"Apple begins selling the latest version of its iPhone
this week in the United States, and while the device will not be
sold in Canada until mid-July, Canadians will be among the few that
will have the opportunity to purchase it "unlocked" so that it is
not tied to any specific wireless carrier. The unlocked versions
will come at a premium price, but in return consumers will be able
to avoid the long-term contracts that have typified the Canadian
wireless marketplace for many years.
"The issue of locked cellphones has long been a source of
consumer fear and frustration since some wondered whether unlocking
phones that were rendered unusable when switching wireless
providers was legal. In certain respects, this was an odd question
to even have to ask. No one would ever question whether consumers
have the right to tinker with their car or to use the same
television if they switch providers from cable to satellite, yet
the wireless industry somehow convinced the public that unlocking
their phones -- consumers' own property -- was wrong."
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