1272
  • Reply 14 of 31
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,284member
    FWIW this is 100% counter to what they agreed to as a condition of being awarded Block C spectrum by the FCC. 


    (e)Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b)of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/27.16




    edited February 12 Anilu_777
  • Reply 15 of 31
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,274member
    If you locked your phone with your finger print and pass code the phone is useless to thrives there is no way to reset the phone back to factory new. Someone will have to steal the phone before someone sets it up. I guess this is the issue the phone company are having.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,274member
    I unlocked my old ATT phone for my nephew a couple weeks ago. They unlocked it within 24 hours. Not sure why the author says 14 days to unlock. But it’s not accurate at all. As a matter of fact I was able to do it online without having to visit the store at all. 
    I have done the same, and the unlock was immediate did not have to wait. I did it online, put in the information hit unlock and got an email a few minutes later darting it was unlocked.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    Why not simply have a 5 or 6 digit code printed on the bill of sale which would only be known by the person who made the purchase. Then, at the time of activation, they input the code.
    edited February 12
  • Reply 18 of 31
    bshankbshank Posts: 140member
    bobroo said:
    I just want to know, when does it become MY PHONE????

    As an iPhone 6 (quote) owner (unquote) and a Verizon customer....I don't think both companies ever relinquish control. Somehow Apple and Verizon interest trumps whatever I paid for the device or whatever I prepaid to use their cellular service.

    I don't understand.....
    It used to be forever with Verizon. That changed when they went completely SIM. Looks like they’re going back to the old way that led me to leave them
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 19 of 31
    I unlocked my old ATT phone for my nephew a couple weeks ago. They unlocked it within 24 hours. Not sure why the author says 14 days to unlock. But it’s not accurate at all. As a matter of fact I was able to do it online without having to visit the store at all. 
    I’ve unlocked at least a half dozen family phones over the years. It’s all done online as you say, and it doesn’t even take 24 hours. Often, the email saying I am good to go arrives from ATT in a couple of hours. 
  • Reply 20 of 31
    I unlocked my old ATT phone for my nephew a couple weeks ago. They unlocked it within 24 hours. Not sure why the author says 14 days to unlock. But it’s not accurate at all. As a matter of fact I was able to do it online without having to visit the store at all. 
    I might have misunderstood his post, but the way i understood it, fits with my experience when I bought an iPhone on an at&t contract years ago: I completed the contract with at&t, having had the iPhone for X number of months, and having paid X number of invoices. However, at&t's system still made me wait an extra, I think it was 29 days, but maybe 14, before they would unlock my iPhone purchased under contract. I had to wait for the billing period to end, on that X number of months contract. Even though I didn't owe any more money (my invoice was already paid), and I had the iPhone for the required number of months.  

    I do agree with your comment about unlocking, it usually happens very quickly, once initiated. I give Apple credit for that speed, the mobile providers, whether that credit is due them or Apple, I don't know for sure. Since the 5S, I'v only bought unlocked iPhones for myself, I like the freedom of popping in a local SIM when I travel.
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