Providers may receive more power in the next version of Android. In the source code of Android Q references have been found to advanced simlock options, with which, among other things, dualism smartphones can be blocked.
Providers can block dualism with Android Q
Providers can create a whitelist and blacklist in Android Q from which SIM cards are and are not allowed, as 9to5Google discovered. In the early source code of the following Android versions, the options have been applied recently.
For the first time, providers also influence what you put into the second slot of a dualism smartphone. In theory, with Android Q they can block dualism the functionality of all devices. Only two SIM cards from the same provider would then work.
Dualism smartphones have been a thorn in the eye for many providers. The fear is that many customers can try a new network in this way before they finally switch. You already see that fear in the offer from KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Although more and more dual sim smartphones are available in the United States, including popular devices such as the Galaxy S9, there are usually only single sim versions sold by the providers themselves.
Hardly any simlocks in the United States
In the Netherlands, simlocks are barely used by providers. Even if you order your smartphone directly from a provider, you can usually use a SIM card from another provider. So the question is whether KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone and others will use the new possibilities in Android Q.
In the past, simlocks were used more often, because providers thus claimed to be able to guarantee a lower price. If you buy a smartphone with simlock, you are stuck to the provider for the entire life of the device.
Because companies could count on regular customers for a longer period of time, you received an extra discount. Probably providers have now stopped using simlocks to prevent unnecessary irritation; at many (web) stores you can now find simlock free smartphones for even lower prices.
Google will probably release the first version of Android Q early in the spring. Then we know whether the new provider options are actually part of the operating system. The first version of Android Pie was released in March 2018; it is likely that we will hear more about Android Q in March or April 2019.