By Cody Lee on May 10, 2013
Back in January, the mobile homebrew community suffered a major blow when several DMCA exemptions expired. Among them was a rule that made unlocking cellphones legal, effectively making the practice illegal here in the United States.
But it may not be that way for long. A new bill just landed in the House of Representatives called The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, which, among other things, would make the process of unlocking your cellphone unequivocally legal… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013
I find it peculiar that regional wireless carriers in the United States have traditionally been way more vocal in their support of Apple and sound business practices than the corporate behemoths like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile, the nation’s top carriers.
A new report out this morning praises some regional carriers for having the guts to back a broader initiative to make cell phone unlocking legal again. Contrast the move to AT&T’s “straightforward” policy of locking your device to its network until you’ve met the terms of your service agreement.
Specifically, rural carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Bluegrass Cellular are now backing these looming bills, likely in a bid to appease to its iPhone customers. Remember, these same guys happily undercut major carriers’ iPhone deals by at least $50… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 8, 2013
There’s been a lot of commotion lately regarding the recent expiration of a DMCA exemption that makes the unlocking of smartphones illegal. The people are talking about it, the government is talking about it, and the word is, it could lead to new legislation.
Today, AT&T issued a statement on the topic, reassuring customers that the DMCA rule has no effect on its unlocking stance. The whole thing comes off as a bit garish, as no one was really worried about that in the first place. But it does offer clarity on their policy… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 7, 2013
After the White House last week weighed in on the still illegal cell phone unlocking in the United States, drawing responses from carriers, The Library of Congress and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden announced on Twitter yesterday his proposal of a new bill dubbed the Wireless Device Independence Act to ensure that owners of mobile phones are allowed to bypass copy protection and unlock their devices without being scrutinized as criminals.
Arguing “it’s a freedom issue”, the Senator confirms the bill seeks to amend a section of the United States Code covering the circumvention of copyright protection systems. A few other lawmakers voiced their support for unlocking as well, having announced plans to introduce legislation to make the practice legal again… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 6, 2013
Hot on the heals of this morning’s news that the iPhone 5 would be landing on Strata Networks soon, comes word that the popular handset can also now be used with Solavei, a US-based prepaid provider.
The carrier sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that it has begun offering nano Sim cards, meaning you can now hook up Apple’s latest handset to its $49/month unlimited everything plan… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2013
With the United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski promising last Thursday to look into cell phone unlocking, the federal government is now expressing concern about the recent criminalization of the controversial topic, with the White House finally making known its official stance on cell phone unlocking.
R. David Edelman, a Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy for the White House, Monday published the official response stating the government stands in support of those wishing to unlock their cellphones once they have fulfilled the terms of the contract. Unlocking your iPhone, as you know, basically frees your handset from the clutches of your carrier so you can take it to any wireless company’s network… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 1, 2013
The federal government is expressing concern about the recent criminalization of unlocking cell phones. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday his office will look at the subject to see if and what the agency can do. Earlier this year, an exemption in a digital copyright law expired, prompting outrage from some mobile phone owners.
The head of the FCC said he is “concerned” that a return to the ban on unlocked cell phones could stifle competition or limit innovation. As Cody reported last month, a White House petition calling for again allowing unlocking drew more than 100,000 signatures… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 21, 2013
On January 26th of this year, the DMCA exemption that made unlocking your cell phone legal, expired, subsequently making the popular practice illegal. Now, folks who go about unlocking their handsets risk serious legal repercussions.
Obviously, people weren’t too happy with the way this played out, so an online petition was started to re-legalize unlocking. And as of today, that petition has surpassed 100,000 signatures, meaning the White House must issue a response… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 18, 2013
Do you travel abroad often? Maybe it’s for business, or pleasure, or both. And if so, do you use the same unlocked iPhone everywhere you go? If you answered yes, to either question, you might want to check out the SIMPLcase.
The SIMPLcase is an ultra-slim iPhone 5 case—3mm in the center, 1mm at the edges—with a couple of cool features. In addition to protecting your phone, it can also store extra SIM cards, has a SIM tray eject tool, and more… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2013
Good news for those of you who have a strong disdain for remembering and entering in passwords. It looks like Apple is again exploring alternatives to the traditional text and number-based authentication method.
An interesting patent application fro the Cupertino company has recently surfaced that depicts an iPhone being unlocked by a user verbally (or using touch-based input) identifying a person, pet or object in a photo… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 7, 2013
Between the rise of third party vendors and the recent change in DMCA policy, the need for iPhone software unlocks is steadily dwindling. But that doesn’t mean that the method is obsolete, as there are still many people out there with older iPhones.
And if you happen to be one of those people, you’ll be happy to know that MuscleNerd has confirmed that Ultrasn0w was quietly updated this week to support iOS 6.1. So if you’re on an eligible device and baseband, you can unlock on the new firmware… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 29, 2013
The big news this week, aside from the new 128GB iPad and the impending jailbreak, has been that unlocking your phone became illegal in the US on Saturday. Law-breakers face a fine of up to $500,000 and/or 5 years in jail.
Well today, the folks over at the EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) commented on the new regulations and have broken down what they really mean for us end-users. There’s both good news and bad news… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 29, 2013
By now, you’ve likely heard of the recent change in DMCA policy that makes the act of unlocking newer cell phones illegal. And even though the EFF clarified some things for us earlier today, it still sounds like we’re getting screwed.
In fact, some folks feel so strongly about the new law that they’ve started a White House petition calling for the Obama administration to either rescind the decision, or create a new bill making unlocking permanently legal… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 28, 2013
Last week, we reported that unlocking your cell phone was going to become illegal in the US on January 26th. And it did. While there are some exceptions to the law— you can still unlock pre-2013 phones—it’s still devastating for cell phone owners.
And it gets worse. According to a new report, the penalty for breaking this new unlocking law is a fine of up to $500,000, 5 years in jail, or both. That’s right, half a million dollars for unlocking your phone. And yes, that includes first-time offenders… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 24, 2013
If you’re interested in taking matters into your own hands when it comes to unlocking you iPhone, then you may want to act fast, or else potentially be at risk of being labeled a law breaker. According to a report by Tech News Daily: On Saturday, January 26th, a DMCA exemption expires that made unlocking a phone on your own terms fully legal.
In all actuality, the exemption was nullified back on October 26 (read the final ruling here), but due to a 90 day grace period of sorts, the final expiration date takes place this weekend. Obviously, unlocking is a big subject here at iDownloadBlog, so we’re interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Bear in mind that it’s not all gloom and doom, though… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 29, 2012
Great news for folks in the US who have been waiting for Apple to start selling unlocked versions of its latest handset. As we were expecting, the company has begun selling contract-free, unlocked GSM models of the iPhone 5 tonight in both its retail stores and online… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 5, 2012
While Apple offers unlocked iPhone 5s in Canada and other countries, it has yet to give buyers inside the US that option. So unless you go through a third party vendor, you can’t get an unlocked iPhone 5 here in the States.
That could be changing in the near future though. Purported prices for unlocked versions of the new handset have been discovered hidden on Apple’s US website, which could mean that they’re preparing to roll them out… Read More
By Sebastien Page on Oct 31, 2012
We just retired my wife’s iPhone 4 as she finally upgraded to the iPhone 5. After making sure she had backed up every picture of our beautiful daughter, I got in touch with AT&T so they can unlock the phone. As we explained before, the AT&T unlocking process is fairly simple, and before I got off the phone, the Customer Service Rep I was talking to notified me that the phone had been unlocked. Talk about being fast!
Before listing the phone for sale on Craigslist, I wiped it off clean by performing a restore. During that time, I went to Starbucks for my daily dose of overpriced caffeine, and when I came back, my wife’s iPhone was as good as new. I had missed something though. I hadn’t seen the screen telling you that your iPhone has been unlocked, which made me doubt: is this iPhone really factory unlocked? Besides putting a SIM from a different carrier into it, how can you tell the iPhone has been factory unlocked for sure? Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 25, 2012
On July 26, 2010, the Library of Congress ruled that under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), jailbreaking was legal. This was a big deal at the time, as prior to the ruling the legality of jailbreaking was a bit of a mystery.
The decision was part of a list of DMCA exemptions, which unfortunately just expired. So the Library announced a new batch of exemptions today. And although jailbreaking is still legal, it appears there are some significant caveats… Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 22, 2012
Apple has become the target of a new lawsuit this weekend. iPhone owners Zach Ward and Thomas Buchar filed a putative class action lawsuit against the company on Friday over the handset’s software lock.
The two plaintiffs are claiming that Apple violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act by not obtaining customers’ permission to have their iPhones locked to AT&T’s network… Read More