U.S. carriers must unlock cellphones, starting today


Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some U.S. carriers have historically been more lenient about unlocking phones than others, but starting today they are all mandated to provide unlocking once a customer’s contract is up.

Legislation put in place by the Federal Communications Commission back in 2013 takes full effect today, and carriers must comply with new policies on unlocking.

President Obama makes smartphone unlocking legal again



A new smartphone unlocking bill has made its way through the Senate and House of Representatives, and now it’s getting the seal approval from President Obama.

Today The White House announced that Obama will sign the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” into law, which gives the right to unlock your phone after your contract is up and take it to another carrier.

Unlocking your iPhone is finally going to be legal in the U.S.



Today the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that lets customers legally unlock their cell phones and switch carriers. The same bill was passed in the Senate last week, and now President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The process of unlocking a phone to take it to another carrier in the U.S. has been a convoluted and questionably illegal one. The “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” is designed to make the process easier for those looking to take phones to a different service provider. But there’s an important caveat.

The Obama Administration Has Been Secretly Moving To Make iPhone Unlocking Illegal


The leaky apps debacle raises more questions about smartphone security.
The leaky apps debacle raises more questions about smartphone security.

It was only six months ago that the White House officially went on record saying that they thought cell phone unlocking should be legalized. The statement was issued in response to a 114,000+ signature petition, which rightfully argued that if you have paid off a device on-contract, it should belong to you, full-stop.

The Obama Administration said flat-out they agreed… which is why it’s distressing to find out that they may have been misleading us. In fact, while telling the American public that it supported laws to make cell phone unlocking legal, it appears that the Obama Administration has secretly been working against it.