Saturday, October 06, 2007
Tim Wu unlocks his iPhone
Tim Wu lays out the legal case that unlocking an iPhone is legal and ethical in Slate:
. . . my [unlocked] iPhone works flawlessly. With my existing T-Mobile account, I get 1,300 more minutes of talk time than I would have received from AT&T for a comparably priced plan; I also now have a phone that I can take to Asia and Europe. I avoided a $200 termination fee, AT&T's activation fee, and having to wait for AT&T to port my existing number. On the downside, I don't have AT&T's visual voicemail, and I have to stay away from Apple's software upgrades, which might brick the phone. But it's easy to download third-party apps, like iPong. Best of all, my geek friends are impressed . . . Did I do anything wrong? When you buy an iPhone, Apple might argue that you've made an implicit promise to become an AT&T customer. But I did no such thing. I told the employees at the Apple Store that I wanted to unlock it, and at no stage of the purchasing process did I explicitly agree to be an AT&T customer. There was no sneakiness; I just did something they didn't like.
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