Back in October of 2012 the Librarian of Congress decided that unlocking cells would no longer be allowed by the public. After the decision was made the congress placed a 90 day windows in which users would still be able to unlock their phones. This 90 day period ends this Saturday.
For those whom may not know, unlocking a cellphone frees the device from restrictions that limit the phone to one carrier. Unlocking cellphones has become a common practice for individuals who travel, would like to sell their phone, or simply would like to switch from their carrier.
The new rule added to the DMCA as mentioned will make unlocking cells illegal with however a few work a rounds. As it stands people will have to get consent from their carriers in order to unlock a device or alternatively become an “owner” of the software powering their cell.
Pretty much as of Saturday you’ll need carrier consent.
What bugs me about this move is that I don’t see the benefit to consumers when instituting this absurd rule to the DMCA. The only people I see benefiting from this are the carriers.
Here’s my thinking.
Consumers will have two options when purchasing a new phone. A) get locked into a contract with no way out. B) Purchase the phone at full price without a contact. Either the carrier gains a customer for a set period of time or they make money on the consumer paying retail price for the phone – either way a win, win.
Now with that said there are carriers like T-Mobile which doesn’t sell iPhone’s itself but actively encourages users to switch to their services which are on a network that supports iPhones.
The odd time you’ll get a carrier like T-Mobile that may lose a few subscribers. But, overall this rule will severely effect the way consumers view carriers and their offerings in order to ensure they’ll be happy with their device and plan considering there’s no way out until the end of the contact!