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80,258 News Articles

9 ways Apple, Microsoft and others make us mad

Junkware, exclusivity deals... we hate them all

While we love technology, sometimes its purveyors make our blood boil. We're talking about annoying policies and practices, whether a new PC stuffed with junkware or how we have to switch providers just so we can get a better mobile phone.

Exclusivity deals for mobile phones

Major offenders: Apple, O2

When Apple unveiled the iPhone, geek hearts everywhere sang in joyous anticipation-only to be crushed by the news that in the UK O2 would be the device's sole carrier for the foreseeable future. Apple's decision left Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3 customers with no iPhone. Perhaps that wasn't so surprising. Apple exclusivity has existed for years in the form of the iTunes store, which sells songs, TV shows, movies, and the like for playback only on Apple-branded hardware.

When we asked Apple reps why the company elected to stick with a single carrier when it could easily land more customers by supporting others, they referred us via email to an old press release that didn't answer the question. We received no reply, either, to our query on when Apple would allow iPhone buyers to use other carriers (without 'jailbreaking' their phones).

The fix: Rewrite the rules. Unlock your iPhone so that it will work with other GSM/GPRS/EDGE carriers. Adam Pash, coauthor of How to Do Everything with Your iPhone, recommends ZiPhone, an open-source utility that makes simple work of unlocking the handset. Once you've removed the O2 shackles, you can pop in a SIM card from any GSM carrier. Of course, you could always buy a phone from another manufacturer and stick two fingers up at Apple. Have you seen the latest BlackBerry phones? Most of them are available from multiple carriers.

NEXT PAGE: More tech policies that annoy us

  1. Software sunset policies
  2. Crapware on new PCs
  3. Exclusive mobile phone deals
  4. More tech policies that annoy us
  5. Software that encourages you to buy or upgrade
  6. Automated email responses
  7. Preferential support for business customers
  8. Four tech policies we love
  9. What's your most annoying... annoyance?

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