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Phone unlocking sees sharp increase in popularity following ban in January


When the US Library of Congress ruled to make the unlocking of smartphones illegal, its motive was (obviously) to discourage the practice. But it seems that since the ban on the practice was put into effect in January, at least one phone unlocking service has actually seen a rather drastic increase in customers wishing to free their mobile phones from the grasp of a specific carrier.

As VentureBeat reports, UK-based Mobile Unlocked -- a company that provides remote unlocks for a wide range of iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices -- has seen its US sales spike by 71 percent since the ban. What's more, the company hasn't been actively advertising to American smartphone owners, and yet the US is the only territory in which sales are soaring.

So what is driving the popularity of the practice? There are likely several factors here, including an increased awareness of easy-to-use unlocking options, a larger number of used smartphones being bought second-hand and of course the fact that doing something illegal is just plain fun. Wait, did I say that out loud?

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