Duncan Davidson, after researching the aforelinked news that the Verizon iPhone 5 ships with an unlocked GSM SIM tray, concludes it was mandated by the FCC:
Thank you FCC, or whatever Federal group it was that put this into
the regulations. I have to say that I’m sorta shocked that this
little bit of consumer protection snuck in to the US Code like
this. And really quite pleased. After all, there’s really no need
for carriers to lock down SIM slots when they’ve already got you
on the hook for a contract.
So, is this the reason Verizon is shipping the iPhone 5 unlocked?
It seems that way, but Verizon might just be being nice on this
one. Somehow, I doubt it.