It may become illegal to unlock your phone starting Saturday

Do you all remember that ruckus that happened over whether or not it was illegal to jailbreak your mobile device? Well, that whole fiasco is poised to come back in a bad way this weekend. As part of that decision, it may become illegal to unlock your smartphone starting this Saturday, January 26th, unless you get permission from your carrier...
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74 Comments

62. bvalde09

Posts: 191; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Michael I have a question and maybe you could research into this. What about us getting a phone on ebay and the unlock the phone paying a retail seller? Would that be illegal? I mean I dont think so but its what I understand

66. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

I am confused, unlocking the phone is somehow something hardware associated? Color me surprised, I was sure that the Lock was a software lock and not a hardware lock and since we own the software then wouldn't that make the lock illegal to begin with? Who writes the dumb as hell rules, you own the software when you purchase the phone but you don't own the hardware, yet it's illegal to unlock it without your carriers consent but it's a software lock and not hardware lock...so I find something completely wrong with this whole story. Someone please explain, as of now I find this crazy. Another thing how would you lock the hardware?!? Anyone else confused?

5. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 2011

Im seriously getting sick of this. YOU purchased your hardware. You should be able to do whatever you want to said hardware. So what you signed a contract? That is with the carrier you chose NOT THE MAKER OF THE DEVICE! Its all the same when you buy a laptop. if you decide "nah i want Linux on it" you dont void any type of waranties when you do that. why not the same with Phones?!

60. 9thWonderful

Posts: 232; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

Adding Linux is not tampering with the hardware, that's software. Try tampering with your laptop hardware & then try warranting it out. It's not just phones. You can't modify the hardware bc it affects the warranty on the equipment. Not sure why ppl think this is unreasonable. It's really not that big of a deal.

6. BadAssAbe

Posts: 506; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

Straight Talk (ATT Network) $45 for unlimited everything Nexus 4 (eventually) Perfect plan

13. regkilla

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

Too bad they slow your data speeds down after 2 GB of usage.

18. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Tmobile is cheaper if you use less than 100 min of voice and want 5gb data + unlimited 3g its only $30.

9. ramonleonjr62

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

screw then all !!!!!!

11. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I totally thought this was about Apple and slide-to-unlock before I read the artilce, lol.

12. regkilla

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

glad my Verizon iPhone 5 already comes unlocked ;)

14. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What's the purpose of unlocking a carrier specific phone? You can't switch carriers...

16. regkilla

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

I'm not on contract with it so I could use it on T-Mobile as well.

26. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Eventually true. I'm pretty excited about T-mobile refarming their 1900 mhz spectrum. I was also unaware of the iphone 5's radios. That's cool it has both CDMA and GSM. Too bad T-mobile will use 1700 mhz for LTE which isn't supported by the iphone 5.

33. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I forgot t-mobile already has some of that finished so depending on where you live you're in luck. You probably know that though.... I'm gonna go learn more about everything.

29. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

You can't switch carriers with a Verizon device (unless it has a GSM radio in it), but you can unlock to switch between AT&T, T-Mobile, or any regional GSM carrier.

32. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I understand that. I assumed the Verizon iphone didn't have a GSM radio but it does. It isn't widely supported by t-mobile yet but will be.

55. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Even if the Verizon device has a GSM band, it is not guaranteed to work properly with T-Mobile or AT&T. And, with LTE, you even have more differences between all of the carrier's LTE networks. LTE works on different bands, too:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

15. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 2011

Oh well

19. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Next thing you know, we wont be able to paint our cars or add cases to our phones. We already get tickets for leaving the trash can out, or growing carrots in your front yard.

20. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Just unlocked my phone before it becomes illegal again... Hopefully they put a permanent law that will force carriers to let you do what you want with your phone. You would think the carriers would want you to mess with your phone so when you break it they get to charge you $600 for a new one.

21. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

my carrier susidies are over anyway, i'm tired of all the bloat they put on, if it weren't for my wife's phone failing earlier than anticipated we would already be on the prepaid train

24. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

nvm. comment was stupid

28. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Good India doesn't have this carrier locked crap.

34. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The value of a NEXUS just went up 100 fold..

37. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

It will be grey zone, not illegal.

35. chris_t610

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Now I think this is plain stupidity. Technically, any devices that are still under contract means these are still under the carrier's discretion -- but again, these are the phones themselves (meaning the carrier reserves the right to pull back the device should the customer chooses not to continue with the service within the contract period). As for the software, the end user has the right to do whatsoever he/she wishes to do with the said device and that includes rooting/jailbreaking. Otherwise, they might as well consider downloading apps, documents, and the like to be illegal as well since these are manipulated by the user. Bottom line; as long as the customer is paying for his services, I think the customer reserves the right to do whatever pleases him with the device.

36. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I could give a damn whether or not they think we should unlock the device or not. But the device is MINE and I would love anyone to tell me differently. Last time I checked there are no guys in suits coming to my door taking my phone if i do not pay my bill. I pay for the service. Man, what is up with this country.

38. Atlas

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

Is is it just in the US?

39. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Ok, that's fine. Then if I don't "own" the hardware, then stop making me pay for it. They should force the carrier, with that kind of logic, to give the phones free with our service......But now I am making too much sense. Stop allowing the carriers to lock phones then we won't have a problem.

63. 9thWonderful

Posts: 232; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

They do offer phones for free with the service, but unfortunately not the ones that anyone wants right? You can't have your cake & eat it too bro. You're paying $199 for a $650 phone. You dont make any sense at all. Which would you rather do, pay $500-600 each time you want a new phone to say you "own" it or pay $99-199 to pipe down enjoy some of the latest & greatest phones out there? People throw around their measly dollars & feel that they are entitled to tell a business what should happen. Just don't get that kind of logic.
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