The nasty, vindictive and pointless practice of locking phones to specific carriers is crumbling in the UK. Apple have announced prices for unlocked phones for the first time – £499 for the 16GB and £599 for the 32GB. These are steep tags but nonetheless welcome by international travellers and free spirits who do not wish to be tied down to contracts. Presumably, however, contract phones will still be locked, yet totally without reason. As I've said many times, a phone discount in return for a contract is a fair swap, but locking serves no purpose. It's time the practice was banned by law.