A new law which will allow iPhone and Android phone unlocking to become and remain legal has finally passed the house of representatives and is on its way to Obama. The President, who responded to a petition stated that the bill will give people “more flexibility and choice,” is expected to sign the bill into law. The exact date is unknown but certainly close.
The bill came to fruition when almost 115,000 people signed a petition declaring their unhappiness towards the illegality of phone unlocking. Many readers on this site may remember how close it came to not passing. Thanks to everyone who cared, it far surpassed the goal. Many people voiced their distaste about purchasing a phone on a certain carrier and being unable to migrate carriers without buying a new phone. Originally outlawed in late 2012, best cell phone unlocking service had never been an issue. Major phone companies lost millions in profit when unlocking your phone could be done for a price within minutes online. Instead of needing to purchase a new phone, users would simply unlock and switch to another carrier. As a result, the DMCA act was modified to include prohibition of this practice without the carrier’s consent.
Even if a customer purchases a phone on a 2-year contract and honors it in full, he’s still stuck with a crippled handset. Attempting to unlock a phone for personal use could yield a fine of up to 2,500 dollars. As for unlock resellers, they could face prison time and a max fine of 500,000 dollars. This law should it pass, will give the consumer the freedom to pick and choose carriers as they please without needing to beg at their carriers feet. European nations and other countries sell mostly unlocked phones to their consumers, it’s rare but not uncommon to purchase a locked device there.
Although this is great news, it wouldn’t be forever. Should the bill be signed by the president and pass, it would only be until 2015 until again the issue would arise. Again, senate must reevaluate the DMCA act in 2015 to make sure top mobile phone unlocking service complies with all the rules. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any developments and keep you updated.