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My phone is ...

Displaying poll results.
Unlockable, but locked
  11353 votes / 35%
Unlockable, and unlocked
  10649 votes / 32%
Not unlockable
  3599 votes / 11%
Chained to the wall by a cord
  2289 votes / 7%
My phone?
  4423 votes / 13%
32313 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My phone is ...

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  • phone? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I use smoke signals you insensitive techno-modern clod!

  • The poll just started but it's at 33% with unlockable and unlocked phones. That's obviously the ideal for a typical slashdot user, but I was under the impression that a lot of people are stuck with locked phones. Perhaps the early numbers are from places besides the US? Or is unlocking more common that I thought in the US? I tried to get my previous dumb/feature phone unlocked and couldn't do it (on AT&T) so I had to buy a cheap unlocked Nokia handset when I wanted a phone to use while in Thailand for a couple months doing research for my master's thesis.

    By the way, I now use a Nexus One that was never locked in the first place (and which worked great when I went back to Thailand other times); that wasn't a choice!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not everything I have needs to be hacked. I appreciate the stability of the Android OS, and its pretty much open enough for what I use it for. I unlocked my Droid 1, and had problems with CyanogenMod and freezes, so when I got the Droid 2 Global, I decided not to root in unless I needed to.

      I am definitely the type of Slashdotter who would ideally root his phone, but I haven't. Stock works fine for me.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        I'm happy with the stock ROMs for the most part. However, there are three programs that make rooting, and even re-ROMming a good thing to do:

        1: DroidWall. If an app doesn't need to phone home, it won't get that access.

        2: Titanium Backup. This program is a lifesaver. Especially with apps such as the Blizzard Authenticator, where if one does lose/uninstall the app, it means a lot of hair pulling to get access to an account. It also is great for archiving off games that were played, with the save game d

        • Titanium Backup supports dropbox! Get yourself a free account and just sync your titanium backup with that. Currently you have to manually start the sync but automation is on the developers to-do list.
          • by mlts (1038732) *

            Even though I am hesitant to trust cloud backups, Titanium Backup supports encryption using public key methods (backups get encrypted, decrypted by your encrypted private key once you key in your passphrase.) I have been using the DB functionality, and it does work, although if one is transferring a lot of data, it can't hurt to use a wi-fi connection for sake of speed.

            I use this as a secondary method to offsite data, but packing my own parachute by having the data copied to a computer periodically can't h

      • by God'sDuck (837829)

        Not everything I have needs to be hacked. I appreciate the stability of the Android OS, and its pretty much open enough for what I use it for. I unlocked my Droid 1, and had problems with CyanogenMod and freezes, so when I got the Droid 2 Global, I decided not to root in unless I needed to.

        For me, it's a way to "have" less. Rather than buying a Droid 2 Global, I overclocked my Droid 1 to the point where it was fast enough to keep up. Unlocking and overclocking meant I could happily use a device for an extra year or two after its planned obsolescence, and save a few bucks.

    • by commlinx (1068272) on Monday March 21, 2011 @01:32AM (#35556340) Journal

      Perhaps the early numbers are from places besides the US?

      Maybe - it's almost slack-off time in Australia. Here I always buy unlocked phones which is not a problem if you pay up-front for the phone. They are mostly only locked as part of a subsidised long-term contract. I believe most carriers unlock them for free or a low price at the end of the contract, or you can pay a larger fee to get them unlocked during the contract that essentially negates the subsidy.

      • by Demena (966987) on Monday March 21, 2011 @02:45AM (#35556662)
        Ermm... So what option did you pick? I have an iPhone that has never been locked. Mind you, I had to purchase a gift certificate and give it to myself to do this. So, my phone is lockable but unlocked. Not jailbroken but just unlocked.
        • by commlinx (1068272)
          I put "unlockable, and unlocked" as I felt it was the closest match, but agree "lockable but unlocked" is the missing option.
          • by oji-sama (1151023)

            My phone has never been locked, and I don't know if it is lockable at all. Although as it's 'only' one year old, I guess it would be....

        • by Cimexus (1355033)

          Yeah same here. I have an iPhone 4, bought directly from apple.com in Australia. Comes unlocked right from the factory (obviously, since Apple have no idea which carrier you will use it on when you buy it from them). So 'theoretically lockable, but unlocked' is the situation for me and probably most people in countries like Australia. 'Unlockable and unlocked' is the closest match, but even that sorta implies the phone was locked at some time in the past, which isn't true.

          This is the norm for many people. Y

          • by awyeah (70462) *

            That's not the norm in the U.S., unfortunately. In fact, any phone you buy from a carrier, whether you get the contract or non-contract price - usually locked.

            Now, many carriers will unlock your subsidized phone if you ask them nicely... although I guess the iPhone is exempt from that.

            You can still get unlocked phones... but the subsidies are often too tempting...

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Maybe - it's almost slack-off time in Australia. Here I always buy unlocked phones which is not a problem if you pay up-front for the phone. They are mostly only locked as part of a subsidised long-term contract. I believe most carriers unlock them for free or a low price at the end of the contract, or you can pay a larger fee to get them unlocked during the contract that essentially negates the subsidy.

        Actually, most carriers will unlock a contract phone if you ask them (I'll let you guess which one gives you trouble). If they dont you just give the TIO a call, howerver unlocking the phone does not release you from the contract you've agreed to pay (you're bound by law in that regard).

        This is for post paid on a contract phones, With pre-paid they are allowed to charge as they expect you to have a minimum spend with pre-paid phones.

    • by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Monday March 21, 2011 @01:45AM (#35556408)

      Yeah that'd be us foreigners skewing it. Personally I almost assumed it meant locked down as in closed software. Many countries just plain don't allow phones+plans to be bundled so carrier locking is a strange concept.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIM_lock#Laws_and_Practices_on_SIM.2Fnetwork_locking [wikipedia.org]

      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        Mod parent up. In the vast majority of countries, network locking of handsets is either outright forbidden by law, or allowed with the proviso that if the customer requests the handset be unlocked, the provider must do so (for free).

      • by mikael_j (106439)

        I actually voted thinking it was a matter of "locked software". Wasn't until after I voted that it dawned on me that this was obviously a poll by an american and thus "locked" meant "locked to a carrier". We do have a lot of those plans here in Sweden but getting an unlocked phone is by no means hard (and most operators will let you unlock your phone once your 6/12/18 month plan is no longer binding).

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Same here in Norway except our consumer protection agency demanded people should always be allow to terminate the contact for a fee. Quite a few people used it to buy iPhones where Apple had an "exclusive" deal, immidately cancelled the contract then signed with someone else. So in practice there's no such thing as a carrier-locked phone, it's really just a downpayment agreement with the phone as collateral.

        • by msauve (701917)
          I thought it meant "lockable," as in locking it from unauthorized use by using a security code. So, I answered "Not unlockable," since that logically reduces to "lockable," which my phone is, although it's not currently locked. Only after reading a few comments did I realize that the poll is a parochial reference to GSM phones and "SIM locking." I use a CDMA phone, and there's no such thing as a carrier lock (although they've been known to put passwords in to prevent changing NAM programming, which isn't qu
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Yeah that'd be us foreigners skewing it. Personally I almost assumed it meant locked down as in closed software. Many countries just plain don't allow phones+plans to be bundled so carrier locking is a strange concept.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIM_lock#Laws_and_Practices_on_SIM.2Fnetwork_locking [wikipedia.org]

        Some countries embrace Capitalism, rather than Corporate Croneyism, like the USA does.

        Rather sickens me when I see a political party get all high and mighty on what they can do for the citizen, then sell out completely once in office. How's that A La Carte cable TV/Satellite program proposal doing in Congress, eh? Yeah. As long as they get their corporate campaign funds they don't give a rat's patoot about the citizen.

        if we rebelled, who would provide our no-fly zone?

      • by Ocker3 (1232550)
        Many of us live outside the USA you insensitive clod-poll! I bought a dual-simm phone via a local company, who imported it from China. It requires a funky extra-long mini USB connection, which I've been unable to find a backup for :(
    • I really would not know where to get a locked telephone; the entire concept is probably illegal in this country. All of ours were never locked in the first place (6 phones among our family of 4), and can be switched between services at our whim.
      Locking seems prevalent in the US, common in the UK, but either rare or forbidden in civilized parts of the world.
      • by afidel (530433)
        I'm not huge on the whole free markets run amok thing but calling a country that allows adults to enter into a contract uncivilized is kind of immature.
    • by RogerWilco (99615) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:45AM (#35557074) Homepage Journal

      Over here it's not even allowed to refuse to unlock a phone, it just doesn't get you out of your contract.

      I have friends who bought an iPhone with a 2 year contract and then used it from day one with a different provider (the one their employer pays for).

      I am puzzled that this isn't commonplace in the USA, which always advertises itself as the champion of free markets, capitalism and competition.

      • by sodul (833177)

        We only have 2 GSM networks, and they're not 100% compatible: voice, SMS and Edge will work but not 3G. Now the current iPhone provider (AT&T) announced that they are buying the only other GSM provider in the US (T-Mobile US). Bye bye GSM for me.

      • I am puzzled that this isn't commonplace in the USA, which always advertises itself as the champion of free markets, capitalism and competition.

        Unfortunately, that phrase doesn't mean what you think it means . . .

    • Mine is unlocked and with a different operating system than it came with (WM6.5 -> Android).
      I actually liked Windows Mobile, but it is nearly unusable with a capacitive touchscreen.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      N900, unlocked by design, not only you have even 3-4 alternative operating systems for it, it have included dual boot functionality by Nokia. But somewhat is cheating calling it a cellphone, is more a portable computer/tablet with phone functionality.
    • by Artifex (18308)

      I tried to get my previous dumb/feature phone unlocked and couldn't do it (on AT&T) so I had to buy a cheap unlocked Nokia handset when I wanted a phone to use while in Thailand for a couple months doing research for my master's thesis.

      This is odd and a bit scary for me to hear; it's been years since I did this last but it used to be that you could call your cellphone provider (I've done it on Voicestream, T-Mobile, Cingular and AT&T) and tell them that you were going overseas and, as long as your account was in good standing they'd go ahead and unlock your phone so you could use other sim cards while traveling.

      Is this no longer the case?

    • Even for Americans, it's almost trivial to unlock a cell phone. Some carriers will do it free once your contract is up, but even if they won't, you can get an unlock code relatively cheaply from sites like http://gsmliberty.net/ [gsmliberty.net] (no, I don't work for them, but I have used them to buy the unlock codes for 4 different phones). All you need is a SIM from a locked network for a couple of minutes and the unlock code... put the SIM in your phone, it'll say that it's locked and ask for the code. Punch it in, poof,

    • by hiryuu (125210)

      I tried to get my previous dumb/feature phone unlocked and couldn't do it (on AT&T) so I had to buy a cheap unlocked Nokia handset when I wanted a phone to use while in Thailand for a couple months doing research for my master's thesis.

      I ran into similar issues last year with international travel - had an older dual-band GSM Nokia handset, was on AT&T but well past my contract, and called them to get it unlocked so I could use other carriers internationally. Was told by the second or third CSR with

    • I am in the US on T-Mobile, and they have always been great about unlocking their phones with no charge and no hassle, which is one reason I've stayed with them. I travel to Europe and need an unlocked GSM phone for that. God knows what will happen to that policy when AT&T swallows T-Mobile. I really dislike the stupid branding that US carriers do to the phones and, worse, the OS on the phones.
    • by MrNemesis (587188)

      In the UK certainly, it's getting harder and harder to find locked phones. Myself and most people I know will provide their own phone (i.e. not from the carrier which means it's unlocked by default) and just buy a SIM-only deal. A quick stroll down any UK high street will take you past at least three garish LED signs loudly proclaiming mobile phone unlocking services for those unfortunate enough to have accepted a locked phone from a particular carrier. TTBOMK you're free to unlock a carrier-provided phone

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      I assumed my iPhone was unlockable...I thought I'd read that.

      But, still under contract..and really no other carrier I could go to with my GSM phone, so I don't see the advantage of me unlocking mine, unless I wanted to see it to someone foreign after I upgrade to another phone.

      More than likely..will give it to my Mom to replace her old dumb phone.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Here in Sweden it's possible to buy an unlocked phone and get a separate subscription that isn't tied to the phone.

      In the end the cost for the phone will be the same - or cheaper - if you buy an unlocked phone.

    • by Trevelyan (535381)
      A lot of European countries have Laws that say the phone must be unlocked after the initial contract is finished.

      My GF had a very old little Nokia feature phone, which she recently decided she wanted to give to her parents. The operator had to send it off and post it back to her, because its one of those Nokias that have no unlock code. However to her it was all free, regardless of her being a customer or not!

      AFAIK in Italy your not allowed to sell locked phones. A lot of the unlocked iPhones in the EU
  • by balzi (244602) <matthew@awma.auBALDWIN.com minus author> on Monday March 21, 2011 @01:34AM (#35556350)

    I do not think it means what you think it means!

    82.474% of the confusion here is due to the ambiguity of "locked" and "unlocked" - does it mean the keypad is (un)locked, or the phone is (not) locked to a certain carrier company?
    The results here might even be more meaningless than normal! wow!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by balzi (244602)
      um.. ok, after reading the "My phone would be nearly useless unhacked." post following mine, I think there's more to the unlocked/locked ambiguity than I thought.
      Maybe the next poll should be:
      I thought the previous poll was about..
      .. my keypad!
      .. my phone carrier!
      .. my phone's OS!
      .. my SIM PIN!
      .. my SD card write-protect switch!
      .. my Bluetooth Enable setting!
      .. Cowboy Neal only rings me on Wednesday's at 8pm after which I incinerate the phone, and buy a new one the next Wednesday.
    • by ndogg (158021)

      It would be a rather useless keypad (and phone) if the keypad wasn't even unlockable. I think for the slashdot crowd, the meaning of unlockable in this is pretty obvious.

    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:28AM (#35556818)

      I totally agree. I was first thinking of key-locking myself! Then later I thought "oh no this is /. must be about sim-locking".

      Here sim-locking is also non-existent. It's a non-issue. Locking through contracts is much more efficient (that "free" phone means advance payment of the phone followed by a discount on every month's bill - leave early and you have to pay early termination fee and lose the remaining discount).

      I miss an option that simply states "unlocked". Instead settled for the second, which is closest to the status. My phone has never been sim-locked. I didn't even buy it from my current carrier. Wouldn't get much discount either - the phone is worth some 2 1/2 years of monthly fees for one of my accounts, and more than five years for the other. For a relatively low-end smart phone.

      • by flonker (526111)

        My first thought was "jailbroken" but it seemed like an odd word choice.

        OS locked? Carrier-locked? Keypad locked? Anymore things that lock on a phone?

        • by robot256 (1635039)
          Are there any flip/slide phones with a mechanical lock of some sort? That would add a whole new dimension.
    • by paziek (1329929)

      Keyboard locked, but unlockable as an option... really? I actually thought that by "unlocked" they meant "jailbroken" so I voted as "unlocked". Luckily my carrier sold that phone as SIM unlocked from the start, so either way I casted correct vote.

    • by Per Wigren (5315)
      Exactly, at first I thought that it was about the lockscreen. And besides, does "unlockable" mean "not lockable" or "impossible to unlock"?
    • by agm (467017)

      I assumed it meant "keyboard locked". In my case I swipe to unlock. The phone even says "slide to unlock" - surely that's the "unlocking" this poll is talking about?

  • by pecosdave (536896) on Monday March 21, 2011 @01:36AM (#35556364) Homepage Journal

    I have an Evo, most awesome phone around, but with all the bull shit Sprint puts on there that isn't even removable with normal rooting and insist on running all the time the battery isn't good for more than about 8 hours if I leave it in my pocket and don't touch it factory configed. Once I pulled all of that useless crap off I can get several days of leave it in my pocket and don't mess with it standby, or a day of practical use.

    I tried to get my take on it front paged, but I guess it is a little central to myself [slashdot.org]. Really though, the legal aspect can't be ignored (not to mention the ethical one).

  • I have a HTC Desire HD. The battery usually lasts almost an entire day, so basically the thing is only "mobile" in the sense that you can carry it from one power socket to another.
    • by lakeland (218447)

      My old iphone 3g had a similar battery. I didn't find it much of a problem - you plug it in at work and at home, and it always had plenty of charge for trips in between.

    • Have you cleared the battery calibration data recently?

    • I have a HTC Desire HD. The battery usually lasts almost an entire day, so basically the thing is only "mobile" in the sense that you can carry it from one power socket to another.

      That's true for all smartphones. Name me a smartphone that lasts a week just like my old Nokia.

  • So neither locked or unlocked. ;)

  • My alarm clock isn't even a featureclock. It just wakes me up in the morning, times my food, and makes the occasional call or (very rarely) text.

    So...

    The last one?
  • by glwtta (532858)
    So if my phone wasn't (or couldn't) be locked to begin with, do I go with "not unlockable"? But that just sounds like it means "lockable".
  • Missing Option (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    N900 - Doesn't need to be unlocked :-)

  • I have something that barely qualifies as a smart phone (2.5G), and is on a plan without data. The interface is so terrible that I prefer to do math in my head rather than use its calculator app. While I'm sure I could unlock it, I see no point - even then, I won't be using it for anything other than voice and the occasional text.
  • I've never had a phone that was mine. They've always belonged to my employer. The nice thing is I've never had to pay for service or deal with phone companies. The crappy thing is I've always been given crappy phones on crappy carriers :(

  • I have a Hard line phone and a Cellular phone, which one are you inquiring about?

    Specifics Bob.... Specifics.

  • To be pedantic I wouldn't say mine is unlocked as there is no lock to lock or unlock. It's "SIM Free". :)

    Perhaps a more modern problem is software locking, and yes it's unlocked (jailbroken as people like to call it).

  • Old reliable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bucc5062 (856482) <bucc5062@gmaiMONETl.com minus painter> on Monday March 21, 2011 @09:43AM (#35558402)

    I looked for the option that said "Too dumb for a lock". That would be my phone. It's about two years old (ancient in phone aqe), it sends and receives SMS messages, it connects (most of the time) to a network, and its paid for. Every time I consider a smart phone (really? smart phone? Better to call it an App phone. More accurate) I read something in /. or other tech blogs that make me pause. Is it worth the cost, am I getting a better deal then what I got?

    The nice thing about my phone is that I don't worry about some company bricking it for some reason, I don't worry about mobile companies changing the data contract on the fly, and I don't worry about getting sucked into apps I don't need. I'll admit that I'm tempted by tools like maps and weather, but the rest is just eye candy, distraction. Y'all can stay on the lawn, just clean up after yourselves when you leave.

    • You kids and your fancy new "phones". My phone is over three years old, and it's built like a tank. I've dropped it on concrete and in puddles, and it still keeps going. I get a week on a charge. It doesn't have a single game on it, and I don't pay for SMS either. It's a *phone*.
    • by c_sd_m (995261)
      Ah, kids and their assumptions these days. My phone is closer to truly ancient, over 7 years old. It was a low-end model even then but it was originally locked (in Canada). A nice man on the internets gave me a code for a few bucks but the provider would've done it for a slightly larger fee. It's a pretty dumb phone though supposedly it could have some kind of Java apps, which never did work. There's a calendar, calculator, and a little video poker game on it but no color screen, camera, bluetooth, etc. Wha
  • I don't care that much. I'm on Sprint, anyway, so it's not like I can swap SIM cards around.

    Work phone isn't unlockable either, but since it's a Droid I could root it. Don't want to since it's not my property, though.

  • Just like every iPhone sold by Apple anywhere but the USA, mine is factory unlocked :D

    What's funny is now that ATT has bought T-Mobile, damn near every american GSM phone user, including the unlockers, are now on ATT anyways!
  • N900 - there is nothing called "lock" on this device. It comes "open" and no carrier can lock it. Fuck them, fuck their contract, fuck iphones, fuck androids.

    • by quenda (644621)

      I think the N900 must be the only phone out there which is incapable of being SIM-locked or network-locked.
      Any others?

    • I have an N900, I thought the poll was referring to the little slider button on the right side that "locks" the phone so that I don't accidentally push the touchscreen when it's in my pocket. So I chose the first option because the concept of having a phone "locked" in any other sense was completely foreign to me. Shows how much I pay attention.

      On a side note, what the hell am I supposed to do with my N900 now that T-mobile got bought by Satan in the states, er, I mean AT&T?
  • My bin of unlocked (or never locked) phones includes an iphone 3g, Garmin nuvifone G60, two Garmin nuvifone A50s, Garmin nuvifone A10, HTC Dream, Blackberry 7290, Nokia N900. Its really nice to just swap my SIM and go.

  • If any poll ever deserved an "omg ponies" option, it's this one. The poll is so ambiguous that I just went with the "phone?" option.
  • with a replaced ROM. Increased performance, much increased battery life, and more customizable. It's all good under the hood.

  • Not worth unlocking. Even if I could unlock my dumbphone, it wouldn't provide any more value than the $0+activation price I paid for it.
  • Also known as the "Clouseau" option.

  • I assume that this poll came about as a result of the T-mobile buyout.

    Indeed, T-Mobile makes it very easy to unlock your phone. I have an old G1 that I decided to keep for just a little bit longer for a trip to Europe until I decide what carrier I want to go with next. Unlocking it was as simple as calling up their help line, giving them my IMEI. They emailed me not just the unlock code but instructions on how to do the unlocking. All for free (I think, I haven't checked my bill yet).

    Sadly, I doubt this beh

    • It's definitely for free, if your account is in good standing. I've bought quite a few phones off of Ebay (I use AT&T but like T-Mobile phones better) and the savvier owners ship print-outs of the T-Mobile email saying how to unlock it.

  • It's not a phone. It's a handheld computer with a 3g/GSM module and a phone app.

  • My two [wikipedia.org] dumbphones [wikipedia.org] were built and sold before SIM locking [wikipedia.org] was widely used in Germany.

    The keyboard lock works fine, though, and the keyboard is locked most of the time to prevent pocket dialing [wikipedia.org].

    Tux2000

  • .... in a phone booth. Securely locked behind a dozen sliding steel doors.
  • but it's not mine, it won't do what I want it to or what the MFG says it will.

    Verizon Crippled it

  • I have a Sprint Pre, which is unlockable but I haven't done that. I'm happy with Pre the way it is ( software wise).
  • You Insensitive Clod!

  • My tally is 6 unlocked-at-purchase-time phones, 1 unlocked-after-purchase phone, 1 unlockable phone.

    2000: Ericsson T28. Sold unlocked on 2 year contract.
    2001: Ericsson A3618s: Sold unlocked outright.
    2002: Nokia 8310. Sold unlocked on 2 year contract.
    2004: Nokia 6280. Sold locked on 2 year contract, not unlockable (telco never bought unlocking code from Nokia)
    2008: iPhone 3G: Sold locked on 2 year contract ($7/mo in handset repayments), unlocked for free
    2009: iPhone 3GS: Bought unlocked from Sydney Apple Sto

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

 



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