Unlocked-iPhone 4S

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be signing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act today. The bill restores the copyright exemption that allows customers to unlock their phones, regardless of carrier restrictions.

The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and then agreed upon by the House of Representatives earlier this week. And with the President signing it into law today, it has become once again legal for users (and vendors) to unlock their phones…

From The White House and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (via The Verge):

Today, President Obama will sign into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and in doing so, will achieve a rare trifecta: a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best — bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people.

The story of how we broke through Washington gridlock to restore the freedom of consumers to take their mobile phone wherever they choose is one worth telling, and a model worth repeating.

Senator Leahy goes on to tell the story of how this bill came to be. We’ve tracked most of it, starting with the decision by the Library of Congress to not renew the DMCA exemption, and then the online petition with over 100K signatures, and finally The White House’s response.

Unfortunately, today’s signing doesn’t put this whole unlocking mess to bed. All the bill does is reinstate the exemption temporarily. The Library of Congress will still vote on the matter every 3 years, although the bill does instruct them to carefully consider keeping unlocking legal.

More info: refer to our iPhone unlocking page to learn how you can unlock your device.

  • Eric

    We made it!!

  • Jonathan Ramirez

    Now please. iPad jail breaking. Make it legal again,

    • Matt

      Jailbreaking an iPad is illegal?

    • Gary LE

      Dude if you read the jailbreak section from this site it says legal.

      • im2slick4u

        It technically is not legal but nobody has gotten in trouble for it so far and I have a doubt that anyone will.

      • Soylent Green

        Kinda like the banker bailouts & LIBOR. Pure illegal but no one gets in trouble yeah.

  • Johnny V

    So When Does This Take Into Effect?

    • Melvco

      today, I believe.

      • Johnny V

        Yes But Usually Laws Like This Allow The Companies A Certain Grace Period Before They Have To Make It Mandatory

      • Martin

        Capital letters much?

      • Johnny V

        Ive Always Type In This Manner Lol

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Lol! at first i thought you said Ive( Jonny Ive ) has always typed in this manner.

      • Vishal

        Same Here 😉

      • Antzboogie

        Let them try to penalize me for unlocking my phone I will T-Mobile them and break that contract.

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    This is the only thing he has done right as president.

    • Austin Weir

      Get your conservative ass off this post!

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        Haha. A great example of what’s wrong whith America. This guy.

      • Austin Weir

        Well, apparently the majority of America supports my idea that Obama is a better president than Romney would’ve been. Also, if young adults going to Cal Poly SLO are what you consider to be wrong with America, you’re rather ignorant.

      • Jerk Face

        I bet your working conservative parents like you living in their basement.

      • Austin Weir

        My parents are liberal, and I live in the dorms at Cal Poly most of the year and a room at my parents’ place the rest…your comment was entirely incorrect

      • Jamessmooth

        Correction, friend. The majority of Americans USED TO support your idea.

      • Austin Weir

        How popular is that republican controlled House of Representatives? Oh yeah, it’s the least popular part of government…

      • Jamessmooth

        Hahaha, you’re right. Not sure what that has to do with your initial statement of “the majority of America supports my idea that Obama is a better president than Romney would’ve been”, but you’re right. Did you also know a ducks quack doesn’t echo?

      • Soylent Green

        Wake up ffs

    • Marcus

      I was thinking the same thing while reading the title to this post.

    • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

      Sprint still insist we can’t do it on the iPhone’s because of software issues. BS! It’s only baseband! It’s unlockable! Why Sprint iPhone 5S is most important is because they contain all the bands for all the carriers in the US and majority of the world like Softbank’s iPhone 5S. If we do have baseband unlocked we don’t need any other iPhone 5S versions which strips it from it’s full functionality of going to other carriers.

      • Gary LE

        So iphone 5c with sprint cant be unlocked to be used with att? Not even if it has a sim slot?

      • im2slick4u

        I believe the iPhone 4S is the only iPhone with both GSM and CDMA compatability. So your Sprint iPhone 5C will only work on Sprint, Verizon and other CDMA carriers.

      • MichaelNotMicro

        I had my iphone4s from sprint before i turned to t mobile. The main reason and the most important reason is they just concea the truth of their sprint iphone is unlockable,at least it can uses in abroad carriers. But they just said NO!.(Also their services are terrible. The online chat service is perfunctory. The retail store staffs just tricked me.) SPRINT is the worst wireless carrier ever, period.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        Tmobile in rural areas don’t receive text msgs as fast as sprint…and has worst coverage.

    • Turb0wned


    • FrankensteinBlack

      Obama also saved T-Mobile too, which kept your cellphone bill lower even if you have service with a competitor. Just sayin…

  • sosarozay300

    thx obama

  • Martin

    You know… Obama has a phone.

    • MichaelNotMicro

      but not the iphone….

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    Man I could kill for a good honey coverd croissant role right now.

  • David Gitman

    How about helping Israel with the war instead of making laws?

    • therealjjohnson


    • felixtaf

      Help for war? I would say help to make peace!

    • Laith Al-Omari

      helping them? for what? for killing millions of children everyday? for firing missils all over the homes in Gaza and killing a lot of innocent people? Pentagon helps Israel to fire Gaza and then Obama comes out and says, “Heyyy! we want peace!!” This is the most ridiclulous thing i’ve ever read!

  • Aabid Faiyaz

    that Means if eg I buy a iphone5s from USA Locked one from AT&T I can unlock it by my own where every I am stay in the world.

    • Aabid Faiyaz

      Can somone ans to what I said

      • felixtaf

        Yes! But, make sure your device is not iCloud locked or reported lost/stolen/bad imei.
        You can still unlock att iphone 5s now at a high price now. This law will lower the cost to unlock.

      • Rowan09

        It won’t AT&T changed the way they put through an unlock so it will still be high. The prices dropped 2-3 months ago but it’s nowhere as cheap as it use to be before.

      • Franck Kamayou

        I think prices will still drop, and we will start seeing unlock prices by careers themselves, like it is the case now in most places.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    What does that actually mean? Can someone explain to me? how it is helpful to people?
    I have no idea about making it legal to unlock your phone?
    Ps: i know whats unlocking is. 🙂

    • Aabid Faiyaz

      same thing even I to want to know

    • felixtaf

      That means, carriers cannot refuse to unlock your device and you are free to unlock your device even if its in contract and use a diff network.

      Before that, its either illegal or impossible to unlock a phone in contract, although u pay the money for the phone each month with your phone bill.

      Who will get benifitted? Small scale resellers and people. Small scale resellers who rely on unlocking and reselling used phones and people who buy highend used phones (unlocked).

      This also puts a full stop to arrogant carriers like at&t and sprint – who will even refuse to unlock your device off-contract or after contract!

      • Rowan09

        Not true. Before they passed this ridiculous law it was “illegal” to get your phone unlocked from anyone but the carrier. All this laws does is allow it to be legal to get it from a third party. This law only affected the US by the way. This law doesn’t change much because you were still able to get a phone unlocked in the US by a third party even though it was “illegal”.

  • Cody Schroder

    Hands Down Best News Iv Heard In A Very Long Time!! Now How Do I Start Unlocking???

    • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

      We need solution for Sprint’s excuse in unlocking the iPhone 5S which has all the bands of all the carriers in the us

    • Soylent Green

      Comment of the year bro 😉

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    How can a Sprint iPhone 5S with all the bands of all the carriers be unlocked? Can someone tell me that?

    • felixtaf

      Not possible officially now (only via R-Sim). They have to unlock their devices now – If the law has an impact!

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        They say they can’t do that on Apple devices made prior to feb 11 2015. That’s so messed up… my poor iphone 6…

      • felixtaf

        Time to switch carriers I guess. But am sure that u r on sprint for a reason (reception, plans etc).

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        I’m not on Sprint, but I have been eyeing the full utilization of a Sprint iPhone that of it has all or majority of the worlds bands in that phone. I am on republic wireless atm actually. I do not like this subpar experience even though I can customize the phone and have it rooted. I do plan on coming back /endlifestory about android like other androidusers. But yes tmobile ios8 wifi calling is very key! So that is why I wanted Sprint iPhone 5S and 6 to be unlocked or for sprint to work towards it without excuses. or without an R-Sim

  • Hey, I signed that petition.

    • Rowan09

      Me too.

      • Dani Hayes

        Me three…

      • Franck Kamayou

        me four

      • tunutsaigon

        Me fine… :))

  • felixtaf

    They made it illegal and almost killed my small business. This is a great news for me!

    • Rowan09

      The business will never be the same again because the carriers got greedy.

  • Matt

    Good, I don’t see why we the people who pay an exuberant amount of money for a cell phone wouldn’t be able to unlock it.
    Finally something that this “president” has done right.

  • Eli Montoya

    Chronic unlock is the worst unlocking service

  • TheShade247

    Should i expect UltraSnow update?

    • CaffeinePizza

      about as much as a new bootrom exploit for A5+ devices.

  • Waseem Afridi

    does this also mention icloud/apple id lock ?

  • Soylent Green

    Talking of obaaama, did you know he signed an executive order (thats a law forced into place regardless of who opposes it) 2 days ago allowing anyone within the US (unless ur shipped in over the open border, then ur ok) to be arrested & detained at a F.E.M.A camp for having a cough! Yes a cough! Hey but its legal to unlock your cell & pay your fees to anyone, w00t W00t, does this place get pay for promoting apple? Apple still claim imessage cannot be read by anyone other than the recipient? Blatant lie, they issue the certificates so whats to stop them dropping in there own cert and reading away? Trust? lol – this site should tailor itself up a bit and be less sheeplike and ask some questions, for anyone who doubts me, go listen to the last 3 security now podcasts from Leo laporte & Steve Gibson where they analyse ios sec.
    Hey I can unlock my fone legally, fk off!

    • Nitsud

      I work at that FEMA camp thank you very much.

  • Ben Seiler

    Why did you go to jail, “I jailbroke my iPad”

  • jose carlos

    Of course to renew it every 3 yr.To C if it benefit pocket books!It should stay legel period

  • jack

    Finally this black guy has done something useful

    • iphone72

      hmmm…I though he was bi-racial :-/ LOL

  • Derek Harper

    Wealp, Sprint customers are still boned ha ha ha.
    (I have an iPhone with at&t so yeah.. but still..)

  • Chris Johnson

    pretty sad that this what the younger generation is concerned about.

    My bad..this is the top priority in our country right now…

  • Truffol

    Now I can finally get a local data sim when travelling abroad

  • yep

    oh, i just figured since the president doesn’t have to follow laws, i didn’t have to either and unlocked phones for the past year. Oops.