Last time I blogged about how telcos are possibly on their way out…then I got back to the States to find that all of my friends are upset because unlocked cellphones are now illegal in the USA. It’s clear that the buggy-whip manufacturers, I mean telcos, are fighting tooth and claw to keep themselves in big business, despite what the market wants.
Non-USians kind of rely on unlocked phones. Have you ever been on an international flight between two countries that aren’t the US and noticed everyone swapping SIM cards before landing? In the parts of the world where countries are smaller and people travel between them more frequently (like the EU), swapping SIMs is key – you can’t realistically carry a phone for each country, even if you have cellphone plans with different providers.
In the US, I’m not sure what problem this new law (which I believe is part of the hated DMCA, but I need to research it) serves. I don’t know that many USians who use unlocked phones, simply because folks like upgrading their phone and don’t like messing with the providers…but I do know some, esp. Android OS users.
Time to research! TechCrunch has a good article on this, with the history and what it means in practice.