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Unlocking your mobile phone will become a crime starting Saturday

By Shawn Knight
Jan 25, 2013
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  1. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to unlock your smartphone, you might want to hurry up and make a decision one way or another. That’s because starting January 26 (this Saturday), the process will become illegal...

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  2. PC nerd

    PC nerd TechSpot Booster Posts: 324   +38

    What the hell, man?
    hammer2085 and avoidz like this.
  3. Zechz

    Zechz Newcomer, in training

    Where can I get Nexus 4 for $300 ?
  4. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero Newcomer, in training Posts: 54   +9

    This is total bullshit, wouldn't the device be considered personal property after the sale?
  5. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +90

    What do they think this will accomplish? I don't get it.
  6. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid Newcomer, in training Posts: 80   +6

    The next step is to make rooting/jail-breaking a device illegal. Rat Bastards.
    Zeutrinox and avoidz like this.
  7. gamoniac

    gamoniac TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 215   +46

    I guess to force subscribers to buy new phones and tie them to a two-year contract (in the US anyway). Not good...
  8. Timonius

    Timonius TechSpot Booster Posts: 579   +32

    Sounds like the direction they are taking is that it will end up being property of the issuer, you're just given the privilege to use it like your debit card.
  9. VitalyT

    VitalyT TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,679   +511

    And this is how US ends up as the country with the highest percentage of criminals.

    Thanks God I live in Europe.
    havok585 likes this.
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,209   +74

    Here in Chile, mobile phones are sold unlocked and it's enforced by law.
    PC nerd, KbloodyK and havok585 like this.
  11. edvim

    edvim Newcomer, in training

    Sure this is bullshit but don't ever be fooled into thinking the DMCA has anything to do with consumer rights, it was never conceived as a public service in any way and its implementation was only to serve a dying industry. The fact that even exists is just another example on how our government can be bought out and how easy it is for monied interests to control it.
    Wendig0, avoidz and m4a4 like this.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,050   +699

    I didn't even know I COULD unlock my phone. So it could work for any carrier? I honestly didn't know that was even possible. I know your phone can work with other networks (hence roaming), but I didn't think it was within my power to unlock the phone. I would have through the carrier would have to do it.

    I still don't get why it's illegal, especially after they passed legislation a few years ago that lets you take your phone number with you when switch carriers.
     
  13. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 266   +77

    In Canada unlocked devices are the norm, not the exception. You Americans are getting hosed on a daily basis it seems.. is there is no word as ' over-corporated ' there should be and it applies to the US..
    havok585, m4a4 and spencer like this.
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    The phone would be yours AFTER your 2yr contract is up. Think of it like leasing a car. You really cant do much to change the car while you are leasing it. If you purchase it you can. This way the cellphone companies dont have to eat the retail costs of whatever phone you as the consumer chose. Those phones are expensive. And dont sit there and think that the cellphone companies are getting a device any cheaper. The profit margin on any cellphone is very slim. They get their money back from the service. Its a bit unfair for those users that like to hop around carriers, but this in general doesnt effect the general consumer in any real way.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,983   +731

    As in South Africa.
  16. spencer

    spencer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 204   +22

    I believe over federalized, as I'm american. But since the feds make deals with corporations it basically the same
  17. m4a4

    m4a4 TechSpot Addict Posts: 518   +139

    Hmmm... if you thing about it as you haven't fully bought the phone until the contract is up (since that is technically how they do it with the contracts), then I can see why this didn't get shot down.
    If you didn't pay full price for the phone at the beginning of the contract, you technically cannot complain about not "owning" it....... still a d*ck move though...
  18. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 427   +19

    Rules like these makes guyz like us notorious criminals.
  19. Zilliak

    Zilliak TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 233

    LOL you have to be kidding me.... Think of it like this...Leasing a car that actually costs a lot of money to make versus a phone which costs around 120 to 180 to make and all you want to do is use it to your liking. IF you want to cancel your contract it still costs your 385 to 500 $ becuase they make you pay for the phone regardless so there is no reason for this act to be enabled. Its just a way for the companies to make more money off people and its shitty, america is slowly being taken over by corporations and a corrupt government and the people just let it happen because they are ignorant and selfish.
    KbloodyK likes this.
  20. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @Zill
    Reguardless of what it costs to make the phones value is always much greater. Thats how they calculate potential capital lose. The carriers get the phones from the manufacture. It may only cost 120 to 180 to make but the phones value is what we the customer is charged. Its not a "shitty" move. Its a very smart move on their part if they want to keep in business. Im 100% sure they are tired of losing phones because of fraud. Now there is a recourse for the carriers. They have a chance now to recoup their loses and put the ppl in jail that caused the fraud. As roughly 25-30% of most new activations are either fraud or the customer just doesnt pay their bill and are cancelled. The phones are expensive and the carriers have been getting boned for years because of ppls dishonesty.
  21. Littleczr

    Littleczr TechSpot Booster Posts: 370   +69

    This is a lie. I worked for Fry's Electronics where we would get 10% off the original price on every item. For example iphone 3 retail cost $299. Iphone 3 total cost before the consumer cost $99 dollars. You would add 10 percent to 99 dollars and that would be our final price. This was with every item on the sore but for cell phones it was the biggest discount.

    The conclusion is that they make a hell of allot of money of selling phones directly or contract.
  22. Chazz

    Chazz TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 632   +60

    Let's bash a whole group of citizens and make overly generalized statements for no ****ing reason. Cause that helps. Stay classy people who just happen to live elsewhere on this little rock(in the grand scheme).
  23. shamus087

    shamus087 Newcomer, in training Posts: 27

    **** that. I do what I want. I buy it, It's mine not theirs. I'll hack the **** outta my phone, if I want to.
  24. killeriii

    killeriii TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 213   +14

    I think you're missing the point.
    When you lease a car, It does not belong to you. You have to return it when the lease is up. It was never your property.
    When you get a phone subsidized through a carrier. You agree to purchase the phone 100%. If you are negligent in your payments, or try to get out of the contract early, they bill you for the full price of the phone. You keep the phone no matter what. The carrier doesn't want a used phone back.
    To me this act makes no sense whatsoever. It's just a way for more companies to keep you from doing what you want with your property. Seems very corrupt.
    What's next? Maybe American car manufacturers are going to force you by law to get your vehicle serviced at a their service stations.
    It's a slippery slope...
  25. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 958   +96

    Those with certain handsets like Verizon?s iPhone 5 aren?t affected as it comes unlocked out of the box. AT&T, meanwhile, will unlock a phone once it is out of contract. Alternately, users can simply purchase an unlocked phone without a carrier subsidy although expect to pay a pretty penny for the opportunity. Unlocked iPhones start at $649 but you can get something cheaper like the Nexus 4 from Google for around $300.

    So unlocking a phone still on contract is illegal? I'm confused.
  26. veLa

    veLa TechSpot Booster Posts: 504   +80

    I guess the real point is have fun trying to enforce it. How are they supposed to catch people again?


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