Bell and Virgin are already selling a broad range of unlocked devices, an internal document obtained by MobileSyrup has revealed.
In order to organize for the December 1st, 2017 locking ban, the carrier and its sub-brand are requiring that all stores identify locked devices with a blue dot sticker by November 3rd.
In the internal memo, the company notes the following devices do not require a blue dot (and are thus already unlocked):
- All iPhones, iPads and Google devices
- Samsung Note 8
- BlackBerry KEYOne (upon completion of software update)
- Motorola Z2 Play
- ZTE Grand X View 2 Tablet
- Alcatel GoFlip and Pixi 5
- LG Q6
The carrier also states that all new mobile devices going forward will be shipped unlocked, meaning that the iPhone X bought from Bell or Virgin will be capable of joining another network straight out of the box.
As a quick refresher: beginning December 1st, 2017, all Canadian carriers are banned from locking mobile devices to their particular network. All devices purchased from any Canadian carrier must be unlocked, and customers that were sold locked phones must be provided with free unlocking upon request.
Now that the deadline is quickly approaching, carriers are readying themselves. Rogers confirmed to MobileSyrup in late September that both itself and and sub-brand Fido were waiving the unlock fee for all devices purchased through its channels at full cost. Freedom Mobile and Telus customers also reported that they were able to capitalize on free unlocking services ahead of the ban.
It’s likely that Bell’s and Virgin’s situation is not unique — both when it comes to using a sticker to indicate that the device is locked, and in selling a selection of newer devices already unlocked.
In fact, in response to an inquiry from MobileSyrup, east coast regional carrier Eastlink has confirmed that it is now selling some devices unlocked ahead of the ban. SaskTel notes that it currently sells several devices that are already unlocked, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, BlackBerry KEYone, LG Q6, LG V30, Samsung Note 8 and Samsung J3 Prime. Other carriers have yet to respond.
As of right now, the cost for unlocking a device at Bell is $50 CAD, the same price as its major competitors Rogers and Telus.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve purchased a device that came unlocked and if you were able to freely switch networks.
Update 30/10/17: Updated with comment from Eastlink.
Update 31/10/17: Updated with comment from SaskTel.