Over the weekend, 9 to 5 Mac reported that Apple retail stores are now able to unlock any AT&T iPhone 4 purchased at the unsubsidized "no commitment" prices of $649/$749, offering Apple retail stores the ability to sell unlocked iPhones even if they have run out of the models specifically set aside for sale as unlocked devices. Apple began selling unlocked iPhone 4s in the United States for the first time earlier this month.
But according to a document claimed to be from internal Apple sales training for the release of unlocked iPhone 4s and sent to MacRumors, the move is actually a broader one: All AT&T iPhone 4s sold at the no commitment pricing now automatically come unlocked, even if sold with an AT&T micro-SIM.
There are two ways customers can buy an unlocked iPhone 4 at the Apple Store.
1. Buy an unlocked iPhone without a micro-SIM card inside for $649 (16GB) or $749 (32GB). Here are the new part numbers:
- MC603LL/A iPhone 4 Black 16GB
- MC604LL/A iPhone 4 White 16GB
- MC605LL/A iPhone 4 Black 32GB
- MC606LL/A iPhone 4 White 32GB
This is the best option for a customer who will not be using AT&T.
These customers will need to contact their GSM carrier of choice to obtain a micro-SIM card and wireless service. Do not hand out micro-SIM cards to customers purchasing iPhone 4 without a micro- SIM card.
2. Buy any iPhone 4 with an AT&T micro-SIM card inside at full price. These models will also be unlocked whether the customer signs up for an AT&T service plan or chooses the Device Only purchase option.
Note: All devices sold at the unsubsidized prices of $649 and $749 will be unlocked and can be activated and used on supported GSM carrier networks.
The remainder of the 18-page document covers such topics as the use of a "floater" micro-SIM to activate unlocked iPhones and provide Personal Setup for customers buying devices without an AT&T service plan, purchase limits (five per transaction), exchange processes, and the use of queue cards to manage distribution if customer demand exceeds supply.