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.

iphone 4 side shot

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

QuarterSwede Avatar
169 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).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
striker33 Avatar
169 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pittpanthersfan Avatar
169 months ago
Great for international travelers...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
guru_ck Avatar
169 months ago
They are probably just trying to unload the remaining inventory before the iPhone 5 hits.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
grapes911 Avatar
169 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?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SPEEDwithJJ Avatar
164 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! :(
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
maxresdefault

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman...
wwdc 2024 main image feature

Apple Confirms Time for June 10 WWDC Keynote, Shares Full Schedule

Tuesday May 28, 2024 10:21 am PDT by
Apple today shared details on the schedule that it has prepared for the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place from June 10 to June 14. While WWDC always includes a keynote, Apple has confirmed that it will be held on June 10 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple is expected to announce iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, tvOS 18, watchOS 11, and visionOS 2, and at this time,...
Apple iPhone 15 Pro lineup Action button 230912

Apple Green-Lights iPhone 16 Pro Display Production

Tuesday May 28, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
Samsung Display and LG Display have been granted approval for mass production of OLED screens for Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models, Korea's The Elec reports. Both suppliers apparently received approval earlier this month, paving the way for the commencement of mass production of screens for the iPhone 16 Pro models. While Samsung Display will supply OLED screens for all four iPhone 16...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...