Henrik speaking at a conference

Hi, I’m Henrik Joreteg

Mobile web consultant, developer, and speaker

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Want to Unlock Your iPhone? Instructions from Washington Post

Screenshot of story from Washington Post

Does it strike anybody else as odd, thata major news outlet is publishing instructions on how to unlock your iPhone, which breaks your license agreement with Apple and your contract with AT&T?

The iPhone situation is highlighting a major flaw in how cell phone companies do business in the US: They tie the phone to the carrier. As freedom loving citizens we should be fighting this tooth and nail. We are signing contracts that will last longer than most of our cell phones! It discourages competition and that’s why the customer service reps at cell phone companies don’t become helpful until your contract is up.

Do we have a choice? Sort of. You can buy some pretty sweet “unlocked” phones directly from Amazon and take them to a carrier to get service. However, as became blatantly obviously with the iPhone. Your options are limited and the prices you pay for service with an unlocked phone are pretty much always the same as if you had gotten a free or heavily subsidized phone from the service provider. So, it will actually cost you significantly more to have a little bit of freedom. It’s an outrage, we should all be calling/writing our congressman about it.

Imagine being able to pick any phone you want (not just one of the 10 that your carrier offers). Then, shopping around for the best plan for you. That’s the type of freedom we’re used to in other areas of our lives. But, we’ve been hoodwinked into believing that two-year contracts are just a part of life.

It’s extremely limiting, it’s an insulting way to treat a customer, it’s anti-competitive and it should be illegal.