Over an year ago, we wrote about the petition that asked the U.S government to legalize unlocking. It has finally come to fruition. The White House announced that the President will sign the bill and legalize unlocking of smartphones again through the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.
Unlocking iPhones under contract has been under the scanner for a long time with the carriers mostly refusing to let customers unlock their devices till the contract period runs out. That is going to change now.
Last year, the “We the People” petition drew over 100,000 participants. That petition called for a bill that legalized unlocking. It was one of the most talked-about petitions in the industry and the government. It drew the attention of the media too and all that has really helped push the ideology forward.
Typically, when you get an iPhone under contract, you cannot use a different carrier on it. That is, unless the original carrier (which provides the contract in the first place) chooses to “unlock” the iPhone. The unlock process is not all that secretive or magical. But it certainly is not within a layman’s scope of things.
That is where the jailbreak community comes into action. Post-jailbreak, you had the chance to install tweaks that would unlock your iPhone. Then, you can use any SIM card from any carrier on your iPhone.
This kind of irked the carriers. The move to make unlocking illegal succeeded (temporarily). And you couldn’t unlock your iPhone. At least, not legally. In the real world, people were still unlocking their iPhones.
Well, the public freedom has the last word. If you grab an iPhone under contract, you’re still paying the monthly for the contract anyway. So technically, you should be able to use any carrier on your iPhone.
That said, it’s a result of everyone being involved in this. The FCC, the carriers themselves, and most notably, the public.