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Why was it so easy for me to legally unlock my iPhone in Europe?

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I recently changed my mobile service here in France so had to unlock my iPhone to transfer to the new service. In France (and reportedly elsewhere in Europe) this is an easy process. Though some providers in France claim that users need to wait until after six months, the law says that after three months the providers must provide you with this capability. It's 100% legal and in fact, it's done via iTunes. For me, the entire process took about 20 minutes and really, it could not have been any easier ad I don't have to worry about any new iPhone updates causing problems.

What I don't understand is why this is so difficult in the US outside of jailbreaking the phone. Jailbreaking may be legal, but it also can void your warranty. It hardly sounds fair yet somehow businesses are able to get away with this.

The kicker to this story is that my old plan - which was expensive and I regretted it almost immediately - was around €70 per month for a few hours of calls. (In France, you only pay for calls that you make, not for calls received.) The new plan is unlimited calls for about €20 (around $26) per month. If you are already a customer for their internet service, it's even less. And remember, high speed (fiber optic) internet services are cheap over here as well.

So why is it that in "socialist" France it is possible to have this yet in Apple's home country, it's so difficult? Consumers deserve a lot more, and the political class really needs to stand up for them rather than the entrenched business class such as AT&T or Verizon. Things in the US are generally easier but somehow, but in this case, it's painful and it needs to change.

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