PCCW Ltd. applied to Hong Kong’s High Court for a judicial review to investigate the fact that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 is blocked from connecting to its 4G network, as well as that of China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL). However, the popular smartphone can connect to competitors’ networks.
Subscribers are restricted through SIM cards that are programmed to work with specific networks. According to Bloomberg, “the regulator had taken too long to conduct the probe and had therefore failed in its statutory duty to take action, PCCW said in the court filings.”
There’s no question that being unable to offer 4G to iPhone users is a real problem for the carriers, which could see would-be customers defect to competitors without that problem. Conversely, though, customers already committed to those carriers for one reason or another may be turned off the iPhone, opting instead for phones with 4G access. The only winners in this situation, if it isn’t remedied, are competing carriers and smartphones.
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