Unlocked:Legaility

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DerekRod, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #1
    I know this has been talked about but what is the legality on a sim lock is there any legislation that can force AT&T to unlock devices?Just interested really
     
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #2
    At present, no legislation or government policy forces AT&T to unlock any phones. But I would encourage you to file a complaint about this with the FCC, so that it at least gets their attention. I have, and the FCC does follow up, believe it or not.
     
  3. DerekRod thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #3
    I did complain never heard back I would think AT&T would do that right thing after the last class action about sim locking phones
     
  4. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #4
    AT&T will unlock any phone except the iPhone. (provided the IMEI# is in their database of course)
    All you have to do is have an account in good standing and have the phone for more than 6 months if it was bought under a subsidy.
    I don't know the reason why they won't unlock an iPhone, so I can only offer speculation.
    My guess is they simply never setup the process with Apple (since Apple's involvement is required).
     
  5. DerekRod thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #5
    Right they wont unlock them and direct you to use their international plan that cant be legal as long as the contracts up.All AT&T has to do is send the IMEI to Apple which would then add it to the GSMA white list.But alas they want $ from roaming
     
  6. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #6
    There's nothing stopping you from getting a factory unlocked phone. :rolleyes:
     
  7. DerekRod thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #7
    I do have an unlocked 4S.But I was speaking of the legality of sim locking a phone that satisfied the terms of the contract
     
  8. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #8
    For all we know, the apple/at&t contract allows this. But we don't know. If someone has access to the contract, perhaps they'll one day shed some light.
     
  9. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #9
    About half of the carriers selling the iPhone around the world sell it locked. About half of those will not unlock it, which is a quite different policy from every other phone.

    While you can buy an unlocked version for use with ATT at full price...

    Ironically, if you're an American who wants a stock subsidized iPhone that's best for long international usage, buying it from Verizon or Sprint is a better deal than getting it from ATT... as the CDMA carriers are willing to unlock the GSM side for use outside of the USA.
     
  10. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Shouldn't the contract between me and ATT specify if the phone must be unlocked after the contract is up? Whatever ATT and Apple agree on in a contract shouldn't matter.

    To be honest I don't know what the contract between ATT and me said three years ago when I got my 3GS. I made the incorrect assumption they unlock at the end of the contract because that's how I knew it from Europe.

    It would be great if someone could force ATT to unlock all those millions of 3GS.
     
  11. rjohnstone, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

    rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #11
    Look... the simple fact is there's no law requiring any U.S. carrier to unlock any cell phone.
    It is also not illegal for you to unlock your own phone if you chose to do so.
    There is an exclusion for mobile devices in the DMCA for this very purpose.

    Carriers unlock phones as a courtesy to their customers, not because they are required to.

    I suspect AT&T doesn't want to unlock iPhone's for the simple fact that a locked one will only work on their network.
    It becomes a retained device that has the potential to still generate revenue.
    Verizon and Sprint don't have to worry about unlocking the GSM side of an iPhone as the CDMA side will always be locked to the carrier it was issued from. Plus, the GSM side will only work with non-U.S. SIM cards.
    So they may lose out on collecting international roaming fees, but let's be honest, how many Verizon or Sprint users travel overseas?
    My guess is single digit percentage. So no real impact to their revenue.
     
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #12
    Also AT&T has enough power in Washington to prevent any legislation forcing unlocks. While their power wasn't enough for the T-Mobile merger, they still pay millions to Congressmen and have quite a bit of power.
     
  13. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #13
    I personally don't jailbreak my iOS devices, but I think carrier locking after the contract is over is bad karma and literally a slap in the face to their customers.

    This practice should be banned, talk to your MPPs or Congressperson.
     
  14. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #14
    Why do you believe Verizon owners don't travel overseas? Isn't that the best option to travel overseas?

    Seems like it makes the most sense to have Verizon unlock the 4s and just use a gsm sim when traveling abroad.

    I have a buddy looking into his options and I want to give him an educated answer.
     
  15. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #15
    Where did I say that?
    I said the percentage that travel overseas was most likely very low.
    Of Verizon's 90+ million customers, how many own and iPhone and of that, how many actually travel out of the country?
    My guess... not enough to impact Verizon's bottom line.
    Which is probably why Verizon doesn't have any issues with unlocking the GSM side of the phone.

    Verizon will not unlock the CDMA side of the phone and they will not unlock the GSM side for U.S. carrier support.
     
  16. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #16
    Citation?

    I don't see why your guess is better than anyone else's. Again, without a citation it's a pointless discussion.
     
  17. bTaryag macrumors member

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #17
    Does no one have a contract?
     
  18. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #18
    Common sense perhaps.
    Why would a multi-billion dollar company willingly enable a feature that allows a customer to bypass one of it's own offerings?
    After all, international roaming plans are not cheap.

    My guess would be that Verizon didn't see any significant impact to their revenue by unblocking the SIM and allowing users to purchase a competitors SIM when using their iPhone outside the U.S.

    It's a safe bet that they would refuse to unlock the SIM if there was any real money to be made from it.

    Logic and common sense seem to be pretty slim around here lately. :rolleyes:
     
  19. DerekRod thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #19
    Its always been Verizons policy to unlock the SIM card slots of their world capable phones for international use.This is just the first time they've had an iPhone with this capability
     
  20. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #20
    Nice guess but its not as simple as they just never setup the process.
    This is a multimillion dollar decision to keep all GSM iphones sold under AT&T still locked to them. So the consumer has no other option than to stay with them and not Tmobile or any other GSM carrier.
     
  21. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #21
    Yep.. I stated that in a subsequent post.;)

     
  22. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #22
    I saw it after:)
     
  23. PharmDoc macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2010
    #23
    ----------

    It's just too bad that AT&T doesn't see it this way. If anything, I think doing things like this increase customer retention and satisfaction. AT&T should have some ability of unlocking the iPhone only for international sims like Verizon and Sprint
     
  24. DerekRod thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

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    #24
    Why would AT&T unlock for international use when you can use their exorbitant int roaming prices?
     
  25. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #25
    You can get an exorbitant international plan from Verizon too.

    It's like 20 bucks a mb on a 4s in the united kingdom lol
     

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