Posts Tagged ‘ Carrier

Unlocked Cell Phones May Get…More Unlocked?

Despite Apple’s reputation for being a control freak—keeping their app store behind an ivory gate, limiting what computer languages can be used on their devices—but they may some day through the American cell phone industry into a dynamic beyond unlocked cell phones.

There are many reasons to love unlocked cell phones: having no contract so you can get the best deal, being able to mod the software and delete the carrier junk apps (and then scratching off the corresponding branding), and just being able to say f-you to the companies.

Well, Apple may do all that for you. They’ve already told the carriers a big NO to branding and preloaded add-apps—but they were also recently awarded a patent that would extend those unlocked cell phone like services, AND do the work for you.

Basically, Apple would become a middle-man between the user and the phone companies, leveraging their iPhone popularity for the lowest rates, switching between or mixing and matching different companies without a user ever seeing a dip or change in service. They could even take payments, making the branding, contracts, and other junk associated with all the carriers obsolete.

Of course, unlocked cell phones would still have a place, since not everyone would want an iPhone, so you have to assume that a dual system of some sort would have to emerge, but it’s an interesting future to think about. You’d never have to risk bricking your phone to unlock it again!

Could Unlocked Cell Phones Give You More Control Over Your Kids?

Palm Pre, an unlocked cell phone with a great OS for kids.

Many parents are giving their children cell phones at ever younger ages, and it’s not uncommon to see a young child learning to use the device (as well as colors, numbers, and words) while playing with the many child-geared apps available.

But kids need to meet certain expectations for responsibility, as well as have a viable punishment when entrusted with cell phones. Unlocked cell phones can give parents that boost.

Unlocked cell phones work on any GSM provider, and more importantly, are super easy to use with prepaid plans from any company.

Pre-paid plans can be usd as allowance, as punishment if you want to take away kids data plans (or as a way to limit the functionality of the phones, permitting more uses as they age).

Because unlocked cell phones can be bought cheaper than carrier provided phones and without the contracts and fees, they also allow parents the ease of switching plans if necessary. As more kids use cell phones, carriers can be expected to add bonus features to plans (some already exist): being able to use the phone to keep track of your kid at all times, monitoring use, and with unlocked cell phones it’s easy to install thrid party apps for emergency situations (911 to mom with the bush of a button, for instance).

When every family member has an unlocked cell phone, it can help you to save money by finding the cheapest rates, and switching as need be (be sure to ask about the price of non-contract plans-they’re often cheaper).

 

 
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