Apple to Offer Unlocked U.S. iPhone 4s Starting at $649?

Monday June 13, 2011 7:15 PM PDT by Arnold Kim
We're not sure the motivation behind it, but it appears that Apple will be launching unlocked version of the iPhone 4 to Apple Retail stores sometime this week. The rumors started with some confusion over the weekend when there was a claim that Apple would finally be releasing the new MacBook Airs this Wednesday.


As it turns out, there was a misinterpretation with the parts numbers that Apple sent to retail stores. The part numbers actually correspond to unlocked iPhone 4s, not new MacBook Airs. Apple has sold unlocked iPhone 4s internationally but never in the U.S. Unlocked mobile phones are simply less in demand in the U.S. due to the fragmentation in service amongst U.S. carriers.

"Unlocked" simply means that a mobile phone is not tied to any particular carrier. In Europe, customers can buy an Unlocked phone and easily switch between carriers by simply replacing the SIM card. In the U.S., users could theoretically switch between AT&T and T-Mobile in this manner for voice calls, but 3G service is not compatible between the two carriers. This is what makes the sale of unlocked iPhone 4s in the U.S. so strange.

But the word we've received is that they've shipped to Apple Stores this week and that they will be priced at $649 and $749 for 16GB and 32GBs, respectively. The higher price reflects the lack of long term contract that normally accompanies a mobile phone purchase as well as the unlocking.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 45 months ago
Honestly, I'd rather have at&t/Verizon offer an unlocking service when the contract is up (and they've more than recouped the subsidy).
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 45 months ago

That price point is ridiculous. An iPad sells for 499 and I would expect AT&T to pay at most 100 for the phones in whole sale. It's another slap for US customers. Just came back from Germany and the iPhone sells there subsidized for 1 Euro. Flat fee for mobile and landlines + text + internet is 50 - 80 bucks.

600+ is just too high and a rip-off.

Just my 2 cent.
Dave

The US gets EVERYTHING dirt cheap compared to the rest of the world.

An unlocked iPhone in the UK goes for the equivalent of $820, and for substantially more in the rest of the EU and other areas of the world.

How anyone can complain about that price point when they'd be spending a fortune on a AT&T contract or a Verizon contract that gives you a crappy CDMA phone is beyond me.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 45 months ago
They are probably just trying to unload the remaining inventory before the iPhone 5 hits.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 45 months ago

We're not sure the motivation behind it . . .

My thought exactly. Why now? For what purpose? Will it support T-Mobile 3G frequencies?
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 45 months ago
Great for international travelers...
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 45 months ago

That price point is ridiculous. An iPad sells for 499 and I would expect AT&T to pay at most 100 for the phones in whole sale. It's another slap for US customers. Just came back from Germany and the iPhone sells there subsidized for 1 Euro. Flat fee for mobile and landlines + text + internet is 50 - 80 bucks.

600+ is just too high and a rip-off.

Just my 2 cent.
Dave


Those are almost on par with the prices AT&T pays for the phones. You can buy a phone from AT&T now without a contract, and it's about $600 bucks. When $200 is a subsidized price on a device, that means they're paying quite a bit for that device.

A better argument would be looking at the price of an iPod Touch vs. those prices. R&D is tagged in there, but we're not talking about a huge amount of other components that it should be more than twice the price of an iPod touch. Also don't forget the iPhone 1 did not sell with a subsidy and sold at a VERY high retail.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago
apple really needs to fix up their conversation rate.

In Australia for a 8gb iphone 4 its $679 AUD (thats $702 usd)

its $649 usd ($627 aud) for 16gb! how does that work?! :mad:
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

It depends on which US state you bought the iPhone from in order to get the $649 USD as the final price out the door for the 16GB unlocked version.

In Texas (where I'm located), the sales tax here is 8.25% & with the unlocked iPhones only available directly from Apple, the final cost for me if I'm buying a 16GB unlocked iPhone 4S will be $702.54 USD ($649 + $53.54). Therefore, in my case, the price isn't any much different if I buy the iPhone 4S here in the US or in Australia. ;)


Its $702 (USD) for an 8gb iphone 4 in australia, your talking about a 16gb iphone 4S
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

Its $702 (USD) for an 8gb iphone 4 in australia, your talking about a 16gb iphone 4S


Sorry about that. My bad. :( :o

For some odd reason, I missed that part where you mentioned 8GB.... :o Me => FAIL! :(
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

apple really needs to fix up their conversation rate.

In Australia for a 8gb iphone 4 its $679 AUD (thats $702 usd)

its $649 usd ($627 aud) for 16gb! how does that work?! :mad:


They sell a lot more phones in the US.
Rating: 1 Votes

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