PDA

View Full Version : Apple to Offer Unlocked U.S. iPhone 4s Starting at $649?




MacRumors
Jun 13, 2011, 08:15 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/13/apple-to-offer-unlocked-u-s-iphone-4s-starting-at-649/)


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 (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/11/new-macbook-air-due-this-wednesday/) with some confusion over the weekend when there was a claim that Apple would finally be releasing the new MacBook Airs this Wednesday.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/iphone_4_side_shot.jpg


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.

Article Link: Apple to Offer Unlocked U.S. iPhone 4s Starting at $649? (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/13/apple-to-offer-unlocked-u-s-iphone-4s-starting-at-649/)



QuarterSwede
Jun 13, 2011, 08:20 PM
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).

grapes911
Jun 13, 2011, 08:23 PM
We're not sure the motivation behind it . . .My thought exactly. Why now? For what purpose? Will it support T-Mobile 3G frequencies?

bohbot16
Jun 13, 2011, 08:23 PM
I wonder if the locked phones were a part of their iPhone 4 deal with AT&T and had a 1 year term.

atomwork
Jun 13, 2011, 08:24 PM
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

guru_ck
Jun 13, 2011, 08:25 PM
They are probably just trying to unload the remaining inventory before the iPhone 5 hits.

cloroxbleach4
Jun 13, 2011, 08:26 PM
Is it the iPhone 4S or the plural form?

bruinsrme
Jun 13, 2011, 08:28 PM
Is this a result of the ATT CEO hnking the company was already selling them?

appleguy123
Jun 13, 2011, 08:28 PM
What other networks will this support? T-mobile edge only? What about Sprint?

QuarterSwede
Jun 13, 2011, 08:29 PM
Is it the iPhone 4S or the plural form?
Plural. Confusing I know.

haruhiko
Jun 13, 2011, 08:30 PM
iPhone has been unlocked forever in some markets like Hong Kong and the prices have been about US$640 (HK$4988) and US$754 (HK$5888) (although the subsidised price is as low as $0).

BenRoethig
Jun 13, 2011, 08:35 PM
I don't know if this makes much sense right now. Its not like you can take your iPhone to a carrier other than AT&T unlocked or not. The vast majority of the handful of the other GSM carriers are using T-Mobile's band which is not supported. I could see this in a couple years when everyone is using LTE, but not now.

tgsmith98
Jun 13, 2011, 08:35 PM
Would rather have the new MacBook Air come out this week. Who cares about an unlocked iPhone 4? Its not worth using on T-Mo Edge anyway.

pittpanthersfan
Jun 13, 2011, 08:40 PM
Great for international travelers...

Nermal
Jun 13, 2011, 08:41 PM
This could be good for frequent travellers that may not wish to buy an iPhone overseas.

Edit: Doh! See above... :p

Analog Kid
Jun 13, 2011, 08:43 PM
For those who travel internationally, this is a boon. My next iPhone will be unlocked.

Yes, it's expensive, but this is what the rest of the world has been paying for their iPhones and it's probably close to what AT&T has been paying. If you spend enough time traveling and your phone is locked to AT&T, you'll almost certainly want a second phone for travel so you can put a domestic SIM in it. Then you have to deal with the fact that your travel phone isn't your usual phone...

Edit: Doh!, Doh!

fkhan3
Jun 13, 2011, 08:45 PM
About time! More power to us consumers. Presently its not fair that a customer pays full price and still ends up with a locked phone.

If iPhone 5 is a true world phone, factory unlocked one is the way to go for world travelers.

plumosa
Jun 13, 2011, 08:46 PM
I personally can't wait because the pricepoint is even lower (with lower taxes as well) than here in Canada. I'll probably pick one up the next time I come down :) And this is also a boon for people that travel internationally so they don't have to pay the high international rates charged by AT&T.

tb2me
Jun 13, 2011, 08:50 PM
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

Think again: the parts *alone* cost Apple just under $200. While nobody knows exactly how much AT&T pays for each iPhone, it is significantly more than what they charge the end-user signing up for a new contract; that's why it's called a subsidy. They are selling you a product for significantly less than they paid for it so that they can make money off of you using their services.

rmanbike
Jun 13, 2011, 09:04 PM
quote"They are selling you a product for significantly less than they paid for it so that they can make money off of you using their services."

Thats the key, they are making loads of money off you by locking you into a contract, T-mobile has a plan for $30.00 a month 1500min talk n text and 30 mb data, more than enough for me, plus international calling n texting. A similar plan with the other 2 would costs 40.00 more a month, so Im easily paying for my iphone I purchased in SG for $650.00 last year. And I can use it where ever I travel using local carriers at a tenth costs of roaming.

Thats a no-brainer!

elchuster
Jun 13, 2011, 09:05 PM
Can I cancel my ATT data plan and only use wifi? Otherwise, what's the use?

I thought international travellers can already call up ATT and get their iPhones to work in other countries.

RafaT97
Jun 13, 2011, 09:22 PM
In the country where I live in South America you can get an iPhone 4 32gb from our "Att" to say that way. without a contract for about 600$. So i think the price is way too high....

Also i dont agree with the idea of an Iphone 4 being more expensive than an ipad 2

rmanbike
Jun 13, 2011, 09:23 PM
Can I cancel my ATT data plan and only use wifi? Otherwise, what's the use?

I thought international travellers can already call up ATT and get their iPhones to work in other countries.

Its called international roaming at about 2.00 + a min and doesnt work in every country.

iRobby
Jun 13, 2011, 09:24 PM
QUESTION:

Not understanding the purpose of releasing the iPhone 4 UNLOCKED since 3G service not compatible on same phone by both carriers brings my question:

"Once the next generation iPhone world phone compatible for both carriers CDMA/GSM comes out in September will the prices go up like in Europe since it will be unlocked?"

striker33
Jun 13, 2011, 09:25 PM
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.
DaveThe 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.

ktowe
Jun 13, 2011, 09:25 PM
Damn it! I and my wife each just bought one from a London apple store last month :(

Trigger23
Jun 13, 2011, 09:31 PM
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

That's where you're wrong. AT&T buys iPhones at or near full retail price and then recoup their expenses by having customers cover $200-$300 up front in addition to signing a 2-year contract worth thousands of dollars.

For instance, on a 5-person family plan, I pay $123/mo for two of the 5 lines, both with unlimited text and data, and limited minutes (700/month shared across the 5 phone lines). With my 2-year commitment to AT&T, my portion of the plan amounts to $2952 total contract value. That's $2152 after you consider my initial investment of $400 out of the $1200 retail value of two iPhones.

That's the entire point of subsidized phones. Look at any top-shelf smart phone and what the cost of the phone is when you purchase them sans-service. You'll consistently find yourself in the $500+ price point. Buying them subsidized via a long-term commitment to a phone company puts the price within reach of far more consumers than only offering them at the unlocked price alongside no-commitment service plans.

Mak47
Jun 13, 2011, 09:40 PM
Apple stores see A LOT of traffic. With the summer travel season starting up this makes perfect sense.

There are several types of customers who will want these in the US stores:

1. International visitors to the US, who don't live near Apple stores at home.

2. US residents who travel overseas often.

3. AT&T customers who are not eligible to upgrade--why not get an unlocked version? Just in case.

--I think it has most to do with international visitors though. Particularly students who are here to study. They need to replace phones just like everybody else, but a locked, US only phone makes no sense for them.

Menopause
Jun 13, 2011, 09:42 PM
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

I live in Germany and you must be joking. First of all, when you say "bucks", you mean Euros, not US Dollars. Telekom is selling LOCKED iPhone 4's here for €1 with contracts that cost 90 Euros a month, 24 months a contract. That's €2160 for 24 months. That's US$ 3110 for 2 years.

http://www.t-mobile.de/iphone/tarife/0,18383,22271-_,00.html

Please think before you write.

immortalix
Jun 13, 2011, 10:21 PM
iPhones cost less than $200 to manufacture. I understand recouping the costs of R&D, marketing, inventory, and all that good stuff, but a 200+% gross profit is ridiculous.

eastercat
Jun 13, 2011, 10:24 PM
My thought exactly. Why now? For what purpose? Will it support T-Mobile 3G frequencies?It's not built to support t-mobile's 3g.

Can I cancel my ATT data plan and only use wifi? Otherwise, what's the use?

I thought international travellers can already call up ATT and get their iPhones to work in other countries.No, but you can sign up with t-mobile, who doesn't require data.
If you don't mind paying $2/minute and $0.02/KB, then roaming is fine. If you're not okay with being ripped off, then you want to use a local sim.

khunsanook
Jun 13, 2011, 10:38 PM
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).

Seriously. Why can't consumers do what they want with a phone they've more than purchased once the contract is finished? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think only Japan and the US have these ridiculous rules.

jav6454
Jun 13, 2011, 10:46 PM
Price is high, but comparable to other unlocked smartphones. That said, with unlocked devices sold in the US, the whole point of unlocking and jailbreaking boils down to just customization, emulators, allowing everything through 3G, and free tethering.

Not much incentive left now... the main one is almost gone.

benhollberg
Jun 13, 2011, 11:35 PM
Unlocked iPhone 4s, hopefully iPhone 5 as well. I can't wait to start to scalp them!

42streetsdown
Jun 13, 2011, 11:54 PM
All iPhones need to come unlocked subsidized or not. If you buy a subsidized iPhone for $200 who cares if it's unlocked? You still are now on a contract that you still have to pay. If AT&T subsidizes your phone and you choose to use another service, AT&T still get's their money because you have a contract with them. Locked phones are stupid and should be illegal in the US like they are elsewhere.

iPhysicist
Jun 14, 2011, 12:57 AM
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

No. It's int the price range of 65US$ and you will get the phone for 119US$. Furthermore your data flat rate has a cap at 300MB and then is GPRS flat. Great! Your voice flat has a cap at 120 min. and your sms flat does not exist at all.

caspersoong
Jun 14, 2011, 01:13 AM
I wonder which carriers will most benefit from this. Seems that AT&T has loss its reign forever.

Carlanga
Jun 14, 2011, 01:18 AM
I wonder which carriers will most benefit from this. Seems that AT&T has loss its reign forever.

pft is just that there is no more a real competitor for GSM in the U.S. AT&T bought T-Mo so when the merger finalizes there will be only AT&T left as the only big boy of GSM in the U.S.

menomano
Jun 14, 2011, 01:29 AM
ATT's data+voice is just too expensive for me. That's why I have a factory unlocked 4 with T-Mobile's prepaid.I dont make many calls and pretty much anywhere I need to go there's wifi so that works well for me.
I hope they will have unlocked 5s available too.

Oz.
Jun 14, 2011, 01:54 AM
If the next iPhone will have all this frequency bands, will work anywhere in the world.


2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network UMTS/HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100




CDMA phones suck hard.

robpow
Jun 14, 2011, 02:02 AM
An unlocked iPhone in the UK goes for the equivalent of $820Actually it's 510 which is 425 without sales tax or $695.

Lord Appleseed
Jun 14, 2011, 03:21 AM
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.
The costs of living and everything else are higher in Europe than in the US, but we also have more income per month. So it stays more or less the same when directly compared.

davelikesmacs
Jun 14, 2011, 09:47 AM
wow, i'm really surprised by some of these comments, but perhaps I shouldn't be? I wonder how many of the Americans on here posting there is no use to an unlocked phone even have a passport?!

And the number of travellers through the US is HUGE, and the phones are WAY cheaper in the US than other places so for travellers this really is a boon!

For instance in Australia and unlocked iPhone 4G from Apple costs $999AUD including GST (~$1064USD), roughly 25% more expensive than the price point released in the States!

MacAddict1978
Jun 14, 2011, 12:30 PM
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.

2 Replies
Jun 14, 2011, 05:29 PM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/13/apple-to-offer-unlocked-u-s-iphone-4s-starting-at-649/)


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.

Article Link: Apple to Offer Unlocked U.S. iPhone 4s Starting at $649? (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/13/apple-to-offer-unlocked-u-s-iphone-4s-starting-at-649/)
(emphasis mine)

You guys don't understand expanding user-base? Or profit?
Seriously??
Apple wants to bite into the chunks of change people make from unlocking iPhones.

But seriously... isn't there a bill in the works that states that US phone manufacturers must not lock handsets to a particular network?
(That users should be allowed to move their handset from one network to another competitor's compatible network if they please.)
I thought I read something like that a year or two ago... :-/

ThomasJL
Jun 14, 2011, 07:10 PM
My thought exactly. Why now? For what purpose?

For traveling internationally, using local SIM cards, and not having to either:

1) Pay AT&T's huge international roaming fees and international long distance rates, all while foreign locals are less inclined to call you due to having to pay long distance rates to dial an American number.

2) Hack your iPhone in order to unlock it and then be left out of future iOS software updates that may brick your phone, as well as having your warranty and Apple Care voided.

grapes911
Jun 14, 2011, 07:20 PM
For traveling internationally, using local SIM cards, and not having to either:

1) Pay AT&T's huge international roaming fees and international long distance rates, all while foreign locals are less inclined to call you due to having to pay long distance rates to dial an American number.

2) Hack your iPhone in order to unlock it and then be left out of future iOS software updates that may brick your phone, as well as having your warranty and Apple Care voided.

Everyone knows why customers would want an unlocked phone. That wasn't the question. Why would Apple release it now? They've keep the iPhone locked down in the US for years now. Why unlock it now? What is their purpose for doing so? It's not just because customers want it. We've wanted it for years.

ukricardo
Jun 15, 2011, 10:26 AM
Hiya,

Not sure how it works in the US but here in the UK if you have your own handset, a network will sell you a service plan at a discounted rate (SIM Only) which requires only a 30 day commitment.

For an iPhone these can be from as little as 15 ($24) including around 500 minutes (remember incoming calls are free in the UK), unlimited text, 3G data and WIFI. You can get even better discount on a 12 month SIM only by either increasing the amount of minutes and/or data or reducing the cost by 5.

These usually include a lot more minutes/data/text than a standard 24 month plan with the equivelent costing around 35 to 45 depending on the network.

Ricardo

aldorande
Oct 23, 2011, 09:32 PM
where do I buy an unlocked iPhone 4S now?
I am leaving the US on the 26th so I'd better be quick.

I checked Apple website for retail store in NYC and were unsucessful.

jmpnop
Oct 23, 2011, 10:56 PM
where do I buy an unlocked iPhone 4S now?
I am leaving the US on the 26th so I'd better be quick.

I checked Apple website for retail store in NYC and were unsucessful.

Check the date of the thread before posting. Unlocked iPhone 4S will be released in November.

afroAnt
Oct 23, 2011, 11:38 PM
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:

AlvinNguyen
Oct 23, 2011, 11:52 PM
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.

SPEEDwithJJ
Oct 24, 2011, 12:31 AM
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:

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. ;)

thewitt
Oct 24, 2011, 02:36 AM
iPhones cost less than $200 to manufacture. I understand recouping the costs of R&D, marketing, inventory, and all that good stuff, but a 200+% gross profit is ridiculous.

Why? Profit is why a company is in business. Make a product that is in demand and sell it at a profit.

Does the company you work for not want to maximize profits?

Comments like this are simply ignorance speaking.

Don't buy an iPhone if you think it's over priced. There are hundreds of options.

afroAnt
Oct 24, 2011, 04:05 AM
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

SPEEDwithJJ
Oct 24, 2011, 02:43 PM
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! :(

afroAnt
Oct 25, 2011, 03:43 AM
Sorry about that. My bad. :( :o

For some odd reason, I missed that part where you mentioned 8GB.... :o Me => FAIL! :(

No worries :)

swingerofbirch
Oct 25, 2011, 03:49 AM
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:

The prices of things in Australia are generally higher than in the US. I don't know why, but I know it's not just Apple:

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp