..."it is illegal to unlock a subsidized phone or tablet that's bought through a U.S. carrier."
Buy the phone elsewhere. There are plenty of channels from which to buy a phone. If those are not enough, there will be more of them outside the USA. Due to this stupid ruling, more money and jobs will leave the country.
Do the USA a favor. Pick up your phone right now. Send hateful text messages to your senator. Leave millions of spiteful voicemails on your state representative's phone.
This is effectively unique to US markets. Most of Europe sells their phones unlocked - you can then pick your service.
I'll have to read the link to see how they justified it this time. Last I recall was that they protested unlocking under "trademark infringement," which was shot down on initial suit and appeal.
(EDIT - Doesn't change that locking a cellphone to a particular provider is just plain stupid... Probably the only reason it doesn't get tossed in monopoly grounds is because there are plenty of providers - but it's otherwise patently stupid. They're probably fighting back from having the "early termination fees" struck as illegal for some reason or other - I don't recall what.)
I have 2 iPhones that got the Factory Unlock once out of contract with AT&T they can send a unlock code,Both of mine came from a Pawn Shop & I had them Factory Unlocked & they are running T-Mobile PrePaid $ 50 a month unlimited.