Legislation to legalize cell phone unlocking looms

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

 

US prepaid carrier Solavei now selling iPhone 5-friendly nano SIMs

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

 

The White House responds: cell phone unlocking should be legalized

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

 

FCC questions ban on unlocking cell phones

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

 

Petition to legalize cell phone unlocking will get response from White House

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

 

This SIM card-friendly iPhone case is perfect for travelers

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

 

Patent shows Apple working on image-based password alternative

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

 

Ultrasn0w updated for iOS 6.1

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

 

The EFF clarifies legality of jailbreaking and unlocking in the US

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

 

White House petition goes up to make unlocking phones legal again

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

 

Unlocking your phone could cost you up to $500,000

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

 

Unlocking a cell phone in the US to become “illegal” this weekend

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

 

Apple now selling unlocked iPhone 5 models in the US

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

 

Claimed unlocked iPhone 5 prices show up on Apple’s website

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

 

How to tell if your iPhone is factory unlocked

By Sébastien 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