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White House weighs in on phone unlocking, supports making it legal

Following FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s statement that the commission would be looking into the ban on phone unlocking, the White House has released an official statement in support of cell phone unlocking. The statement was made in response to a popular petition on the White House’s We the People website after the petition had been signed by over 114,000 people.

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FCC looking into ban on unlocking on-contract iPhones and other phones

The FCC is going to look into the ban on unlocking phones. The ban, which came into effect on January 26 of this year, made it illegal to unlock an on-contract device for use on another carrier.

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As of tomorrow, unauthorized unlocking of new, on-contract iPhones will be illegal in the U.S.

Due to a ruling by the Librarian of Congress, come tomorrow it will be illegal to unlock a new, on-contract iPhone -- or any phone -- in the U.S. If you bought your iPhone before tomorrow, or if you bought a factory unlocked iPhone straight from Apple, or off-contract, full priced iPhone from carriers, or your contract is over, you shouldn't be subject to any restrictions. Doing it on your own via Jailbreak, however, will be strictly verboten, and likely subject to prosecution by law enforcement and the Batman.

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T-Mobile activating 100,000 iPhones per month, now supports 1.9 million devices

According to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, the company is seeing a huge intake of new iPhone customers and this is before it actually officially has the phone on its network. Speaking at their 2013 Citi Global Conference in Las Vegas today, Mr Legere claimed that T-Mobile was seeing around 100,000 iPhone activations every month. He also claimed that T-Mobile serves around 1.9 million iPhones on its network.

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Apple starts selling the iPhone 5 unlocked online in the U.S., at retail in Canada

As of today you can walk into an Apple Retail store in Canada and walk out with an unlocked iPhone 5. That's something that was only possible via Apple Online orders until now, likely to prevent the type of scalping activity -- the same people lining up everyday to buy unlocked iPhones only to resell them overseas -- that caused problems with previous Canadian launches. Not to be left totally behind, the U.S. has also started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked, but only via Apple Online.

So, if you still haven't gotten your iPhone, and you want to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an unlocked one, and you live in Canada, today's your lucky day.

Go get it.

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Virgin Mobile USA announce iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on pre-paid starting June 29th

As we originally heard last week, Virgin Mobile USA has officially announced that it will offer the iPhone starting on June 29th. The iPhone will be offered as a pre-paid handset on its network and will be avilable on pre-paid tarriffs as low as $30 a month.

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AT&T Buys Unicel, Vermont Gets iPhone

Confession: the US broadcast news networks I get up here in the frozen north come mostly from Vermont with a side of Northern New York. So, lo and behold, I caught part of the Burlington CBS station's teaser last night, and the big news? They're finally getting the iPhone 3G!

It means dozens of new jobs in Vermont and that the heavily-hyped iPhone will soon be here in Vermont. [...] AT&T officials say their products and services will be available at ten former Unicel locations in mid-January. They will honor current contracts for up to a year.

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iPhone to Replace Blackberry in Congress?

US tax dollars at work dept.: TUAW is reporting (via TheHill.com) that the Chief Administrative Office of the U.S Congress is testing iPhones due to "people requesting them as an option":

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Apple Threatening "Scorched Earth" iTunes in the US and Norway?

Looks like Apple might be shutting down iTunes in the US and Norway. At least that's what VP of Internet Services (iTunes, Mobile Me, App Store), Eddy Cue says (via Macrumors):

"If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the ... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all. Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably."

What's the deal'yo? In two separate, but equally perplexing bits of news, the US Government is thinking of dumping an extra $0.15 surcharge (going to copyright holders) onto digital downloads, which would result in either consumers paying $1.14 a track for iTunes music, or Apple eating the $0.15 itself.

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Want Your iPhone on Verizon?

UPDATE: Verizon has just announced their 4G/LTE plans for end-of-year 2010, which may make their network compatible with future iPhone models. More details here.

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