“… the iPhone only works if you are an AT&T customer. If your mobile phone service is with any other provider — T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint — you’re out of luck. You can’t have it. To get one, you’ll have to break your contract with your service and change to AT&T. That will cost you a few hundred dollars in early termination fees. And if you are on a family plan, you may have to pay a separate fee to terminate all of your family’s phones. Only then will you have the privilege of dropping $600 on an iPhone and signing up for a two-year contract with AT&T.
“Oh, and if you live in one of more than a dozen states where AT&T doesn’t offer close to full coverage? Too bad. No iPhone for you.
“Why is the iPhone shackled to AT&T? Why won’t it work on any network? It turns out that there aren’t any technical reasons why it can’t. It’s just a business deal: Apple has agreed to give AT&T the exclusive rights to provide service.
“But it gets worse: phone companies don’t just hold the iPhone captive; they also routinely cripple features on handsets (like Wi-Fi, games, audio and video) so that you can only access their “preferred” content. They also limit access to the network, despite marketing “unlimited access”. And they reserve the right to boot you off the network if you do almost anything they don’t like.”
by Ben Scott, in the Guardian
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