Rumor: Unlocked iPhone 4 to be made available in the USA on Wednesday

iphone

If you want to buy Apple’s iPhone in America, then you have two choices: AT&T or Verizon. This isn’t the case in Europe where in many countries every operator, large and small, has the iPhone on offer or better yet you can buy it straight from Apple and just shove your own SIM card inside. That’s soon to change if the latest rumors floating around the net are to be believed. Apparently this Wednesday Apple will start selling the iPhone 4 straight to consumers, unlocked, in the good ol’ USA. Now before you get all excited, remember that an unlocked iPhone is gong to cost you an arm and a leg. For the sake of comparison, in Italy you can buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple for €660, which comes out to around $940. That’s a lot of money for most people to swallow in one go, and unlike Europe, where your phone bill is a fraction of what it would be in America, you’re not going to be saving all that much on your monthly bill if you decide to forgo a subsidy.

What you do gain is freedom to upgrade your device whenever you want to, but both AT&T and Verizon already offer you the chance to sign up for a month to month plan when purchasing an iPhone, albeit you’ll have to pay that previously mentioned high upfront fee. And don’t think that buying an unlocked iPhone is going to make tethering easier since AT&T can’t block you. They can just as easily detect that you’re tethering and send you a nasty email saying that you’re going to get billed an exorbitant sum of money unless you pay up.

We can’t really tell what the pros are to buying the iPhone unlocked. It’s already free from operator bloatware, and all iPhones, whether they’re sold unlocked or via an operator, get software updates the same day, so … are you interested in going unlocked? And if so why?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF57XYNNGLSVOBP2YUHI2J7VFU Richard

    What a negative dumb story. This is no use to me at all. 

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      thanks for taking the time out of your day to let us know how little impact we’ve had on your life

  • Noel

    Just curious what the price will be here in the US. If the price is within the realm of other unlocked or full priced highend Android phone then it makes sense for those who are interesred in iPhones. I am all Android..waiting eagerly for the new Nexus phone or any major dual or quad core popping up around December/January. Will be interesting to see how good the iPhone 5 will be. Exciting times ahead for ANDROID and IOS fans

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      As per the article, we’ll find out (hopefully!) on Wednesday.

  • Red

    what is relevance of “unlocked” since in US, the carriers use different technologies (GSM vs. CDMA) and the two are not interchangeable?  or are you suggesting that Apple is going to make dual-mode CDMA/GSM “world phone” capable? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sang.chun1 Sang Chun

    unlock iphone humm….this means iphone for all carrier in us?? wish to use iphone with sprint anytime anymobile plan. 

  • http://twitter.com/Niilolainen Niilo

    This could really be interesting for those of us who have no choice as to which cellphone we use– we’re just issued Blackberries from work.

    If the pricing on the unlocked iPhone is somewhere near reasonable I could just take my T Mobile SIM out of my BB and stick it in an iPhone. That would be nice.

  • jerome

    Stefan,

    Now look at this calculation :
    Unlimited call, txt, 5Gb data with AT&T, 100 txt international : $140 per month
    Unlimited call, txt (worldwide), 100Mb of data using H2Owireless SIM : $49.99 per month
    Unlimited call, txt (worldwide), data using  Straight talk SIM : $45 per month

    With Straight talk you will be saving $95 per month. Let’s assume the unlock iPhone will be $700. After 8 months you will cover the cost of the unlock iPhone. Then you will save $95 per month for 16 months. Total : $1520.

    In conclusion by using a straight talk prepaid sim and buying an unlock iPhone you will save over 24 months $1520 vs. AT&T.

    Now let’s talk about roaming fees…

    Last time I went to
    Europe I had $2341 in roaming fees with AT&T. With a prepaid SIM I
    cut my bill to $587. Cost saving of $1754.

  • Anonymous

    This could be good for people who travel outside the US to avoid being raped by AT&T on roaming charges. but it won’t make much difference inside the US.  The two national GSM carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile, and the iPhone 4 doesn’t support T-Mobile’s 3G network (AWS).  Buyers will be right back on AT&T if they want 3G data, and at least with my unlocked 4 from HK, AT&T wanted to charge me the inflated “iPhone Rate”. (As if somehow data to my N8 is cheaper than to an iPhone.)  Maybe prices will be cheaper through an MVNO, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AT&T blocked or limited data for iPhones on MVNOs if they saw too many of them.  (This is the company caught deliberately degrading call quality to get customers to sign up to “new plans” which would fix the problem.)

  • Anonymous

    This could be good for people who travel outside the US to avoid being raped by AT&T on roaming charges. but it won’t make much difference inside the US.  The two national GSM carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile, and the iPhone 4 doesn’t support T-Mobile’s 3G network (AWS).  Buyers will be right back on AT&T if they want 3G data, and at least with my unlocked 4 from HK, AT&T wanted to charge me the inflated “iPhone Rate”. (As if somehow data to my N8 is cheaper than to an iPhone.)  Maybe prices will be cheaper through an MVNO, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AT&T blocked or limited data for iPhones on MVNOs if they saw too many of them.  (This is the company caught deliberately degrading call quality to get customers to sign up to “new plans” which would fix the problem.)

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