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?