On Thursday the news broke that from today (Saturday, 26th Jan 2013) carrier unlocking phones in the U.S. is to become illegal, unless you have permission from your carrier. Heaven knows why the subject even required this intense scrutiny from the government, but, in the end it looks like it’s the end user who’s suffered here. As many of you will know, convincing a carrier to unlock its phones to allow use on other carriers isn’t an easy task if you’re still within your contract.
AT&T does offer a free unlocking service for iPhones, but only if the contract has expired. On the plus side, Verizon iPhone 5s have a SIM card slot which – as chance has it – is unlocked to any GSM carrier. What it does mean though is that any wanting an unlocked device from now on will have to buy the iPhone at full retail price direct from Apple. That, or breaking the law, which I know many of you will be uncomfortable with.
What do you think of this new move? Is it completely unnecessary or are there good reasons for it?
If you want to read through the entire legislation originally released in October 2012, hit this link (PDF).