Unlock

White House petition goes up to make unlocking phones legal again

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…

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

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…

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

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…

Apple now selling unlocked iPhone 5 models in the US

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…

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

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…

How to tell if your iPhone is factory unlocked

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?

Jailbreaking your iPhone is still legal, your iPad not so much

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…

Apple sued over software lock on AT&T iPhones

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…

Some T-Mobile stores receiving Nano SIM cards for iPhone 5

Great news for folks who have managed to get their hands on an unlocked iPhone 5 and are looking to start up T-Mobile service with the handset. Reports are coming in this weekend that some of the carrier’s retail stores have started receiving shipments of iPhone 5-compatible Nano SIM cards…

Verizon iPhone 5 to stay unlocked due to FCC agreements

Last week, we discovered that the Verizon version of the iPhone 5 comes with an unlocked SIM slot. Our very own Jeff confirmed the theory by using his VZW handset to connect to AT&T’s GSM network.

While this was obviously great news, we were worried that things wouldn’t stay this way because carriers don’t generally like unlocked phones. But according to a new report, Verizon may not have a choice…

The Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked, tested with AT&T

I can confirm that the Verizon iPhone 5 is indeed GSM unlocked. Even though I bought an iPhone 5 from Verizon under contract, I was able to cut down my AT&T Micro SIM, and use it in my Verizon iPhone 5 to pick up an AT&T signal. By doing so, I was able to hop onto AT&T’s HPSA+ network, or “4G” as they so ridiculously name it.

AT&T’s so-called 4G speeds are nothing like true LTE speeds, but they are a bit better than typical 3G speeds. But the big news here isn’t about speed. The big news here is that we have confirmed that you can use a Verizon iPhone 5 on AT&T or T-Mobile, freely, even if you’re a brand new customer under contract.

Unlocked iPhone 5 models won’t be available at launch

We’re t-minus three hours and counting until the iPhone 5 pre-orders begin, and some new information regarding model availability and pricing has just come to light.

According to several Apple customer service representatives, unlocked models of the iPhone 5 will not be available for tonight’s pre-order or even next week’s launch…