Obama Signs Cell Phone Unlocking Bill Into Law, iPhone Unlocking No Longer Illegal

United States President Barack Obama will today sign a bill that makes cell phone unlocking legal again, writing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law following its unanimous approval by the Senate and House of Representatives.

Obama has long supported the act, which was originally introduced via a 2013 "We the People" petition that gathered more than 100,000 signatures calling for cell phone unlocking to be made legal. It first became illegal to unlock a cell phone in January of 2013, after an exception in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act expired, restricting U.S. customers from shifting their service to other carriers or using their devices abroad with local SIM cards.

iphone_5s_5c
Now that cell phone unlocking is once again legal, consumers and third-party unlocking services will be able to unlock paid-for cell phones and tablets without receiving express permission from carriers and without facing criminal penalties. The changes will make it easier for consumers to take their devices to the carrier of their choice after contractual obligations have been fulfilled and it will also be easier to use existing devices abroad.

The bill not only restores the rights of consumers to unlock their phones, but ensures that they can receive help doing so if they lack the technological savvy to unlock on their own.

The most important part of this joint effort is that it will have a real impact. As long as their phone is compatible and they have complied with their contracts, consumers will now be able to enjoy the freedom of taking their mobile service -- and a phone they already own -- to the carrier that best fits their needs. At a time when partisan gridlock all too often threatens progress on everyday issues that matter to consumers, working together we listened to your voices, and the American people benefited as a result.

In December of 2013, U.S. cellular carriers and the FCC also came to an agreement over a set of voluntary principles that will make it easier for wireless customers to unlock their devices and switch from carrier to carrier after a contract has been fulfilled.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
81 months ago
This is the only good thing he has done in his Presidency.
Score: 67 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Really?

The ONLY thing?


Yea, the only thing.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
Note: Due to the political nature of the skin color of the twice-elected leader of the US, all of his successes are underreported and soon forgotten, his failures are unforgivably worse than other leaders', right-wing hysterical lies go unchecked by even mainstream "journalists" under the guise of "balance," and problems created before he took office undergo time travel to become his fault, while credit for his solutions goes mysteriously to his opponents, even though they will turn against their own principles and past ideas simply because a moderate president agrees with them and they'd rather make sure that no good ideas are allowed to happen in the US until the proper skin color has returned to power (which they manage to convince themselves on the surface is no part of their thinking). Therefore, this otherwise purely fact-based and non-controversial (unless you believe governments should answer to their corporate masters) discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Hell yea!!! I agree 110%. But others sadly believe he's God.

On the side note, this restores things exactly how they were prior to Jan. 2013, correct? The freaking phone should not have to be paid off to be unlocked. The consumer should be able to unlock it when he damn well feels like it. It's HIS phone.


Yep... It's a shame that insurance companies can no longer have lifetime maximums and have to accept pre-existing conditions, especially for people who have life-long conditions like my nephew who is a 3 years old hemophilia that needs 3 shots a day that cost $1,700 EACH (yep, about $1.8 million a YEAR). But healthcare is less important than a couple extra bucks in your pocket.

I'm not a fan of any President because they all have secret agendas but I think it's funny how someone can bitch about Obama and call him un-American because he is trying to get us up to par with policies other countries have implemented that worked very well. Yeah, maybe "Obama-care" isn't perfect but it's better than doing nothing like the alternative would have been.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
Thanks, Obama.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

This is the only good thing he has done in his Presidency.


Really?

The ONLY thing?
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...