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'Unlocking' your cellphone will be illegal starting Saturday


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#16 StrikedOut

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:15

Yep true, but doesn't the phone only become legally your own after a certain length of the contract?

Not sure. I have only unlocked my phone once I have the new one in my hand but as you would need to pay the remainder of the contract should you want to cancel early I suspect that you would be able to unlock fairly early on.


#17 Nashy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:17

Yep true, but doesn't the phone only become legally your own after a certain length of the contract?


If you don't want to be in the contract, you pay out the contract costs.

At least that's how it works here in Australia. Legally they are owed the money even if you don't stay.

#18 Detection

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:36

Not sure. I have only unlocked my phone once I have the new one in my hand but as you would need to pay the remainder of the contract should you want to cancel early I suspect that you would be able to unlock fairly early on.


I never get contract phones, I find PnG deals have better value even though you have to pay for the phone there and then, which actually works out cheaper than paying for 2 years on a contract most of the time

I unlocked my Lumia 710 a couple of months ago just for the heck of it and it was just a hack from XDA, haven't changed operators though but always nice to know you can help someone out if their battery dies


If you don't want to be in the contract, you pay out the contract costs.

At least that's how it works here in Australia. Legally they are owed the money even if you don't stay.


Yea same here, if you want out early you pay the rest of the contract off

#19 Lyric

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:10

i'm gonna unlock my phone saturday just for the hell of it

#20 Belazor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:23

I never get contract phones, I find PnG deals have better value even though you have to pay for the phone there and then, which actually works out cheaper than paying for 2 years on a contract most of the time

Of course it does, but the point of a contract is to spread the cost of a new phone over a long period of time. Not everyone can afford to drop £500 on a new phone right there and then.

#21 +metal_dragen

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:44

For a country that says they believe in the free market as if it were a religion; every time I hear about the mobile phone companies they're restricting consumer options.


Were you even reading the same story? The decision may have been influenced by lobbying on the part of the phone companies, but the decision was made by the government.

You also may want to review the definition of free market:

An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.


Keyword there being unrestricted. Government regulation and intervention is restriction.

As to the story, it's ironic that the same government body determined that Jailbreaking was legal now says unlocking is not. So we can break the manufacturer's lock on the software, but not the service provider's lock on the baseband?

#22 Detection

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:48

Of course it does, but the point of a contract is to spread the cost of a new phone over a long period of time. Not everyone can afford to drop £500 on a new phone right there and then.


I wouldn't pay £500 for a phone anyway, but the appeal of a new £500 phone soon wears off when you realise you have to pay more than double that over 2 year

I know you can get free upgrades but to me I'd prefer to stay well clear of contracts if I can help it

£160 for my Lumia was fine and I won't feel robbed when I want to buy something new

#23 StrikedOut

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:08

I never get contract phones, I find PnG deals have better value even though you have to pay for the phone there and then, which actually works out cheaper than paying for 2 years on a contract most of the time

I get a reasonable discount for myself and partner and we also get a no quibble exchange if the phones develop a fault or gets lost, phone issue on a Monday, new phone delivered on a Tuesday. As she always drives our kids around I prefer to know that she should almost always have a working phone.

#24 +CrossCheck

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:17

You can tell who is really in charge of the country, all your representatives in the pocket of the corporations.

[Sarcasm]You are just now telling us this. man i had no idea[\Sarcasm]

#25 Colicab

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:23

Give guns to school officers = good idea

Allowing unlocking of phones = bad idea


Wtf America?!?!

#26 BajiRav

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:35

I always got my unlock codes from AT&T :p let's see how this works out the next time.

#27 Lamp0

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 13:35

As per usualy on Neowin, the story is quite misleading.

You will still be able to unlock your phone in the US, you will just need the carriers permission to do so.

#28 Praetor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 13:36

In my country even if you buy a carrier locked phone, after the contract is over (like after 24 months for an example) the carrier must unlock the phone. Also some carriers are selling unlocked phones by default, because it's pretty obvious that most of the consumers that buys them aren't gonna change the carrier (at least not in the first months), giving those carriers more sales than the others. So glad i live in the "old continent"...

#29 Xoligy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 15:08

Well they do say America is home to some of the dumbest laws and i guess this is one of them.

#30 Richteralan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 15:23

That's why I have a Nexus 4. **** carrier locked phones.