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Old Jul 25, 2014, 06:45 PM   #26
Dionte
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I never understood why they were locked in the first place, its like locking my car so that I can only buy gas from one source until I pay it off. Even if I do go somewhere else I still have to pay that bill. Its a contract, unlocking the device does not free anyone from the commitment from the subsidy. You still have to pay it off or suffer with bad credit.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 06:51 PM   #27
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I never understood why they were locked in the first place, its like locking my car so that I can only buy gas from one source until I pay it off. Even if I do go somewhere else I still have to pay that bill. Its a contract, unlocking the device does not free anyone from the commitment from the subsidy. You still have to pay it off or suffer with bad credit.
Locking a device deters you from moving carriers and keeps you as a customer for as long as you have that phone. Even if you can call to unlock it, it is still something that not everyone is willing to deal with.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 06:51 PM   #28
AndyUnderscoreR
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This is a good first step, but this isn't over until it's illegal for them to be locked in the first place.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:20 PM   #29
C DM
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So what does this mean for the consumer? Does AT&T / verizon have to unlock our phones from day one? Even if purchased on subsidy?
Technically speaking all of Verizon's LTE phones (which represent pretty much all smartphones these days) are already factory unlocked by default.

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Sprint already have a way around it. All the bill will do is make unlocking cell phones legal, it doesn't say that Sprint has to do it or make it easy for you.

Still a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned, particularly since carriers contribute extremely little to the iPhone (in terms of manufacturing I mean).

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How many carriers in the US actually drop prices for unsubsidized phones or after contract? I was under the impression that most of them don't differentiate, and are part of the reason why unsubsidized phones aren't very popular there.
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Well, there are a few carriers that don't have contracts and offer lower prices. Some that come to midn are:
MetroPCS (Also Offers free phones though)
T-Mobile
Straight Talk
Republic Wireless
Freedom Pop

So, yes it is possible to get an unsubsidized phones and a lower price. Freedom Pop offers free cell phone service (limited number of minutes though) and depending on your phone, you may be able to bring it with you.

There are of course other options as well, but not AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.
Both AT&T and Verizon give discounts to those with phones that are not subsidized--basically to lines that are not under contract. Counting those as two of the largest carriers in US, and factoring in T-Mobile and various other smaller carriers not even offering contracts/subsidized options, it seems that the majority already have access to cheaper options when it comes to using non-subsidized equipment.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:20 PM   #30
tennisproha
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this hurts big business. are they out of their mind. wth was the GOP thinking agreeing to this. smh
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:22 PM   #31
C DM
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Originally Posted by Dionte View Post
I never understood why they were locked in the first place, its like locking my car so that I can only buy gas from one source until I pay it off. Even if I do go somewhere else I still have to pay that bill. Its a contract, unlocking the device does not free anyone from the commitment from the subsidy. You still have to pay it off or suffer with bad credit.
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Originally Posted by Parasprite View Post
Locking a device deters you from moving carriers and keeps you as a customer for as long as you have that phone. Even if you can call to unlock it, it is still something that not everyone is willing to deal with.
What keeps you is the contract not the device. One doesn't have anything to do with the other, and shouldn't be tied to the other.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:28 PM   #32
krravi
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Next watch your bill... there will be a new charge in the name of "Federal unlocking fee" or something like that....
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:36 PM   #33
coolfactor
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Once your contract has been fulfilled the provider should be obligated to provide the unlock at no charge.
Yah, here in Canada on the Rogers network, we're required to give them $50 just to unlock our own phones. It's crazy, but at least it's possible. #criminals
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:37 PM   #34
whiteonline
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The law will be crippled by some fine print. Never under estimate the power of the telecom lobby.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:39 PM   #35
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In other news, the US House actually passed a "bipartisan" (a.k.a. apparently evil according to the current Congressional leadership) piece of legislation...
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 07:46 PM   #36
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Finally we can agree on something!
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:02 PM   #37
Boatboy24
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Well, I guess we can't call them a 'do nothing' Congress anymore. And just in time for them to take another multi week vacation.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:04 PM   #38
Enabledobject
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What? Congress managed to actually do something? Impressive.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:09 PM   #39
navigates
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The sole purpose of locking the device is not to keep you committed into a contract but to charge you high amounts of fees when travelling outside your network coverage area as Roaming.

Besides not giving up on the locked device, pushes the mentality to continue using the phone with the same provider.

Its a fraudulent business practice that the US carriers use at all times. Congress is surely doing something nice for a change.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:21 PM   #40
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Inb4 Fox News says that it's a "terrible idea" and "the end of the world as we know it" based solely on the fact that Obama is backing it.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:24 PM   #41
VTECaddict
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Does this mean all the Obama haters are going to try to find ways to lock their phones just to spite him?
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:25 PM   #42
Four oF NINE
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this hurts big business. are they out of their mind. wth was the GOP thinking agreeing to this. smh
How does this hurt business? I know that republicans usually don't make sense when they have to try to explain their corporate wealth favoring agenda to the commoners, but your comment here is rather odd.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:26 PM   #43
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Takes an act of congress to... oh I don't even...


But it's nice to see they've got their priorities in order.

The US is lost in the woods.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 08:47 PM   #44
larrylaffer
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So what does this mean for the consumer? Does AT&T / verizon have to unlock our phones from day one? Even if purchased on subsidy?
I would imagine it means the subsidies are shortly going to disappear. I think they wanted to ultimately do this anyway, and instead impose those silly "flex" upgrade plans on you where you end up paying for the whole device anyway.

Frankly, and this probably sounds cynical, but this is why this bill is even happening in the first place. They simply don't care anymore since these new plans negate the need for locking.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 09:04 PM   #45
barkomatic
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Of all the important things Congress must consider, this is what makes it through. Sad.

I agree cellphone unlocking should be legal, just that it's not important compared to other issues.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 09:07 PM   #46
kas23
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I would imagine it means the subsidies are shortly going to disappear. I think they wanted to ultimately do this anyway, and instead impose those silly "flex" upgrade plans on you where you end up paying for the whole device anyway.
I don't understand why subsides would disappear. A subsidy is given to a consumer in exchange for signing a 2-year contract. Unlocking phones has nothing to do with a contract. Unlocked phone or not, the consumer is still legally bound to a 2-year contract. Now, if AT&T or Verizon say "no more contracts", then subsidies would disappear.

That said, if all major carriers decided to let people out of existing contracts and sign no new ones, I doubt they'd been much net movement. Where would people go? The major carriers would just end up exchanging customers.

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Old Jul 25, 2014, 09:33 PM   #47
jdechko
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Originally Posted by Parasprite View Post
Sprint already have a way around it. All the bill will do is make unlocking cell phones legal, it doesn't say that Sprint has to do it or make it easy for you.

Still a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned, particularly since carriers contribute extremely little to the iPhone (in terms of manufacturing I mean).

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How many carriers in the US actually drop prices for unsubsidized phones or after contract? I was under the impression that most of them don't differentiate, and are part of the reason why unsubsidized phones aren't very popular there.
At least for AT&T and Verizon, the bills are a little lower now if you have an unsubsidized device. Before the Next/ Edge programs came out (and in the early days of the programs) there was no discount for paying off a subsidy.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 10:02 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by tennisproha View Post
this hurts big business. are they out of their mind. wth was the GOP thinking agreeing to this. smh
Not really. Your service provider will still charge the rest of the phone to your credit card or any other method of payment and they will receive the cash, assuming you switch carriers and stop paying your bill.

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Old Jul 25, 2014, 10:07 PM   #49
Carlanga
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I love how anything involving politics around here instantly gets shoved into PRSI. :P
I know right, I mean why do they have a Politics subforum…

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this hurts big business. are they out of their mind. wth was the GOP thinking agreeing to this. smh
No it doesn't

lmao
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 10:48 PM   #50
Parasprite
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What keeps you is the contract not the device. One doesn't have anything to do with the other, and shouldn't be tied to the other.
Oh of course, I'm not disagreeing with that. It's just that carriers figured out how to "extend" 2-year contracts for people who can't afford to get a new phone (since they can't get a new plan elsewhere without getting a new phone). Though, it is probably even more true for people who are reluctant to change phones (i.e., stubborn).
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