It’s only been a week since President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that allows Americans to unlock their cell phones, but T-Mobile is already offering an easy way for its customers to do so.
The Bellevue-based company now has an app called “Device Unlock” that lets people unlock their devices to run on any wireless carrier. However, it seems like T-Mobile is slowly rolling out the new feature, as the app only works for those who own a lower-end Samsung Galaxy Avant.
Device Unlock lets users unlock the Galaxy Avant either permanently, or temporarily for those that are traveling abroad. In order to unlock devices, customers must have their phones paid off, and have been with T-Mobile for at least 40 days.
T-Mobile already allowed customers to unlock their phones, but a customer support call was required. The new app is yet another recent example of T-Mobile attempting to differentiate itself from the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as part of T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” strategy, which has included shifting customers away from the long-term contracts that have defined the wireless industry, in addition to offering early upgrades, free international data roaming, and paying early termination fees for people who switch to T-Mobile.
“We have completely reversed T-Mobile’s trajectory and started a revolution that is changing the rules in wireless,” CEO John Legere noted in the company’s most recent earnings report.
More recently, the company offered a deal that allowed people to test an iPhone on T-Mobile’s network for a week, and also launched a new program that gives customers unlimited music streaming without data limits.
Both Sprint and French-based telecom company Iliad have shown strong interest in acquiring T-Mobile, but last week it appeared that Sprint was giving up on its plan to swoop up the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier while T-Mobile turned down a proposal by Iliad.