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ChakaChaka
Jun 14, 2011, 02:54 AM
$50.00 more than carrier locked iPhone 4's.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC603LL/A?mco=MjI4NTM2NTM

Wonder if this means new iPhone will be unlocked as well



Chundles
Jun 14, 2011, 02:56 AM
Welcome to the club.

mrkramer
Jun 14, 2011, 02:59 AM
Yep it will be available unlocked. I just hope it will be a world phone and unlocked so I can use it on Verizon in the US and GSM carriers when I'm outside of the US.

macingman
Jun 14, 2011, 03:02 AM
Wow amazing. Cheaper than in Australia too. Will be buying iPhone 5 in the USA if it's cheaper over there.

MacRumors
Jun 14, 2011, 03:12 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/14/apple-now-selling-unlocked-iphone-4-in-u-s/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/unlocked-500x128.png

(http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/unlocked.png)
As we had reported (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/13/apple-to-offer-unlocked-u-s-iphone-4s-starting-at-649/), Apple has started selling unlocked (GSM) iPhone 4 devices in the U.S. early this morning. If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide.Pricing starts at $649 for a 16GB model and $749 for 32GB model. Both White and Black models are offered.

The main advantage of buying an unlocked iPhone is for international travel. The U.S. only has one network (AT&T) which fully supports all the features of an unlocked GSM iPhone. T-Mobile is compatible with voice calls, but the 3G network is not compatible.

Article Link: Apple Now Selling Unlocked iPhone 4 in U.S. (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/14/apple-now-selling-unlocked-iphone-4-in-u-s/)

EricNau
Jun 14, 2011, 03:16 AM
I wonder when (if) AT&T will offer to unlock iPhones of customers who have fulfilled their 2-year contract.

unlimitedx
Jun 14, 2011, 03:18 AM
great news!

hellomoto4
Jun 14, 2011, 03:19 AM
So the USA is finally catching up to Australia on something! We've had unlocked phones for sale since the 3G ;)

cffry
Jun 14, 2011, 03:20 AM
oh snap.

ann713
Jun 14, 2011, 03:21 AM
Darn, just purchased full retail several weeks ago. I'm gonna attempt to exchange.

Mr. Gates
Jun 14, 2011, 03:23 AM
Phone contracts are like abusive relationships.

rj86
Jun 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?


Always have, always will.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
I wonder when (if) AT&T will offer to unlock iPhones of customers who have fulfilled their 2-year contract.
I think they have to do that by law, but I'm not sure. At least, here in Europe, it works that way (except we got 1 year contracts).


Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Apple makes deals with carriers, so carriers sell it for much lower, and ultimately that's how they lure you into contract subsidized phones.

boss.king
Jun 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

What did you expect it to cost?

Night Spring
Jun 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
Wow. Finally.

mdgm
Jun 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
So the USA is finally catching up to Australia on something! We've had unlocked phones for sale since the 3G ;)
Yeah.

And down here we can have iPhones bought on a contract unlocked. My iPhone 3G is a second hand iPhone that was unlocked. I'm running it on a different carrier to the original owner.

OllyW
Jun 14, 2011, 03:26 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Yes, they are £510 and £612 in the UK (including 20% VAT) so you are getting it cheap in the US. :D

Bumflake
Jun 14, 2011, 03:26 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Here in Holland we pay the same prices in euros... so they're actually cheaper than elsewhere I think.

Edmoil12
Jun 14, 2011, 03:28 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Sadly, yes. Smartphones cost hundreds of dollars and although we get bombarded with ads for $0 or $99 phones, it is all based on the price of the phone minus a heavy subsidy (paid back over the term of the contract).

haushinka
Jun 14, 2011, 03:29 AM
I wonder when (if) AT&T will offer to unlock iPhones of customers who have fulfilled their 2-year contract.

i'm leaving the country and paid at&t $205 in ETF fees. they wouldn't unlock it for me.

reactions
Jun 14, 2011, 03:31 AM
Wow about time; think how the eBay market just tanked for unlocked iPhone 4s

tom613
Jun 14, 2011, 03:33 AM
Unlocked iPhone4 cost here:

16GB CHF 769.-
32GB CHF 899.-

in USD: 916.-/1'070.-

so for us swiss, this is VERY cheap...

MrSmith
Jun 14, 2011, 03:35 AM
When I go to Sydney in the summer I'm going to use Skype over the hotel wi-fi. Surely a better option.

Adidas Addict
Jun 14, 2011, 03:35 AM
£395 + Sales tax in case any of you brits going to Florida/Vegas/NY/LA etc were wondering what it works out at.

iPhysicist
Jun 14, 2011, 03:35 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?
Actually its cheap. You'll pay more for the subsidized phone in the end. It has been that way since subsidiaries have been established...

In Europe its store price is the same numbers with an € at the end... at the moment real exchange course is 1,4458US$ : 1€... so from my point of view it is cheap... this will sweeten every europeans trip to the US ;)

chrono1081
Jun 14, 2011, 03:36 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Yes. Phones in the U.S. (and some other places) are usually offered under subsidy. The carriers take a big hit by selling you the phone for cheap, but they make it up on the price of the contract.

In many places the iPhone goes for much more. My friends in Brazil, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo all paid over $1000 for their iPhones.

jmpnop
Jun 14, 2011, 03:39 AM
Great:apple:

ImperialX
Jun 14, 2011, 03:40 AM
Too bad it's cheaper on eBay.

xUKHCx
Jun 14, 2011, 03:43 AM
When I go to Sydney in the summer I'm going to use Skype over the hotel wi-fi. Surely a better option.

In this very limited example yes if you are in the hotel, but whatabout when you are not.

£395 + Sales tax in case any of you brits going to Florida/Vegas/NY/LA etc were wondering what it works out at.

That is not too bad. :cool:

ThE.MeSsEnGeR
Jun 14, 2011, 03:43 AM
[wishful thinking]

do u think Apple will let iOS 5 unlock all locked iPhones already purchased prior to this announcement?

[/wishful thinking]

fermat-au
Jun 14, 2011, 03:43 AM
So the USA is finally catching up to Australia on something! We've had unlocked phones for sale since the 3G ;)
I was going to mark a post along the same lines: Nice to see the US catch up to us in Australia, but you beat me to it.

The main reason what we in Australia have had unlocked phones from the start if the tougher consumer protection laws here in Australia.

NightFox
Jun 14, 2011, 03:43 AM
...The main advantage of buying an unlocked iPhone is for international travel...

Whilst technically true, the use of the microSIM in the iPhone 4 means that in practical terms it's of very limited value for most international travellers as microSIMs are like gold dust at the moment because so few phones use them. Currently in most European cities you can pick up a normal SIM just about anywhere (even vending machines at airports), but you're really, really going to struggle to get your hands on a microSIM in my experience. You could of course pick up a SIM-cutter off eBay, but cutting a normal SIM to micro size seems to be a hit-and-miss affair.

On a side note, I hope AT&T do a better job of supplying microSIMs for customers buying unlocked phones than the UK telcos did when the unlocked iPhone 4 launched over here...

EricNau
Jun 14, 2011, 03:43 AM
I think they have to do that by law, but I'm not sure. At least, here in Europe, it works that way (except we got 1 year contracts).
There is, unfortunately, no such law in the United States.

i'm leaving the country and paid at&t $205 in ETF fees. they wouldn't unlock it for me.
It really seems unfair. In exchange for subsidies a carrier should either lock the phone to their network (for a disclosed period of time), or require a contract with early termination fee. To charge $200 for an iPhone indefinitely locked to AT&T with 2-year contract seems indisputably unethical (not to mention redundant).

This was never AT&T's policy with any other phone (I don't believe). I wonder what was different about the iPhone in this respect. I presume it originated with an agreement between AT&T and Apple in the beginning, but I doubt this remains the case.

jon08
Jun 14, 2011, 03:44 AM
About time, Apple! And just for the record, the prices are a JOKE you guys..... really CHEAP!:cool: Crazy... In Europe you won't get it below $835 (16GB), so it's a bargain!

ann713
Jun 14, 2011, 03:45 AM
Too bad it's cheaper on eBay.

It is? I see them going for well over $900USD brand new.

Eso
Jun 14, 2011, 03:46 AM
The puzzle pieces are falling into place for a dual-mode iPhone 5 ;)

butterfly0fdoom
Jun 14, 2011, 03:47 AM
It really seems unfair. In exchange for subsidies a carrier should either lock the phone to their network (for a disclosed period of time), or require a contract with early termination fee. To charge $200 for an iPhone indefinitely locked to AT&T with 2-year contract seems indisputably unethical (not to mention redundant).

This was never AT&T's policy with any other phone (I don't believe). I wonder what was different about the iPhone in this respect. I presume it originated with an agreement between AT&T and Apple in the beginning, but I doubt this remains the case.

Based on a class-action suit in the past, the precedent that AT&T follows is phones that have 10 or more months of exclusivity are ineligible for SIM unlocking. Depending on how Apple's exclusivity agreement with AT&T was phrased, this precedent may or may not apply to the iPhone 4.

2992
Jun 14, 2011, 03:48 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Geez, what planet are you coming from? Is it US by chance?!


PS: HK is still the cheapest place to buy it unlocked.

ImperialX
Jun 14, 2011, 03:49 AM
It is? I see them going for well over $900USD brand new.

That's not what things look like over here in eBay Australia. But then again, we've had the thing unlocked since Day 1 last year.

xlambodog
Jun 14, 2011, 03:49 AM
Is there a reason they are not selling the 3GS unlocked? It would alleviate the microSIM issue, and would be the first choice for people who want an iPhone that is the most compatible abroad.

SuperZeroIce
Jun 14, 2011, 03:50 AM
Here in Holland we pay the same prices in euros... so they're actually cheaper than elsewhere I think.
If only you could bring an US iPhone in as a business expense. Now there's only a 10€ gap between prices for me due to our bureaucracy. :D

NightFox
Jun 14, 2011, 03:51 AM
Is there a reason they are not selling the 3GS unlocked? It would alleviate the microSIM issue, and would be the first choice for people who want an iPhone that is the most compatible abroad.

I'm just guessing but it might be something to do with their original agreement with AT&T. But yes, it would be a better option for travellers.

RichardBeer
Jun 14, 2011, 03:52 AM
How on earth do they sell these devices at such high price points? The contractual ones are expensive enough.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 03:53 AM
About time, Apple! And just for the record, the prices are a JOKE you guys..... really CHEAP!:cool: Crazy... In Europe you won't get it below $835 (16GB), so it's a bargain!

It's actually a bargain for us Europeans. Especially those from the UK. Because if we go to the US, since 1 eur = 1.45$, you are pretty much buying it for 45% less just because of currency exchange. And pounds go higher.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 03:54 AM
How on earth do they sell these devices at such high price points? The contractual ones are expensive enough.

I'm guessing there are a lot of people with money who just don't want to deal with carrier bindings.

endhalf
Jun 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Unlocked iPhone4 cost here:

16GB CHF 769.-
32GB CHF 899.-

in USD: 916.-/1'070.-

so for us swiss, this is VERY cheap...


In Czech Rep.:

16GB 16 499CZK
32GB 19 999CZK

in USD: 916/1052

Yep, very cheap... :/ USA has always everything cheap :/ And they think it is expensive... :D Try to living in Europe for a while, on average we have smaller salary AND more expensive stuff... Great combination.

Eso
Jun 14, 2011, 03:58 AM
Who gives a **** how much it sells for (comparatively) in other countries? A full-priced iPhone sells for $699 in the US. They are charging $50 more for the unlock - that's a rip-off.

Nejmann
Jun 14, 2011, 04:00 AM
Niiice.. Going to the us on friday, finally getting the white then. The price unlocked in Denmark(EU) is 1000$ :-) but we have 10+ carriers, so great news!

Soliber
Jun 14, 2011, 04:01 AM
How on earth do they sell these devices at such high price points? The contractual ones are expensive enough.
It's actually quite normal over here in Belgium, we all have to fork over 749€ (about 1000$) for the 32GB model.
But even though it's expensive, we can do whatever we want with our iPhones. Some people go for the absolute cheapest subscriptions with virtual providers, others have the choice to go to a provider that we know has a good 3G network for example.
And we can upgrade to a newer iPhone whenever we please, instead of having to wait for our contract to expire -_-

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 04:01 AM
Who gives a **** how much it sells for (comparatively) in other countries? A full-priced iPhone sells for $699 in the US. They are charging $50 more for the unlock - that's a rip-off.

Or rather, contract iPhones are a bargain... these are iPhone's real prices ;)

EricNau
Jun 14, 2011, 04:02 AM
Based on a class-action suit in the past, the precedent that AT&T follows is phones that have 10 or more months of exclusivity are ineligible for SIM unlocking. Depending on how Apple's exclusivity agreement with AT&T was phrased, this precedent may or may not apply to the iPhone 4.
Hmmm... Right you are. (I found this link (http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/24/proposed-class-action-settlement-would-let-you-unlock-almost-any).)

I wonder, assuming today marks the end of AT&T's GSM iPhone exclusivity in the US, will AT&T begin unlocking iPhones 10 months from today? And what about the 3GS (my iPhone); since the 3GS existed for its entire product lifespan under exclusivity, does that mean AT&T considers it permanently ineligible for unlocking?

It's rather odd to consider that the iPhone may have been considered an "AT&T exclusive" up until today (I assume it's over with this announcement from Apple). Even yesterday the iPhone 4 was available from over 200 carriers worldwide, including both of the largest carriers in the US. Certainly not exclusive by any stretch of the imagination.

MrSmith
Jun 14, 2011, 04:04 AM
In this very limited example yes if you are in the hotel, but whatabout when you are not.
Actually, I would say my example is very unlimited in practice. For over 99% of people/occasions I would say don't make phone calls. If they are necessary, chances are you're making calls on behalf of your employer and the cost is irrelevant to you anyway.

mw360
Jun 14, 2011, 04:05 AM
Who gives a **** how much it sells for (comparatively) in other countries?

Uh... People in other countries? There are a lot of them you know.

baryon
Jun 14, 2011, 04:09 AM
This is cheap for an iPhone, but very expensive for a phone. I remember that the first mobile phones used to cost this much.

spooky2k
Jun 14, 2011, 04:10 AM
Yep it will be available unlocked. I just hope it will be a world phone and unlocked so I can use it on Verizon in the US and GSM carriers when I'm outside of the US.

Nope. It'll be GSM or CDMA, not both I'm afraid. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't release an unlocked CDMA one either. People want it for travelling abroad and GSM is much more popular around the world than CDMA.

conch575
Jun 14, 2011, 04:10 AM
May as well buy one in the US and bring it over to Australia.. AUD$610 for a 16GB compared to AUD$849 for a 16GB in Sydney.

xUKHCx
Jun 14, 2011, 04:14 AM
Actually, I would say my example is very unlimited in practice. For over 99% of people/occasions I would say don't make phone calls. If they are necessary, chances are you're making calls on behalf of your employer and the cost is irrelevant to you anyway.

And people only go overseas on business? And stay in places with Wifi? Your example is correct however you are tied to a building. Why not just use the landline phones in the hotel?

What about families who like to split up during the day but need to meet up while out and about. Having a local phone allows you to be a lot more flexible with your plans without incurring large costs. There are many times when you can use a mobile overseas to make life easier, that is the whole point of mobiles.

TheOriginalKi
Jun 14, 2011, 04:22 AM
Yes, they are £510 and £612 in the UK (including 20% VAT) so you are getting it cheap in the US. :D

Cheaper, but not a huge amount of difference:

In the UK a 16GB costs £425 ($696.73) vs $649 (£395.98) in the usa.

The above are pre-tax prices.

It's nice to see the USA getting access to unlocked iPhones though. Hopefully the carriers will respond with some awesome sim-only deals like we get here.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 04:26 AM
This is cheap for an iPhone, but very expensive for a phone. I remember that the first mobile phones used to cost this much.

Definitely. There are a lot of people who are willing to pay that much though. If I had extra money, that would me as well, I really hate having to be tied to a contract. Even if it's a year long.

Right now I use an iPhone 4 with Gevey and have it unlocked to a super cheap carrier, 2 cents/min and 7eur for 700MB 3.5G + 0.02c per MB after that. Much cheaper than what I've gone over to explore at AT&T's website!

Jonesy835
Jun 14, 2011, 04:31 AM
May as well buy one in the US and bring it over to Australia.. AUD$610 for a 16GB compared to AUD$849 for a 16GB in Sydney.

Just to expand on how much extra Australians are charged for unlocked iPhone 4's compared to the U.S
Unlocked iPhone 4 16GB - AU$859 (US$916) compared to US$649.
Unlocked iPhone 4 32GB - AU$999 (US$1065.39) compared to $749.

CoreForce
Jun 14, 2011, 04:32 AM
I was trying to use my unlocked iPhone with AT&T while in the states.
It ended up they charged me on the data plan without providing data.

The guy in the shop AT&T installed the card and said it's fine.
When calling hotline because it was not, AT&T rep said it's impossible to use data from unlocked iPhone with their network.
No refund either. Bummer.

mst94
Jun 14, 2011, 04:33 AM
Will my iPhone 4 whitch i bought in the apple store last year without contract be unlockable now?

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 04:33 AM
I was trying to use my unlocked iPhone with AT&T while in the states.
It ended up they charged me on the data plan without providing data.

The guy in the shop AT&T installed the card and said it's fine.
When calling hotline because it was not, AT&T rep said it's impossible to use data from unlocked iPhone with their network.
No refund either. Bummer.

I don't see how unlocking has anything to do with the iPhone not being able to receive data? I would keep trying. AT&T is the least user friendly carrier, seriously.

Will my iPhone 4 whitch i bought in the apple store last year without contract be unlockable now?

Well, I guess it was locked to AT&T.. you could try going to the Apple Store and see what they can do for you. No one knows really as it's it's a new service that they've never offered before. Can't go wrong for seeing if they could unlock it for you after offering factory unlocked phones.

ChristianJapan
Jun 14, 2011, 04:34 AM
Now it's time to do that also in Japan ... Freedom to choose ...now ...

alphaod
Jun 14, 2011, 04:37 AM
I'm going to call Apple about this; I bought an iPhone off-contract a few weeks ago and I feel I should be able to pay the $50 or so difference and have my phone unlocked as well. Currently I'm working abroad and I've had to purchase another unlocked device as my iPhone is neither unlockable via firmware nor unlocked via turbo SIM (the latter isn't working for me for whatever reason). Hopefully Apple will be reasonable about this and not tell me to contact AT&T (as I did purchase this direct at an Apple Store).

mst94
Jun 14, 2011, 04:37 AM
Well, I guess it was locked to AT&T.. you could try going to the Apple Store and see what they can do for you. No one knows really as it's it's a new service that they've never offered before. Can't go wrong for seeing if they could unlock it for you after offering factory unlocked phones.

The problem is im out of country, i'm living in germany so i can't just go to an apple store (only one here), do you think calling might help?

phalseHUD
Jun 14, 2011, 04:38 AM
Cheaper, but not a huge amount of difference:

In the UK a 16GB costs £425 ($696.73) vs $649 (£395.98) in the usa.

The above are pre-tax prices.

It's nice to see the USA getting access to unlocked iPhones though. Hopefully the carriers will respond with some awesome sim-only deals like we get here.

By my calculations the 32 GB iPhone 4 should be selling at about £550 over here in England. You're right in that £62 isn't a massive, but I could sell that figure to my wife better than £612! Here's to hoping the prices will come down when the next iPhone comes out - whenever that is.

danrees
Jun 14, 2011, 04:39 AM
I assume this means the iPhone 5 will also be available unlocked.

I am moving to the US in 2 weeks.

Can I currently buy an iPhone 4 and get a pay as you go or rolling month contract with AT&T or another carrier in the US using a micro-SIM? I don't want to be locked in for 24 months (or even 12 months for that matter) as will likely be coming back to the UK in June 2012.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 04:41 AM
I'm going to call Apple about this; I bought an iPhone off-contract a few weeks ago and I feel I should be able to pay the $50 or so difference and have my phone unlocked as well. Currently I'm working abroad and I've had to purchase another unlocked device as my iPhone is neither unlockable via firmware nor unlocked via turbo SIM (the latter isn't working for me for whatever reason). Hopefully Apple will be reasonable about this and not tell me to contact AT&T (as I did purchase this direct).

Actually, when AT&T unlocks an iPhone they are the ones who contact Apple to receive the unlock code for your specific iPhone. So it stays within Apple, AT&T is only your service provider, remember Apple is the one who actually manufactured the locked phone. I would say it's very unlikely that they would tell you to talk it with AT&T instead.

The problem is im out of country, i'm living in germany so i can't just go to an apple store (only one here), do you think calling might help?


Well, did you buy it in the US? Either way, Apple is the same company and if they were to grant you with an unlock code I don't think it would matter if you called them from another country that wasn't the one you originally purchased the iPhone in. I don't know if they will unlock it for you, but as I said, you might as well try. You can do it over the phone as well, all they are going to ask you for is the IMEI number and I believe the serial number. Tell us how that went!

Can I currently buy an iPhone 4 and get a pay as you go or rolling month contract with AT&T or another carrier in the US using a micro-SIM? I don't want to be locked in for 24 months (or even 12 months for that matter) as will likely be coming back to the UK in June 2012.

Can you currently buy an iPhone 4? Well, this news says you finally can get them without them being linked to one unique carrier. So you could pay full retail price and use it with whatever carrier/plan you want to so as long as you get a Micro-SIM from them (or just cut the normal SIM yourself). If you buy the unlocked phone, you are pretty much buying a free-to-use phone on whatever service anywhere (watch for CDMA/GSM). I would hold for the iPhone 5 as you well stated though.

baleara
Jun 14, 2011, 04:52 AM
Finally!

Oh and btw they are available online but not yet in retail stores. The people who answered the phone at Apple Fifth Avenue said they don't have any OFFICIAL info about when they will be available in-store. ;D

cheso
Jun 14, 2011, 04:54 AM
Do you guys think it's gonna be available at Apple Retail Stores too?

edit: didn't notice the previous message

khunsanook
Jun 14, 2011, 04:56 AM
Now I have two questions.


Will Apple or AT&T finally offer an unlocking service for phones that have already met the 2-year contract terms? I'd love to use my old (fully purchased!) AT&T iPhone when working in SE Asia without having to unlock/jailbreak.
Will Apple's Japan stores soon sell unlocked phones, or will SoftBank (Japan) finally allow unlocked phones, purchased either in- or out-of-country, to be used with new contracts?


time will tell...

Ballis
Jun 14, 2011, 04:56 AM
about time

iSamurai
Jun 14, 2011, 05:01 AM
Wow amazing. Cheaper than in Australia too. Will be buying iPhone 5 in the USA if it's cheaper over there.

The next iPhone will probably be similarly priced to the US seeing that they've adjusted many products' prices to reflect the A$ above parity... :)

Rajani Isa
Jun 14, 2011, 05:01 AM
Yep it will be available unlocked. I just hope it will be a world phone and unlocked so I can use it on Verizon in the US and GSM carriers when I'm outside of the US.

Actually its cheap. You'll pay more for the subsidized phone in the end. It has been that way since subsidiaries have been established... Not in the US - at least, not if you're using AT&T :/




And we can upgrade to a newer iPhone whenever we please, instead of having to wait for our contract to expire -_-

Nothing but money prevents one from upgrading here, either. You just are not offered a contract-backed subsidy on the phone.

I'm going to call Apple about this; I bought an iPhone off-contract a few weeks ago and I feel I should be able to pay the $50 or so difference and have my phone unlocked as well. Currently I'm working abroad and I've had to purchase another unlocked device as my iPhone is neither unlockable via firmware nor unlocked via turbo SIM (the latter isn't working for me for whatever reason). Hopefully Apple will be reasonable about this and not tell me to contact AT&T (as I did purchase this direct at an Apple Store).

If it was a few weeks ago and you got all the stuff still, looks like you may be good (even if missing a few things, you should be good especially if you can get to an Apple Store)

http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/salespolicies.html#topic-21

wrightio
Jun 14, 2011, 05:02 AM
I was going to mark a post along the same lines: Nice to see the US catch up to us in Australia, but you beat me to it.

The main reason what we in Australia have had unlocked phones from the start if the tougher consumer protection laws here in Australia.


Yeah, but the Apple store here in OZ wants $999 dollars for the convenience of a 32Gb. Roughly $1010 US.. think i might wait until the next model. It was worth it for the new Imac.

ToroidalZeus
Jun 14, 2011, 05:04 AM
Actually its cheap. You'll pay more for the subsidized phone in the end. It has been that way since subsidiaries have been established...

In Europe its store price is the same numbers with an € at the end... at the moment real exchange course is 1,4458US$ : 1€... so from my point of view it is cheap... this will sweeten every europeans trip to the US ;)

Maybe in Europe but not America. In America you get a subsidized price for two years of loyalty. For someone who plans to stay on the same carrier (the majority of the population) the subsidized price becomes a straight up discount.

zephonic
Jun 14, 2011, 05:14 AM
I wonder when (if) AT&T will offer to unlock iPhones of customers who have fulfilled their 2-year contract.

This!

Our contract ends in September. If they unlock the old but trusty 3GS they'll keep me as a customer.

gngan
Jun 14, 2011, 05:14 AM
It's great news for Americans. I guess HK is pretty cheap then.

16GB ($4988HKD) = $640USD
32GB ($5888HKD) = $755USD

rdlink
Jun 14, 2011, 05:19 AM
Who cares, if it won't work on TMO's US network at 3G? If justice prevails, and the AT&T merger with TMO doesn't go through I still have a phone that will never work on the only decent GSM carrier in the US.

I was hoping this would be an internally different model, and be compatible with TMO's 3G US network. I would have jumped ship on VZ in a second. Pipe dreams, I suppose. Oh well. Yawn for me.

igazza
Jun 14, 2011, 05:28 AM
expensive when you compare it to the ipod touch. :)

Oz.
Jun 14, 2011, 05:29 AM
Great news!


eBay iphone sellers going crazy right now :)

MacMan67
Jun 14, 2011, 05:33 AM
Apple makes deals with carriers, so carriers sell it for much lower, and ultimately that's how they lure you into contract subsidized phones.[/QUOTE]

In the US and Canada, its not uncommon to sell phones with a huge subsidy attached, the new carriers in Canada actually use a Tab system where your subsidy amount shows up on your bill when you get the phone, then a percentage of your monthly bill is used to pay it off. While not perfect, the penalty for leaving is just the amount owed on the phone, no contract penalty etc.

if you look at Wind Mobile in Canada , they are selling the phones pretty much at their cost which gives you a good benchmark for the real cost of phones. I would guess that the "deal" Apple has with carriers is the same "deal" that all the manufacturers use, with the exception that Apple dictates what the sale price must be and thus the subsidy amount.

Or rather, contract iPhones are a bargain... these are iPhone's real prices ;)

Agreed. When you consider and iPad retails for 499.00 without subsidy, it makes sense, however, I would probably think that ATT has a margin build in to the price without a contract to make some money on the hardware.

MacMan67
Jun 14, 2011, 05:35 AM
Who cares, if it won't work on TMO's US network at 3G? If justice prevails, and the AT&T merger with TMO doesn't go through I still have a phone that will never work on the only decent GSM carrier in the US.

I was hoping this would be an internally different model, and be compatible with TMO's 3G US network. I would have jumped ship on VZ in a second. Pipe dreams, I suppose. Oh well. Yawn for me.

Careful what you wish for, ATT already said it was going to migrate TMO customers to their network and use the AWS spectrum of TMO's for LTE. The actual word was that if the merger goes through, existing T-Mobile customers would have access to the iPhone that ATT currently has.

ThunderSkunk
Jun 14, 2011, 05:36 AM
Maybe in Europe but not America. In America you get a subsidized price for two years of loyalty. For someone who plans to stay on the same carrier (the majority of the population) the subsidized price becomes a straight up discount.

Guess who is ultimately subsidizing that price? You are! The carriers pay Apple the $ per month that you didn't pay up front for the phone. Either way, you're paying the same amount for the phone in the end. ...& usually more if you break contract early.

MacMan67
Jun 14, 2011, 05:39 AM
Maybe in Europe but not America. In America you get a subsidized price for two years of loyalty. For someone who plans to stay on the same carrier (the majority of the population) the subsidized price becomes a straight up discount.

Actually in America (and Canada), the cost of the subsidy of the phone is recouped over the length of the contract (and actually built into the pricing model). The interesting part is that whether you sign a contact or not, you still pay the same price for your package, so in fact, the user who buy's their own phone unsubsidized is getting ripped off because the carrier actually makes more money off them over the same 2 year period. Carriers would love to get rid of subsidies, but the high cost of the phones is a barrier for most. Those laws are changing in Canada to force the carrier to only charge the penalty for the real remaining cost of the subsidy.

MacMan67
Jun 14, 2011, 05:41 AM
Guess who is ultimately subsidizing that price? You are! The carriers pay Apple the $ per month that you didn't pay up front for the phone. Either way, you're paying the same amount for the phone in the end. ...& usually more if you break contract early.

Kinda, the cost on those to the carrier is probably 600 bucks or so. The carrier eats the subsidy and takes all the risk, Apple gets their money up front when the carriers buy them to sell in their stores.

FatMax
Jun 14, 2011, 05:45 AM
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Smart move. Now they can sell even more iPhones even though its almost over a year old!

flowsy
Jun 14, 2011, 05:47 AM
Yay! Welcome US of A in the World of unlocked iPhones. I paid € 649,- ($ 938) here in Germany.

Is this price ($649,-) without taxes?

FatMax
Jun 14, 2011, 05:47 AM
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Maybe in Europe but not America. In America you get a subsidized price for two years of loyalty. For someone who plans to stay on the same carrier (the majority of the population) the subsidized price becomes a straight up discount.

Guess who is ultimately subsidizing that price? You are! The carriers pay Apple the $ per month that you didn't pay up front for the phone. Either way, you're paying the same amount for the phone in the end. ...& usually more if you break contract early.

Not true here in Norway. I save roughly $200 on the phone by buying through the carrier..

Jeaz
Jun 14, 2011, 05:49 AM
Yikes, it's almost $350 cheaper to buy the unlocked iPhone 4 32GB from Apple in the US than it is where I live. They sure suck us non-US customers dry.

odedia
Jun 14, 2011, 05:49 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Unlocked iPhone are CHEAP. Please calculate your Total Cost of Ownership over two years.

ToroidalZeus
Jun 14, 2011, 05:51 AM
Kinda, the cost on those to the carrier is probably 600 bucks or so. The carrier eats the subsidy and takes all the risk, Apple gets their money up front when the carriers buy them to sell in their stores.

Not necessarily. You don't actually know the price AT&T pays for the iPhone to Apple.

booksacool1
Jun 14, 2011, 05:51 AM
Just to expand on how much extra Australians are charged for unlocked iPhone 4's compared to the U.S
Unlocked iPhone 4 16GB - AU$859 (US$916) compared to US$649.
Unlocked iPhone 4 32GB - AU$999 (US$1065.39) compared to $749.

Yeah we are paying over an extra $300 for the 32GB :eek:, which is a bit rude.
Sure there's 10% GST, but thats pretty much it.

Ah well, i'm hoping the next iphone normalises the pricing.

Shivetya
Jun 14, 2011, 05:52 AM
Unlocked iPhone are CHEAP. Please calculate your Total Cost of Ownership over two years.

Well that assumes you can get service for less by having an unlocked phone. I can't seem to find a carrier who offers enough of a discount to matter.

MacMan67
Jun 14, 2011, 05:56 AM
Not necessarily. You don't actually know the price AT&T pays for the iPhone to Apple.

Lets just say it is a very well informed approximation. I may not know the actual cost , but I am very familiar to the subsidization model in the North American market.

ToroidalZeus
Jun 14, 2011, 05:59 AM
Lets just say it is a very well informed approximation. I may not know the actual cost , but I am very familiar to the subsidization model in the North American market.
Every single business I have seen has wholesale pricing. The retail prices apple offers and unsubsidized carrier prices are going to be high on purpose; to make subsidized more appealing.

CBX
Jun 14, 2011, 06:01 AM
Cheaper, but not a huge amount of difference:

In the UK a 16GB costs £425 ($696.73) vs $649 (£395.98) in the usa.

The above are pre-tax prices.


Yep, its the tax that makes it look worse.

silentnite
Jun 14, 2011, 06:02 AM
Finally! Apple see's the light at the end of the tunnel. This is great!

TC25
Jun 14, 2011, 06:02 AM
So the USA is finally catching up to Australia on something! We've had unlocked phones for sale since the 3G ;)

If you define 'catching' up as being able to use an iPhone on TMobile without access to data. Wow.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 06:05 AM
A friend of mine in the US is paying 87$ every month for his 2yr AT&T contract and he doesn't even have past 2GB data. So in 2 years, 12*2*8 = 2088$. I think it's cheaper to buy it unlocked and go for a virtual carrier with super low fees and no restrictions when travelling abroad.

d3vi1
Jun 14, 2011, 06:06 AM
There is, unfortunately, no such law in the United States.

Yes, thanks to that wonderful general deregulation (of telecom, banking&finance, energy, etc.) that you guys vote for whenever you vote for the GOP.

It really seems unfair. In exchange for subsidies a carrier should either lock the phone to their network (for a disclosed period of time), or require a contract with early termination fee. To charge $200 for an iPhone indefinitely locked to AT&T with 2-year contract seems indisputably unethical (not to mention redundant).

This was never AT&T's policy with any other phone (I don't believe). I wonder what was different about the iPhone in this respect. I presume it originated with an agreement between AT&T and Apple in the beginning, but I doubt this remains the case.

And here's the difference, in most European countries, the heavy regulation either imposes no carrier lock, or voluntary unlocking at the end of the contract term, or with a small pay (EUR 50) anytime during the contract.

In Romania, ANCOM (the regulatory authority), only had to ask for the carriers to voluntarily come up with a decent policy, and they did. The alternative was for ANCOM to come up with a mandatory regulation for carrier-lock free phones. The carriers instantly came up with a more than fair policy and no regulation was required.

And if you don't get a subsidized phone, you get much better contracts. 1000 outgoing minutes (incoming are never charged) per month, insane amounts of text messages and 1.5GBytes of traffic (to use as you see fit including tethering) for EUR15+VAT, with options for a lot more for little money. I think that an American would have to pay more than USD100/month to get as much usage. Let's do the math now:

1) Phone - EUR 830
2) 24 months contract - EUR 446
--
European total: EUR 1276 ~= USD 1850 (EUR15+VAT/month) and you can use your phone however you see fit.

1) US Phone - USD 200
2) 24 months ATT contract - 2880 (USD120/month with all taxes)
--
US total: USD 3080 and if you don't renew you're paying for a new phone.

centauratlas
Jun 14, 2011, 06:07 AM
Is there a reason they are not selling the 3GS unlocked? It would alleviate the microSIM issue, and would be the first choice for people who want an iPhone that is the most compatible abroad.

I suspect they do not want to confuse the market by adding the option here in the US where the 3GS is $49. Likewise, I doubt they wish to confuse people for three months of benefit IF they retire the 3GS when the iPhone 5 is out which might be only 3 months.

Northgrove
Jun 14, 2011, 06:10 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

I'm not from the US but yeah they're pretty expensive here at least.

WannaGoMac
Jun 14, 2011, 06:14 AM
Actually in America (and Canada), the cost of the subsidy of the phone is recouped over the length of the contract (and actually built into the pricing model). The interesting part is that whether you sign a contact or not, you still pay the same price for your package, so in fact, the user who buy's their own phone unsubsidized is getting ripped off because the carrier actually makes more money off them over the same 2 year period. Carriers would love to get rid of subsidies, but the high cost of the phones is a barrier for most. Those laws are changing in Canada to force the carrier to only charge the penalty for the real remaining cost of the subsidy.

This! All you people saying it's cheaper to just buy the phone straight out don't understand that the carriers in USA don't provide a lower price for non-subsidized phones. Therefore, it's in consumer interest to at least get the cash from the carrier, and also keeps consumers buying a new phone every 2yrs since you might as well get the kickback since they aren't giving you a lower monthly rate anyway

tigres
Jun 14, 2011, 06:15 AM
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iOS 5, unlocked iPhones (officially in the US).

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

centauratlas
Jun 14, 2011, 06:15 AM
Nope. It'll be GSM or CDMA, not both I'm afraid. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't release an unlocked CDMA one either. People want it for travelling abroad and GSM is much more popular around the world than CDMA.

That has not been announced. There are a number of dual GSM/CDMA phones out there.

In fact the Verizon iPhone 4 already has a Qualcomm dual-mode GSM/CDMA chip in it (MDM6600). It is just not active (yet?) and may never be, but in my opinion the iPhone 5 will have a dual mode chip in it. I think it is a foregone conclusion that the iPhone 5 will be a unified hardware platform.

Whether Apple will activate it so that you can use both without some type of firmware switch is unknown*, but it is extremely important for Apple to have a single model of hardware for a large number of reasons which should be obvious.

* e.g. the GSM mode may be active with one slightly different firmware version and the CDMA another version. The question is whether if you buy a GSM iPhone 5 you can switch it to CDMA in the software or not - and visa versa.

xodiak
Jun 14, 2011, 06:17 AM
So with the iPhone unlocked does that mean you would still have to get a plan with a data package? I know someone is going to respond why have a iPhone without a data package, because work has wi-fi and I use it for personal email alerts at work, and as an iPod, not to mention texting and of all things talking on it because its a phone.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 06:17 AM
1) Phone - EUR 830
2) 24 months contract - EUR 446
--
European total: EUR 1276 ~= USD 1850 (EUR15+VAT/month) and you can use your phone however you see fit.

1) US Phone - USD 200
2) 24 months ATT contract - 2880 (USD120/month with all taxes)
--
US total: USD 3080 and if you don't renew you're paying for a new phone.

This is all true. However one of the problems people have with this is the fact that they would have to spend 830 euros out of the blue on the phone to begin with, no option for several payments. You are right though. And it is AT&T's problem as well, charging such incredibly high fees for their service.. and to add icing on top, they wouldn't even unlock the phone after the 2 year contract is over.

centauratlas
Jun 14, 2011, 06:19 AM
I have been using a factory unlocked iPhone 4 on AT&T for a while now, that I purchased outside the US and the person you spoke with did not know what they are talking about. It works perfectly fine. Did you dispute it with your credit card company?

For me, one advantage of providing your own iPhone 4 (or 3GS) that is factory unlocked is no contract with AT&T. And if needed and you don't mind running Edge, you can stick a T-Mobile SIM in there (it is easy to trim with an x-acto knife).


I was trying to use my unlocked iPhone with AT&T while in the states.
It ended up they charged me on the data plan without providing data.

The guy in the shop AT&T installed the card and said it's fine.
When calling hotline because it was not, AT&T rep said it's impossible to use data from unlocked iPhone with their network.
No refund either. Bummer.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 06:20 AM
So with the iPhone unlocked does that mean you would still have to get a plan with a data package? I know someone is going to respond why have a iPhone without a data package, because work has wi-fi and I use it for personal email alerts at work, and as an iPod, not to mention texting and of all things talking on it because its a phone.

The advantage of having an unlocked phone is that you can do whatever you want with it, with whatever carrier. So you could choose what is right for you, without having X, Y or Z imposed on you from, say, AT&T. For all you care, you could just use a prepaid system from a low cost carrier. You get the freedom to choose.

WannaGoMac
Jun 14, 2011, 06:24 AM
Yes, thanks to that wonderful general deregulation (of telecom, banking&finance, energy, etc.) that you guys vote for whenever you vote for the GOP.

And here's the difference, in most European countries, the heavy regulation either imposes no carrier lock, or voluntary unlocking at the end of the contract term, or with a small pay (EUR 50) anytime during the contract.

In Romania, ANCOM (the regulatory authority), only had to ask for the carriers to voluntarily come up with a decent policy, and they did. The alternative was for ANCOM to come up with a mandatory regulation for carrier-lock free phones. The carriers instantly came up with a more than fair policy and no regulation was required.

And if you don't get a subsidized phone, you get much better contracts. 1000 outgoing minutes (incoming are never charged) per month, insane amounts of text messages and 1.5GBytes of traffic (to use as you see fit including tethering) for EUR15+VAT, with options for a lot more for little money. I think that an American would have to pay more than USD100/month to get as much usage. Let's do the math now:

1) Phone - EUR 830
2) 24 months contract - EUR 446
--
European total: EUR 1276 ~= USD 1850 (EUR15+VAT/month) and you can use your phone however you see fit.

1) US Phone - USD 200
2) 24 months ATT contract - 2880 (USD120/month with all taxes)
--
US total: USD 3080 and if you don't renew you're paying for a new phone.

Yes, provided the plans you're comparing all have the same features (minutes, amount of data, speed, etc)? My AT&T is about $90/month with 450 minutes, unlimited nights weekends, 1500 texts, unlimited data, unlimited minutes to other AT&T cell phones, and it roams no charge across the entire USA. Your plan is 1000 minutes total, no free nights and weekends nor roll over minutes on a monthly basis, expensive roaming once you cross the border of your "country" (which we would call a single state in the USA) where you get to buy a sim card (at least 20E) which only works in that country for ~90 days thereafter you get to buy another one if you forget to buy more time on the SIM. What a joke.

Oh, and Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver. Cell phones in europe cost more overall for what you get than in the USA.

The advantage of having an unlocked phone is that you can do whatever you want with it, with whatever carrier. So you could choose what is right for you, without having X, Y or Z imposed on you from, say, AT&T. For all you care, you could just use a prepaid system from a low cost carrier. You get the freedom to choose.

Yes, choose from the single carrier in the USA which the iphone will work at 3G speeds. Ooooh, hooray for freedom!

MrMister111
Jun 14, 2011, 06:28 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

£395 + Sales tax in case any of you brits going to Florida/Vegas/NY/LA etc were wondering what it works out at.

What's that work out for a Florida trip Inc tax etc in GBP?

I have an iP4 currently but like the White. Take it you can buy in US and it will work on all UK mobile networks?

Cheers

centauratlas
Jun 14, 2011, 06:28 AM
Yes. I am on AT&T with a non-US factory unlocked iPhone 4 with no contract. That should be the same thing you will get if you buy it from Apple.

We can hope the iPhone 5 follows.


I assume this means the iPhone 5 will also be available unlocked.

I am moving to the US in 2 weeks.

Can I currently buy an iPhone 4 and get a pay as you go or rolling month contract with AT&T or another carrier in the US using a micro-SIM? I don't want to be locked in for 24 months (or even 12 months for that matter) as will likely be coming back to the UK in June 2012.

ratzzo
Jun 14, 2011, 06:31 AM
Yes, provided the plans you're comparing all have the same features (minutes, amount of data, speed, etc)?

And you Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver. Cell phones in europe cost more overall for what you get than in the USA.



Yes, choose from the single carrier in the USA which the iphone will work at 3G speeds. Ooooh, hooray for freedom!

The fact that incoming calls are free doesn't mean that the caller pays double, read up before you criticize (I'm from Spain, also lived in UK and the system doesn't work like that). Cell phones cost the same with their relative currency exchanges. If you see someone pay more for a subsidized phone it's because in many European countries carriers are only allowed to contract for up to one year, and thus ask you to pay more for the hardware at the beginning of the contract.

He didn't really specify whether he was using his iPhone in USA or not, and the point of his post was to actually ask if he could skip on the data plan.. so I doubt not getting 3G speeds is an issue for him.

I have an iP4 currently but like the White. Take it you can buy in US and it will work on all UK mobile networks?


Most of them anyway, check what frequencies the iPhone supports and compare it to your UK carrier frequencies (all of them are pretty much 'standarized')

Xenc
Jun 14, 2011, 06:34 AM
What's that work out for a Florida trip Inc tax etc in GBP?

I have an iP4 currently but like the White. Take it you can buy in US and it will work on all UK mobile networks?

Cheers

It would work on all networks, yes. To buy an iPhone 4 16GB in the UK is £499. I'd imagine plus taxes you'd get to a similar figure in the US. Just check the frequency bands match.

bushido
Jun 14, 2011, 06:37 AM
Oh, and Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver.

what the heck r u talking about, i pay 6 cent for outgoing calls (and nothing to t-mobile and home lines) and of course nothing for incoming calls as it should be unlike the us

WannaGoMac
Jun 14, 2011, 06:38 AM
The fact that incoming calls are free doesn't mean that the caller pays double, read up before you criticize (I'm from Spain, also lived in UK and the system doesn't work like that). Cell phones cost the same with their relative currency exchanges. If you see someone pay more for a subsidized phone it's because in many European countries carriers are only allowed to contract for up to one year, and thus ask you to pay more for the hardware at the beginning of the contract.


Not saying they pay double saying that you pay a LOT to call a cell phone in Europe -- specific costs may be off. When I am in Europe, calling from a land line to a cell phone costs a LOT more than calling land line to land line. Friends I stayed with have left me notes saying PLEASE do not call cell phones using their land line since it costs so much money.

Xenc
Jun 14, 2011, 06:40 AM
The fact that incoming calls are free doesn't mean that the caller pays double, read up before you criticize (I'm from Spain, also lived in UK and the system doesn't work like that). Cell phones cost the same with their relative currency exchanges. If you see someone pay more for a subsidized phone it's because in many European countries carriers are only allowed to contract for up to one year, and thus ask you to pay more for the hardware at the beginning of the contract.


Not saying they pay double saying that you pay a LOT to call a cell phone in Europe -- specific costs may be off. When I am in Europe, calling from a land line to a cell phone costs a LOT more than calling land line to land line. Friends I stayed with have left me notes saying PLEASE do not call cell phones using their land line since it costs so much money.

Who cares? We all get screwed out of our money at some point, wherever we live in the world.

OllyW
Jun 14, 2011, 06:42 AM
Yes, provided the plans you're comparing all have the same features (minutes, amount of data, speed, etc)? My AT&T is about $90/month with 450 minutes, unlimited nights weekends, 1500 texts, unlimited data. Your plan is 1000 minutes total and no free nights and weekends nor roll over minutes on a monthly basis.

iPhone 4 16GB (http://threestore.three.co.uk/priceplans.aspx?phonecode=IP416GBB3D) - 2,000 minutes, 5,000 texts, unlimited data. £69 ($113) for the handset then £35 ($57) per month. I think that compares well with AT&T's best offers and those prices include VAT.


And you Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver.

What are you talking about? Out of plan calls to mobiles are rarely more than £0.35 per minute.

WannaGoMac
Jun 14, 2011, 06:42 AM
Who cares? We all get screwed out of our money at some point, wherever we live in the world.

Actually, I don't think it's screwed. It's called an economy. People/Companies need to make profit in order to afford to have us all working etc.

Of course, the alternative is communism, which we all know how well that worked out...


What are you talking about? Out of plan calls to mobiles are rarely more than £0.35 per minute.

Not saying they pay double saying that you pay a LOT to call a cell phone in Europe -- specific costs may be off. My number was just a guesstimate based upon what we pay calling European cell phones from the USA and what have experienced using calling cards from european land lines to european cell phones. $0.50/min is not exactly cheap, thats a phone chatline in the usa lol :)

deckwalker
Jun 14, 2011, 06:44 AM
This is excellent news!

Karnivore
Jun 14, 2011, 06:46 AM
Apple is the epitomy of corporate greed. You can buy unsibsidized iPhone for 599/699 but it'll still be locked despite the carrier not incurring any expenses. You're not giving them $50 to unlock the phone, instead you're paying $50 not to lock the phone. Talk about greed.

WannaGoMac
Jun 14, 2011, 06:48 AM
Apple is the epitomy of corporate greed. You can buy unsibsidized iPhone for 599/699 but it'll still be locked despite the carrier not incurring any expenses. You're not giving them $50 to unlock the phone, instead you're paying $50 not to lock the phone. Talk about greed.

Do you work for free? People are nuts, don't like the price go get a cheap android phone. Companies are free to charge whatever they want, just like you're free not to buy the iphone. Really don't get the whining here.

danrees
Jun 14, 2011, 06:52 AM
Have to say that as a card-carrying UK Labour party member, I am loving the implied European social democracy vs American neo-liberalism debate in this thread, even if slightly off-topic. :D

bushido
Jun 14, 2011, 06:54 AM
in germany it's cheaper to buy the unlocked phone if u know what ur doing

iPhone 4 - 16GB
Locked - TMobile

150 € for the phone + 24 x 49 € = 1.330 €

iPhone 4 - 16 GB
Unlocked - Apple

630 € + Prepaid Flat Card (monthly cancellation) 20 € x 24 =1.110 €

Price Difference 220 € + higher resell value (due unlocked) and not locked into a 2 years plan

millerb7
Jun 14, 2011, 06:57 AM
You can use the iphone on other carriers besides AT&T.

Hell, Cincinnati Bell in Ohio will GLADLY make you an iPhone specific plan (normally unlimited data and 1300 minutes for about 50/month WITH NO CONTRACT).... not sure how they do it, but they have offered this for me on multiple occasions.

d3vi1
Jun 14, 2011, 06:57 AM
Yes, provided the plans you're comparing all have the same features (minutes, amount of data, speed, etc)? My AT&T is about $90/month with 450 minutes, unlimited nights weekends, 1500 texts, unlimited data. Your plan is 1000 minutes total and no free nights and weekends nor roll over minutes on a monthly basis.
We also have weekend options and night options and favorite numbers options that give us roughly unlimited chat in restricted timeframes or with restricted numbers, and you can activate them by yourself from your cell phone whenever you want for a couple of euros. Regarding the minute and traffic roll-over, mine roll to the extent of 200%. 450 minutes of incoming+outgoing are a weeks work for me so you are paying basically $90 for 4 times less talking than I do when I pay less than EUR 20 (with taxes). Regardless of what I do I end up paying less in Europe by a few degrees of magnitude than in the states. It might be because in each country we have at least 4 3G operators, and competition brings out the best in them or it might be the regulation. I pay less than you and get HSPA+ coverage in 90% of the surface of the country, even on top of the mountain. You don't get decent 3G even in Frisco, LA or NY.
Regarding the unlimited, it's bull. Think of how much you're using before doing any stats. I chose 1.5G but I can go as high as 24GB/month if I am thinking of using tethering intensively. I'm quite sure that ATT would kill your bandwidth if you went anywhere close to those numbers.
And you Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver. Cell phones in europe cost more overall for what you get than in the USA.
Assuming I finish up my minutes, at most, I'm paying €0.07/min for an outgoing call only once the call connects with no other network usage taxes (like it was with Cingular, free calls but with a $0.25/min network usage charge). The amount should be roughly the same regardless who pays it. The advantage of free incoming minutes is that the callers can choose who pays for the call. Imagine a 7yr old with a prepaid. It might be simpler if the parents pay for the calls instead of him. He just has to ring them once (for free) and they can call him back!
Nothing about telecom is more expensive in Europe than in the states. For a 50Mbps cable internet connection you pay $120, while we pay €20-€30 (with cable TV included).
Guess what, I have fiber connectivity with 100Mbps up/down at home for €10! How much would that cost at AT&T?
The telecom bills (cable, internet, landline, cells) for a family of 5 in California are close to $600 while in Europe they would be less than €200 even if you went with the most expensive contracts.
Chill and stop waving the american flag on topics where you guys are lacking. See http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/ for a list of AVERAGE internet speeds by country. Except for South Korea and Japan, all the other countries on top are EU countries. The US is on the 31st place and most countries above are part of the EU27. I was in charge of choosing the carrier for a company in both the States and EU and the states was a headache at 3-5 times the cost for landline, Internet and mobile.

Hurda
Jun 14, 2011, 06:57 AM
Gotta love the Samsung GALAXY S II ads in here. :D:apple:

ghostlyorb
Jun 14, 2011, 06:58 AM
That's awesome! But I don't want to pay full price =/

Hurda
Jun 14, 2011, 06:59 AM
That's awesome! But I don't want to pay full price =/
You think you haven't paid the full price with contracts? Sheesh. :rolleyes:

Zyaama
Jun 14, 2011, 07:00 AM
As someone who bought an unlocked iPhone in Germany two years ago and would never go back: What many people fail to notice is that the fact that you can equip an unlocked phone with any prepaid card you choose leads to increased competition. In the Us you don't get that, because the incompatible standards lock you in, no matter what. Maybe the iPhone 5 will remedy that, and then you would profit from carriers who actually have to work for their customers.

When I calculated the costs of locked and unlocked versions of the iPhone for two years of usage, I came up with pretty much the same numbers for both alternatives. But that was without including the resale value of the iPhone, which is pretty high. And you actually have the freedom to do with your phone what you want to do.

Oh, and regarding the "but you have to pay it all at once" problem: a) You don't, there are plenty of offers for payment in installments, and b) If I can't afford to pay for a toy when I buy it, I probably shouldn't buy it at all.

Karnivore
Jun 14, 2011, 07:01 AM
Do you work for free? People are nuts, don't like the price go get a cheap android phone. Companies are free to charge whatever they want, just like you're free not to buy the iphone. Really don't get the whining here.

What does working for free have to do with locking unsibsidized phone? WTF kind of logic is that?

Thunderhawks
Jun 14, 2011, 07:01 AM
Whilst technically true, the use of the microSIM in the iPhone 4 means that in practical terms it's of very limited value for most international travellers as microSIMs are like gold dust at the moment because so few phones use them. Currently in most European cities you can pick up a normal SIM just about anywhere (even vending machines at airports), but you're really, really going to struggle to get your hands on a microSIM in my experience. You could of course pick up a SIM-cutter off eBay, but cutting a normal SIM to micro size seems to be a hit-and-miss affair.

On a side note, I hope AT&T do a better job of supplying microSIMs for customers buying unlocked phones than the UK telcos did when the unlocked iPhone 4 launched over here...

Give it a few weeks and you'll be seeing micro sims for iphones from several carriers who don't carry the iphone now.

Then these companies will entice people to sign up with them.

Good opportunity for Boost, T-Mobile (despite takeover) etc.

odedia
Jun 14, 2011, 07:01 AM
Does this mean that Amazon will now sell iPhones? I would love to save some taxes along the way (I'm not a U.S. Citizen).

mrkramer
Jun 14, 2011, 07:03 AM
Oh, and Europeans always harp on the stupid incoming minutes are free thing! What a JOKE! The person calling you spends ~$2/minute, but hooray it's cheap for the receiver. Cell phones in europe cost more overall for what you get than in the USA.



What European carrier charges that much per minute? I'm currently spending a year abroad in Eastern Europe, and my prepaid sim card gives me free calls to other people on the same network as long as I put the equivalent of five US dollars on a month, calling people on other networks in the same country costs about 12 cents a minute, if I want to call home to the US it costs about 25 cents a minute, and when I went to Turkey with it I could have used international roaming for 75 cents a minute. Plus I get free incoming calls and texts and 300MB of data for About 5 dollars a month, and if I need more there are different tiers going up to 10GB for a little less than $20. Maybe in the EU it costs a bit more but I'm pretty sure the US has some of the most expensive cell service you can get

macnisse
Jun 14, 2011, 07:07 AM
Good news! Perhaps :apple: is hoping this will keep some iphone owners from jailbreaking their devices?

benhollberg
Jun 14, 2011, 07:08 AM
I can't wait to start scalping iPhone 5s.

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 07:10 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Yep. The carrier picks up half to 2/3rds of the price if you agree to stay with them for two years.


Actually its cheap. You'll pay more for the subsidized phone in the end. It has been that way since subsidiaries have been established...

In Europe its store price is the same numbers with an € at the end... at the moment real exchange course is 1,4458US$ : 1€... so from my point of view it is cheap... this will sweeten every europeans trip to the US ;)

Until you figure out that you can't find a carrier for the unlocked iPhone. AT&T is the only one with the compatible 3G bands and they really don't play ball with international travelers.


Cheaper, but not a huge amount of difference:

In the UK a 16GB costs £425 ($696.73) vs $649 (£395.98) in the usa.

The above are pre-tax prices.

It's nice to see the USA getting access to unlocked iPhones though. Hopefully the carriers will respond with some awesome sim-only deals like we get here.

Its pretty much carrier in the singular (AT&T). T-Mobile and the small handful of regional GSM carriers on the unsupported band IV (AWS). Most of the legitimate competition is on CDMA which doesn't use sim cards. You won't see a europe like situation until A) laws are passed (which won't happens as long as the politicians are only worried about their own careers) and b) the LTE with voice transition is completed and all the US carriers use the same technology (and only assuming the LTE iphone will support all 14 bands)

For the time being, its paying more for the phone and paying the same for the plan.

Now it's time to do that also in Japan ... Freedom to choose ...now ...

Same situation as T-mobile. Japan uses bands VI, IX, and XI for data. Not supported on the unlocked iPhone. I'm pretty sure softbank had to have their own proprietary version since they use band IX.

I assume this means the iPhone 5 will also be available unlocked.

I am moving to the US in 2 weeks.

Can I currently buy an iPhone 4 and get a pay as you go or rolling month contract with AT&T or another carrier in the US using a micro-SIM? I don't want to be locked in for 24 months (or even 12 months for that matter) as will likely be coming back to the UK in June 2012.

Nope, unfortunately. AT&T's pay as you go service is not supported on the iPhone. There is a MVNO on AT&Ts network called H20 wireless which specializes in pay as you go and month to month, but you're not going to get 3G data. You're also going to want to check on the wireless coverage in the area you're going to be as GSM coverage can be rather spotty with a lot of places just getting 3G service late last year.

Guess who is ultimately subsidizing that price? You are! The carriers pay Apple the $ per month that you didn't pay up front for the phone. Either way, you're paying the same amount for the phone in the end. ...& usually more if you break contract early.

True, but they offer no plan discount for an unsubsidized phone. So you're paying double with the unsub phone.


Yay! Welcome US of A in the World of unlocked iPhones. I paid € 649,- ($ 938) here in Germany.

Is this price ($649,-) without taxes?

Yes. There is no Federal sales tax (though there could legally be one on interstate purchases) and not enough room for the state base sales tax plus the local options (0-11.5%).

bushido
Jun 14, 2011, 07:14 AM
True, but they offer no plan discount for an unsubsidized phone. So you're paying double with the unsub phone.

.

u don't have prepaid cards u could use? here u can get prepaid cards from discounter supermarkets for 20 € with 2GB of data, text and call flat

maestrokev
Jun 14, 2011, 07:16 AM
http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/[/url] for a list of AVERAGE internet speeds by country. Except for South Korea and Japan, all the other countries on top are EU countries. The US is on the 31st place and most countries above are part of the EU27. I was in charge of choosing the carrier for a company in both the States and EU and the states was a headache at 3-5 times the cost for landline, Internet and mobile.

I always laugh when people parade around that list. There's 27 EU countries? With the exception of France, Germany, Italy and UK all the rest have the population of US cities. There's over 300million people in the US so the use of average is a joke. All that matters is how fast your connection in your city is. It's not like the countries with faster internet access win more Nobel awards or dominate the world economy ;)

yg17
Jun 14, 2011, 07:19 AM
Good opportunity for Boost, T-Mobile (despite takeover) etc.

Boost is a mix of CDMA and iDEN and is completely incompatible with the iPhone, and T-Mobile is only compatible with the iPhone if you want to use EDGE - no 3G.

mst94
Jun 14, 2011, 07:19 AM
So i just called the apple store 5th avenue in NYC and ask if they can unlock my iPhone 4 which i bought in September without contract and they didn't knew it at that point, the guy said i should call back soon, maybe tonight.

Does anybody of you know more?

bizzle
Jun 14, 2011, 07:19 AM
This is exactly what I want. A phone that's already a year old and close to the end of it's life cycle for the low low price of $649.


Apple needs to get off the crack. This is a horrible deal, unlocked or not. I get that it's cheaper than other countries but it was available since day one for that price and other countries are just getting ripped off even more than the US.

andiwm2003
Jun 14, 2011, 07:23 AM
finally!

at 649.- + square trade insurance it's actually quite reasonable. I'm still using a 10 year old phone in europe for traveling. and I would have loved to be able to put a sim into my iphone in china to have internet there (or whatever counts as internet there give tyhe heavvy censoring).

chagla
Jun 14, 2011, 07:25 AM
you still have to use AT&T in the us. very few providers use micro-sim. as usual a non-standard.

millerb7
Jun 14, 2011, 07:26 AM
Boost is a mix of CDMA and iDEN and is completely incompatible with the iPhone, and T-Mobile is only compatible with the iPhone if you want to use EDGE - no 3G.

Yeah t-mobile only gets EDGE.

On the other hand, Cincinnati Bell will get full use of the iPhone on 3G... they are NO contracts with cincinnati bell and the plans are WAY cheaper (normally $20/month cheaper).

I MIGHT do this.

millerb7
Jun 14, 2011, 07:27 AM
you still have to use AT&T in the us. very few providers use micro-sim. as usual a non-standard.

Again, NOT true... Cincinnati Bell. They are Ohio-based (obviously the city of cincinnati) but they use AT&T towers anywhere outside the city (so you actually get good coverage nation-wide).... well same as AT&T coverage.

maestrokev
Jun 14, 2011, 07:29 AM
Actually in America (and Canada), the cost of the subsidy of the phone is recouped over the length of the contract (and actually built into the pricing model). The interesting part is that whether you sign a contact or not, you still pay the same price for your package, so in fact, the user who buy's their own phone unsubsidized is getting ripped off because the carrier actually makes more money off them over the same 2 year period. Carriers would love to get rid of subsidies, but the high cost of the phones is a barrier for most. Those laws are changing in Canada to force the carrier to only charge the penalty for the real remaining cost of the subsidy.

Very true, as you know until recently Rogers was the only GSM carrier in Canada. The only advantage to buying an unlocked iPhone was so you didn't need to jailbreak if travelling abroad and want to use a local SIM.

samcraig
Jun 14, 2011, 07:29 AM
There might not be too much advantage to people living in the US who buy an unlocked iPhone (for now).

For one - the only carriers who you could get service with are ATT and T-Mobile. And T-Mobile isn't going to get you 3G.

So you're pretty much going with ATT regardless. And while you might not be locked into a contract - chances are the costs will still be the same for service. I don't see them discounting - even though you're not subsidizing the phone.

So - again - if you're living in the US (and don't really travel) - the only advantage is no contract with a service provider that you're pretty much tethered to anyway.

Now - this is great news for those overseas or for those who travel, etc as it provides flexibility.

fkhan3
Jun 14, 2011, 07:29 AM
I can't wait to start scalping iPhone 5s.

Yeah, I can only image what it would be like when iPhone 5 comes out.

unlinked
Jun 14, 2011, 07:30 AM
I always laugh when people parade around that list. There's 27 EU countries? With the exception of France, Germany, Italy and UK all the rest have the population of US cities. There's over 300million people in the US so the use of average is a joke. All that matters is how fast your connection in your city is. It's not like the countries with faster internet access win more Nobel awards or dominate the world economy ;)

Your list of EU countries with a larger population than New York is missing about 10 countries. Please try again.

diamond.g
Jun 14, 2011, 07:33 AM
Great! Now I wonder if they would unlock the iPhone's of those of us that have completed our commitment or purchased at full price.

Jett0516
Jun 14, 2011, 07:35 AM
so why now?

why didn't they sell it when the iphone 4 launched?

sevimli
Jun 14, 2011, 07:39 AM
so why now?

why didn't they sell it when the iphone 4 launched?

ATT maybe?

ip4 is era almost over... ip5 is coming for sure!

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 07:39 AM
u don't have prepaid cards u could use? here u can get prepaid cards from discounter supermarkets for 20 € with 2GB of data, text and call flat

With the exception of H20 wireless, which is a MVNO on AT&T's network (and doesn't offer 3G data), there are no SIM based options for prepaid cellular. Prepaid here is carrier locked, even the GSM based ones.

Certinfy
Jun 14, 2011, 07:41 AM
This is good for people wanting an iPhone 4 abroad, much cheaper than a lot of other countries. Funny to see people surprised at how much the phone is ($650), I mean seriously here in the UK the same phone is £120 more unlocked. Nearly top end smartphone is more than $650 here.

Hurda
Jun 14, 2011, 07:42 AM
What European carrier charges that much per minute?
None.

Yep. The carrier picks up half to 2/3rds of the price if you agree to stay with them for two years.
Eh...

millerb7
Jun 14, 2011, 07:43 AM
There might not be too much advantage to people living in the US who buy an unlocked iPhone (for now).

For one - the only carriers who you could get service with are ATT and T-Mobile. And T-Mobile isn't going to get you 3G.

So you're pretty much going with ATT regardless. And while you might not be locked into a contract - chances are the costs will still be the same for service. I don't see them discounting - even though you're not subsidizing the phone.

So - again - if you're living in the US (and don't really travel) - the only advantage is no contract with a service provider that you're pretty much tethered to anyway.

Now - this is great news for those overseas or for those who travel, etc as it provides flexibility.

I dunno... guess this will be the last time I repeat it... but again... NOT TRUE.

Cincinnati Bell lets you use an iPhone, and will make an iPhone specific plan (about 20/month cheaper than AT&T) for you.... and they use AT&T towers outside the city limits.

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 07:46 AM
Your list of EU countries with a larger population than New York is missing about 10 countries. Please try again.

There are 7 EU countries with a population great than 19 million.

pbateman
Jun 14, 2011, 07:46 AM
Great! Now I wonder if they would unlock the iPhone's of those of us that have completed our commitment or purchased at full price.
As per Chronicwire tweet, he contacted ATT and they say they are still "not able to unlock it for you (at this time)"
Greedy bastards...

Scrumper
Jun 14, 2011, 07:47 AM
So the USA is finally catching up to Australia on something! We've had unlocked phones for sale since the 3G ;)

Had them for ages here in Great Britain too. Welcome (finally) aboard, USA! :p

samcraig
Jun 14, 2011, 07:48 AM
I dunno... guess this will be the last time I repeat it... but again... NOT TRUE.

Cincinnati Bell lets you use an iPhone, and will make an iPhone specific plan (about 20/month cheaper than AT&T) for you.... and they use AT&T towers outside the city limits.

Ok. I stand corrected. IF you're able to get on a Cincy Bell plan. The point is relatively moot. 99% (Yes - fact out of the air) of iPhone owners who don't travel and live in the US won't see a benefit.

The real "winners" here are those who travel and those who live abroad who come to the US and want to use their iPhones. And oh - Apple - for being able to sell more phones to those who have to pay more overseas.

jonnysods
Jun 14, 2011, 07:48 AM
Good for you guys. Us up here in Canada have had them for a while.

But I still went with a contract. $250 versus $800+ just wasn't a good move for me. But it does suck when I travel abroad.

manu chao
Jun 14, 2011, 07:50 AM
Well that assumes you can get service for less by having an unlocked phone. I can't seem to find a carrier who offers enough of a discount to matter.
According to Wikipedia there are a number of MVNO in the US using the AT&T network:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US_MVNO

Doing a thorough comparison of their offers and prices takes some time (but any consumer-oriented publication might do this for their readers, eg, let macrumors do this, I am sure it would be greatly appreciated).

millerb7
Jun 14, 2011, 07:52 AM
Ok. I stand corrected. IF you're able to get on a Cincy Bell plan. The point is relatively moot. 99% (Yes - fact out of the air) of iPhone owners who don't travel and live in the US won't see a benefit.

The real "winners" here are those who travel and those who live abroad who come to the US and want to use their iPhones. And oh - Apple - for being able to sell more phones to those who have to pay more overseas.

Yeah I might actuallly do this (assuming they'll be selling the new iPhones with the same options)... it'll save me tons in the long run... Cincinnati Bell's monthly rates are about $20/month LESS than AT&T and you get more minutes and unlimited data and texting... and the coverage is almost identical as it uses AT&T towers.

caspersoong
Jun 14, 2011, 07:52 AM
Finally. The prices are awfully cheap compared to here though.

Certinfy
Jun 14, 2011, 07:54 AM
There are 7 EU countries with a population great than 19 million.
Surely more:

United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Poland
France
Romania
Turkey
Spain
Ukraine
Russia

So 10 from my counting.

manu chao
Jun 14, 2011, 07:54 AM
There are 7 EU countries with a population great than 19 million.
This all depends on whether you take the population of the City of New York (8 million) or the combined urban area (18 million).

diamond.g
Jun 14, 2011, 07:55 AM
As per Chronicwire tweet, he contacted ATT and they say they are still "not able to unlock it for you (at this time)"
Greedy bastards...

Figures :mad:

mobilehaathi
Jun 14, 2011, 07:56 AM
Phone contracts are like abusive relationships.

Yep, which derives from the fact that they are contracts of adhesion.

maestrokev
Jun 14, 2011, 07:57 AM
This all depends on whether you take the population of the City of New York (8 million) or the combined urban area (18 million).

I should have clarified and used US state population since the EU is a growing membership of countries. My point is that it's not a valid comparison in surveys using the statistical term "average." I love how Europeans use the entire EU membership as a group to criticize one sole country, USA.

TheOriginalKi
Jun 14, 2011, 07:58 AM
Cheaper, but not a huge amount of difference:

In the UK a 16GB costs £425 ($696.73) vs $649 (£395.98) in the usa.

The above are pre-tax prices.

It's nice to see the USA getting access to unlocked iPhones though. Hopefully the carriers will respond with some awesome sim-only deals like we get here.

This is good for people wanting an iPhone 4 abroad, much cheaper than a lot of other countries. Funny to see people surprised at how much the phone is ($650), I mean seriously here in the UK the same phone is £120 more unlocked. Nearly top end smartphone is more than $650 here.

Not quite. You have to remember that is $650 PLUS tax. £510 here is already including tax.

OllyW
Jun 14, 2011, 08:00 AM
Surely more:

United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Poland
France
Romania
Turkey
Spain
Ukraine
Russia

So 10 from my counting.

Turkey, Ukraine and Russia are not EU members.

danrees
Jun 14, 2011, 08:00 AM
Nope, unfortunately. AT&T's pay as you go service is not supported on the iPhone. There is a MVNO on AT&Ts network called H20 wireless which specializes in pay as you go and month to month, but you're not going to get 3G data. You're also going to want to check on the wireless coverage in the area you're going to be as GSM coverage can be rather spotty with a lot of places just getting 3G service late last year.

I will be in NYC so AT&T coverage won't be a problem. Are you saying that people in NYC have no option but to stick with AT&T if they want to use a GSM iPhone on 3G, even after expiry of their contract?

So much for competition.

mobilehaathi
Jun 14, 2011, 08:01 AM
I will be in NYC so AT&T coverage won't be a problem. Are you saying that people in NYC have no option but to stick with AT&T if they want to use a GSM iPhone on 3G, even after expiry of their contract?

So much for competition.

Welcome to America...

maestrokev
Jun 14, 2011, 08:02 AM
Good for you guys. Us up here in Canada have had them for a while.

But I still went with a contract. $250 versus $800+ just wasn't a good move for me. But it does suck when I travel abroad.

I wonder how many Canadians bother paying full price for an unlocked phone since the GSM carrier monopoly is similar to the US.

Bubba Satori
Jun 14, 2011, 08:04 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

1. Apple is a poor, struggling company.
2. You don't want to know how much the iPhone costs to make.
3. Magic.

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 08:05 AM
According to Wikipedia there are a number of MVNO in the US using the AT&T network:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US_MVNO

Doing a thorough comparison of their offers and prices takes some time (but any consumer-oriented publication might do this for their readers, eg, let macrumors do this, I am sure it would be greatly appreciated).

Most of those are special purpose and/or locked though.


As someone who bought an unlocked iPhone in Germany two years ago and would never go back: What many people fail to notice is that the fact that you can equip an unlocked phone with any prepaid card you choose leads to increased competition. In the Us you don't get that, because the incompatible standards lock you in, no matter what. Maybe the iPhone 5 will remedy that, and then you would profit from carriers who actually have to work for their customers.

The situation is what it is for at least a couple more years until LTE over voice becomes standard. With 60+% of the market (and most of the carriers who actually invest in their networks) being CDMA there is no real option for this currently. To be honest, I think AT&T's exclusive iPhone deal with cingular in the states killed most of the prospects for a strong US GSM network. The competition had no incentive to switch.

chagla
Jun 14, 2011, 08:07 AM
Again, NOT true... Cincinnati Bell. They are Ohio-based (obviously the city of cincinnati) but they use AT&T towers anywhere outside the city (so you actually get good coverage nation-wide).... well same as AT&T coverage.

looks like you missed the keyword in my post. MICRO-SIM.

it doesn't matter if an MVNO (h20, c bell etc) is using at&t tower, they are using regular/standard size SIM cards, not MICRO-SIM. that's why you must get your service from at&t (at least in the USA) whether your iphone is locked or not.

can you tell me which provider use micro-sim cards in the US?

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:08 AM
Nope, unfortunately. AT&T's pay as you go service is not supported on the iPhone.

take a pair of scissors or a knife and cut the regular size sim from a gophone to a microsim size and pop it in your iphone 4. Works like a charm.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:11 AM
looks like you missed the keyword in my post. MICRO-SIM.

it doesn't matter if an MVNO (h20, c bell etc) is using at&t tower, they are using regular/standard size SIM cards, not MICRO-SIM. that's why you must get your service from at&t (at least in the USA) whether your iphone is locked or not.

can you tell me which provider use micro-sim cards in the US?

cut a regular size sim down to a microsim size and pop in your iphone. it's not difficult.

perry.alekna
Jun 14, 2011, 08:14 AM
If I wanted to use an unlocked iPhone on t-mobile for just calls and texts, could I do it? I know I would have to cut down the micro-sim card and if I wanted data it would only be able to use edge, but I have wifi everywhere, just want my phone to have everything all-in-one.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:16 AM
If I wanted to use an unlocked iPhone on t-mobile for just calls and texts, could I do it? I know I would have to cut down the micro-sim card and if I wanted data it would only be able to use edge, but I have wifi everywhere, just want my phone to have everything all-in-one.

yes, that would work.

sciolto
Jun 14, 2011, 08:17 AM
Anyone in the US willing to buy one for me and send it to Italy? :rolleyes:

Madmic23
Jun 14, 2011, 08:18 AM
I wonder how many Canadians bother paying full price for an unlocked phone since the GSM carrier monopoly is similar to the US.

Actually, it's a lot better here in Canada now. True, Rogers and Fido are the only GSM (Edge) providers (though they are the same company), but Bell and Telus rolled out their 3G HSPA network about 2 years ago making the iPhone compatible with just about every carrier in Canada.

In Canada, you can buy an unlocked iPhone and use it on:
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Fido
Koodo
Virgin Mobile

With Telus, Koodo and Rogers, you can use the iPhone on prepaid with their prepaid data plans.

I'm looking at picking up an unlocked iPhone 5 and switching to Koodo later this year.

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 08:22 AM
Surely more:

United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Poland
France
Romania
Turkey
Spain
Ukraine
Russia

So 10 from my counting.

Russian and Ukraine are in Eastern europe, but but part of the EU.

This all depends on whether you take the population of the City of New York (8 million) or the combined urban area (18 million).

New York State.

I should have clarified and used US state population since the EU is a growing membership of countries. My point is that it's not a valid comparison in surveys using the statistical term "average." I love how Europeans use the entire EU membership as a group to criticize one sole country, USA.

Its not a sole country, its 50 of them in a political union.


Not quite. You have to remember that is $650 PLUS tax. £510 here is already including tax.

Roughly $700 after taxes +/- $25.


I will be in NYC so AT&T coverage won't be a problem. Are you saying that people in NYC have no option but to stick with AT&T if they want to use a GSM iPhone on 3G, even after expiry of their contract?

So much for competition.

Yeah pretty much.

Certinfy
Jun 14, 2011, 08:23 AM
Turkey, Ukraine and Russia are not EU members.
Oh, didn't think of it that way.

LucasG
Jun 14, 2011, 08:24 AM
Now it would be nice if we could factory unlock old AT&T iPhones who have fulfilled their contract.

Becordial
Jun 14, 2011, 08:25 AM
Is there a reason they are not selling the 3GS unlocked? It would alleviate the microSIM issue, and would be the first choice for people who want an iPhone that is the most compatible abroad.

Whats the microsim issue? They're everywhere aren't they?

tonkaxxtuph
Jun 14, 2011, 08:25 AM
My boss last month spent $2,000 on white and black unlocked iphones he bought on ebay. He must feel crunchy...haha

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:26 AM
Whats the microsim issue? They're everywhere aren't they?

again, i'm not sure why everyone is stuck on the microsim issue. regular sim cards can be cut down to microsim size.

LucasG
Jun 14, 2011, 08:26 AM
Finally! Now to wait for the iPhone 5 and purchase my first factory unlocked iPhone. w00t! :)

iZac
Jun 14, 2011, 08:27 AM
Geez, do unlocked phones usually cost this much?

Just to be one of the (many) indignant brits :P, the $750 32Gb costs equivalent $1015 in the UK. (naturally I know US prices are shown without sales tax)

The USA has it goooood :)

bad03xtreme
Jun 14, 2011, 08:27 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:29 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:

that's the problem. there is zero competition in the USA. Either AT&T or TMobile, but then again AT&T is trying to buy them. So that would eliminate that real quick also.

LucasG
Jun 14, 2011, 08:29 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:

There aren't. It's mostly for those who travel a lot and want to switch sim cards and use on different carriers or use on carriers in the US that do not offer iPhone in a contract, if there are any.

freediverdude
Jun 14, 2011, 08:29 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but why in the world would someone in the US care about getting an unlocked iphone with a microsim? Even if you don't want a contract, you'll still be paying the same monthly fee as someone on a contract, and if you sign up for the contract you get the phone at the much lower price. Plus the ETF is less than the difference between the unlocked phone price and the locked phone price. So the unlocked phone does not make sense to me. Can't even take it to Europe and get a sim there because of the microsim. So I don't get it, at least for US customers.

bad03xtreme
Jun 14, 2011, 08:31 AM
Thanks, that what I was thinking but wanted to make 100% sure.

kultschar
Jun 14, 2011, 08:33 AM
Out of interest, can you walk into a Apple store in the UK and buy unlocked or is it exclusive to Apple website??

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:33 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but why in the world would someone in the US care about getting an unlocked iphone with a microsim? Even if you don't want a contract, you'll still be paying the same monthly fee as someone on a contract, and if you sign up for the contract you get the phone at the much lower price. Plus the ETF is less than the difference between the unlocked phone price and the locked phone price. So the unlocked phone does not make sense to me. Can't even take it to Europe and get a sim there because of the microsim. So I don't get it, at least for US customers.

it'd be about the same price in the end as you would have to pay for a months service upfront basically. you wouldn't have to mess with anything like that. Only advantage would be if you wanted to use it on tmobile etc.

pbateman
Jun 14, 2011, 08:34 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:

Not much i think...except for maybe higher resale value if you sell your phones every year when the new iphone comes out, but i dont think it would be worth it. In my case I'd get it to be able to use when traveling and for resale value since I can usually sell my phone abroad.

Compile 'em all
Jun 14, 2011, 08:35 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but why in the world would someone in the US care about getting an unlocked iphone with a microsim? Even if you don't want a contract, you'll still be paying the same monthly fee as someone on a contract, and if you sign up for the contract you get the phone at the much lower price. Plus the ETF is less than the difference between the unlocked phone price and the locked phone price. So the unlocked phone does not make sense to me. Can't even take it to Europe and get a sim there because of the microsim. So I don't get it, at least for US customers.

What do you mean 'because of the microsim'? All carriers here have a microsim option because, well, we have the iPhone too.

TheOriginalKi
Jun 14, 2011, 08:36 AM
Out of interest, can you walk into a Apple store in the UK and buy unlocked or is it exclusive to Apple website??

Yeah you can do that.

mrbrown
Jun 14, 2011, 08:37 AM
I think the million dollar question is whether or not AT&T and/or Apple will now start providing unlock codes for current U.S. iPhone users at the end of their contracts...

BenRoethig
Jun 14, 2011, 08:37 AM
Actually, it's a lot better here in Canada now. True, Rogers and Fido are the only GSM (Edge) providers (though they are the same company), but Bell and Telus rolled out their 3G HSPA network about 2 years ago making the iPhone compatible with just about every carrier in Canada.

In Canada, you can buy an unlocked iPhone and use it on:
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Fido
Koodo
Virgin Mobile

With Telus, Koodo and Rogers, you can use the iPhone on prepaid with their prepaid data plans.

I'm looking at picking up an unlocked iPhone 5 and switching to Koodo later this year.

With no exclusive deal, Bell and Telus had incentive to supplement their CDMA networks with GSM. The US market would have been much different if the iPhone was not sold here exclusively. A few mergers might not have taken place and there would probably be more GSM service.

Whats the microsim issue? They're everywhere aren't they?

Not here.

Thenubsauce
Jun 14, 2011, 08:37 AM
The iPad has a bigger screen and better specs, but the iPhone can call. So does the phone feature really cost apple that much more compared to the iPad?

ten-oak-druid
Jun 14, 2011, 08:38 AM
$50.00 more than carrier locked iPhone 4's.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC603LL/A?mco=MjI4NTM2NTM

Wonder if this means new iPhone will be unlocked as well

I really hope so. The 4G is supposed to be compatible with all carriers right? I can't see why Apple would do this now and stop with the next iphone.

Anyway the article states that the primary advantage is international travel. The secondary advantage is freedom to shut down the phone at anytime if necessary; to not be under contract.

dr Dunkel
Jun 14, 2011, 08:38 AM
I love how Europeans use the entire EU membership as a group to criticize one sole country, USA.

That could be down to the fact the the EU is one single market.

Becordial
Jun 14, 2011, 08:40 AM
There aren't. It's mostly for those who travel a lot and want to switch sim cards and use on different carriers or use on carriers in the US that do not offer iPhone in a contract, if there are any.

Having a group of users that can actually choose their carrier on servie and price is a very significant benefit. To the extent carriers don't merge, it forces all the carriers to fight to provides services. With a must-have handset at AT&T they haven't had to fight for customers and the deal they offer reflects that. Another benefit of these anti-competitive arrangements being reduced means that it encourages new entrants into the market.

Madmic23
Jun 14, 2011, 08:40 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but why in the world would someone in the US care about getting an unlocked iphone with a microsim? Even if you don't want a contract, you'll still be paying the same monthly fee as someone on a contract, and if you sign up for the contract you get the phone at the much lower price. Plus the ETF is less than the difference between the unlocked phone price and the locked phone price. So the unlocked phone does not make sense to me. Can't even take it to Europe and get a sim there because of the microsim. So I don't get it, at least for US customers.

Are you sure that you have to pay the same price?

In Canada, I know that both Bell and Telus will give you a discount on your monthly plan if you own your own hardware. They don't advertise it, but you can negotiate with them to get the discount. I think it was either $10 a month or 10%, not sure.

If you don't have subsidized hardware from the carrier, why should you pay the hidden subsidy in your monthly plan?

cvaldes
Jun 14, 2011, 08:42 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:
It doesn't.

Per the original article, the main benefit of an unlocked iPhone is for international travelers. Please go back and re-read the article.

I agree that you are very confused.

The iPad has a bigger screen and better specs, but the iPhone can call. So does the phone feature really cost apple that much more compared to the iPad?
No.

That's why the iPhone is Apple's cash cow. The gross margins on the handset are very fat.

The iPad's gross margin is quite modest for Apple.

CalBoy
Jun 14, 2011, 08:44 AM
While I'm excited by the possibility of an unlocked iPhone (the less carrier control, the better), I just don't see how this makes any financial sense for Americans.

Right now I get a subsidized iPhone every year from ATT because of the high rate plan we have. This means that I pay $450 less every year in device costs. Over the course of 12 months, I would need to shave an additional $37.50 off of my bill in order for the unlocked iPhone to make financial sense. The problem is, there is no way for me to knock this much off of my monthly bill because the only carrier that can fully utilize the GSM iPhone in the US is ATT. Since smaller carriers like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS all use CDMA, I would not be able to use a discount carrier.

Even if you only qualify for a new phone once every two years, the math still doesn't add up. It would require being able to pay $18.75 less per month.

I can see how this would work for those people who travel abroad frequently, but for most of us who don't get the chance to travel internationally often, it makes little sense to pay $450 for the luxury of being able to take the same phone with you.

AND since ATT is trying to buy out T-Mobile, it seems like GSM competition within the US is all but over. Unless discount carriers start offering support for GSM iPhones (as in full support-data and all) I don't see why we should be very excited about this as American customers.

On the other hand, I'm sure this is exciting for Europeans who will take advantage of the summer travel season, a weak Dollar, and the advantages of a sales tax rate that is below 10% in most states. ;)

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:44 AM
It doesn't.

Per the original article, the main benefit of an unlocked iPhone is for international travelers. Please go back and re-read the article.

I agree that you are very confused.

that's not the only benefit lol.

not sure why you need to be a jerk to him.

Madmic23
Jun 14, 2011, 08:45 AM
With no exclusive deal, Bell and Telus had incentive to supplement their CDMA networks with GSM. The US market would have been much different if the iPhone was not sold here exclusively. A few mergers might not have taken place and there would probably be more GSM service.



Bell and Telus didn't add HSPA coverage just for the iPhone. Just about every phone they sell now is HSPA.

They biggest driving factor for them was the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. They wanted to get the nework up in time to capitilize on all of those roaming fees from the international travellers coming for the event.

unlinked
Jun 14, 2011, 08:46 AM
I should have clarified and used US state population since the EU is a growing membership of countries. My point is that it's not a valid comparison in surveys using the statistical term "average." I love how Europeans use the entire EU membership as a group to criticize one sole country, USA.


That is a change not a clarification.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:48 AM
While I'm excited by the possibility of an unlocked iPhone (the less carrier control, the better), I just don't see how this makes any financial sense for Americans.

Right now I get a subsidized iPhone every year from ATT because of the high rate plan we have. This means that I pay $450 less every year in device costs. Over the course of 12 months, I would need to shave an additional $37.50 off of my bill in order for the unlocked iPhone to make financial sense. The problem is, there is no way for me to knock this much off of my monthly bill because the only carrier that can fully utilize the GSM iPhone in the US is ATT. Since smaller carriers like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS all use CDMA, I would not be able to use a discount carrier.

Even if you only qualify for a new phone once every two years, the math still doesn't add up. It would require being able to pay $18.75 less per month.

I can see how this would work for those people who travel abroad frequently, but for most of us who don't get the chance to travel internationally often, it makes little sense to pay $450 for the luxury of being able to take the same phone with you.

AND since ATT is trying to buy out T-Mobile, it seems like GSM competition within the US is all but over. Unless discount carriers start offering support for GSM iPhones (as in full support-data and all) I don't see why we should be very excited about this as American customers.

On the other hand, I'm sure this is exciting for Europeans who will take advantage of the summer travel season, a weak Dollar, and the advantages of a sales tax rate that is below 10% in most states. ;)
ATleast it's a step in some direction for consumers though.

I see it as a big advantage bc you are not tied up with carriers and their bs. The problem i have with all the carriers is if you have a smartphone they force you to have data when not everyone needs it. buying an unlocked iphone doesn't require you to be connected with AT&T if u wanted to go to tmobile prepaid etc. You could do AT&T prepaid and not have to worry about contract pricing or data same with tmobile. Atleast it gives you atleast SOME options.

cvaldes
Jun 14, 2011, 08:48 AM
that's not the only benefit lol.
I said it's the main benefit, not the only benefit.

Please go back and re-read my response. I am not interested in repeating the entire original article verbatim to that person, nor am I interested in repeating my entire response verbatim.

Reading comprehension matters.

Thank you.

nishwanth
Jun 14, 2011, 08:49 AM
Is it already available in the Apple Retail Stores???????????? I would love to get one before I leave for a holiday this friday.!!

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 08:50 AM
I said it's the main benefit, not the only benefit.

Please go back and re-read my response. I am not interested in repeating the entire original article verbatim to that person, nor am I interested in repeating my entire response verbatim.

Reading comprehension matters.

Thank you.

the main benefit is YOUR opinion. My opinion is not the same as yours, same as the guy you replied to. time of the month?

manu chao
Jun 14, 2011, 08:50 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but why in the world would someone in the US care about getting an unlocked iphone with a microsim? Even if you don't want a contract, you'll still be paying the same monthly fee as someone on a contract. Can't even take it to Europe and get a sim there because of the microsim.
Things have to start somewhere, there is little point in offering cheaper contracts for unlocked phones if nobody can buy unlocked phones. If Apple introduces a T-Mobile capable iPhone in September (or even or full 'world' phone), that is another step into the direction of more competition and choice.

And any carrier selling iPhones in Europe is also selling micro-SIMs. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what percentage of European carriers sell the iPhone. You might not get a micro-SIM at the supermarket counter but most cellphone stores should have them (and cutting a SIM is not exactly rocket science either).

Federico
Jun 14, 2011, 08:51 AM
I don't see how this helps people like me who never travel outside of the US. What are the advantages of an unlocked phone if I never leave my coverage area? :confused:

Well, in USA you have

AT&T

T-Mobile

Simple Mobile use T-Mobile Network, $40 for unlimited voice/text or $50 for unlimited voice/text/internet (2G)

and few regional options (Cellular One etc)

Federico
Jun 14, 2011, 08:54 AM
Remember, 650+tax (6 to 9%)
In my case (I live in FL)

650+tax=695.50, I paid 720 in November or a canadian version :D (NIB on Ebay)

HelveticaNeue
Jun 14, 2011, 08:54 AM
The iPad has a bigger screen and better specs, but the iPhone can call. So does the phone feature really cost apple that much more compared to the iPad?

I think the iPhone's retina display cost more than the iPad's larger display. And the iPad doesn't have better specs. Come September the iPhone will match the iPad 2's processor, possibly exceed it's RAM allocation, still have better cameras and likely introduce some new sensors or components like the gyro which came with the iPhone 4 then trickled down to the iPad 2. The iPad 2 is essentially the iPhone 4's 9 month old hand-me-downs with a new processor.

However, I believe that the iPhone's higher margins and higher sale volume allows Apple to keep the prices of iPod Touches and iPads lower.

CalBoy
Jun 14, 2011, 08:56 AM
ATleast it's a step in some direction for consumers though.

I see it as a big advantage bc you are not tied up with carriers and their bs. The problem i have with all the carriers is if you have a smartphone they force you to have data when not everyone needs it. buying an unlocked iphone doesn't require you to be connected with AT&T if u wanted to go to tmobile prepaid etc. You could do AT&T prepaid and not have to worry about contract pricing or data same with tmobile. Atleast it gives you atleast SOME options.

Except all of the options are worse than the thing they are options for.

Prepaid plans offer a decent price on minutes and texts, for example, but are pathetic for data plans ($25 buys you only 500MB). When you factor in the lack of hardware subsidies, it once again becomes a very grey area for the customer. If I pay $60/month for unlimited talk and text with a prepaid plan, it would be about $30 cheaper per month than I could get on a single contract plan. BUT, that's below the threshold of $37.50 I would need to save every month in order to make the unsubsidized price worthwhile.

I realize that some people want to use an iPhone without a data plan, but it just isn't practical. It's a smartphone, it's meant to always be connected. If you don't want that functionality, you're really after an iPod touch.

However, I do hope that smaller carriers compete with ATT once again. GSM can't be relegated to a single behemoth entity that is as incompetent as it is greedy. We NEED competition. As soon as that happens, the financials of an unlocked iPhone will make a lot more sense.

barnetty
Jun 14, 2011, 08:57 AM
Hello,

First of all i would like to say that i just bought an unlocked Iphone 4 16gb down in PTY (Panama) for $700 which at the time was pretty cheap down here as they sell for around $850. Funny how this is announced 3 days later but with shipping and everything it probably comes up the same.

I would like to add that the main benefit for unlocked phones in my opinion boils down to 3 separate things:

1. International TRavel: This has been discussed here so i wont even bother.

2. Carrier Flexibility/Plan Flexibility: So you want an iphone but dont want to pay $200 bucks a month for the next 2 years in an ATT plan that will include a bunch of Voice Minutes you don't really use because you TXT and use Data more often. Well perhaps you want to lower your plan to pay $50 a month, or $80 a month well you can if you have an unlocked phone (At least i think). The biggest thing here is the fact that you get to select how much you want to pay....perhaps you are used to forking out for the $200 bucks but it is still an advantage.

I personally wanted to get an iphone and i currently pay $30 a month in cell but if i changed carriers to an official iphone carrier i would have to pay $500 bucks for the "subsidized" iphone in order to keep my plan or start paying more on a monthly basis to get it cheaper. I decided to stay on my old carrier and buy an unlocked phone for the extra 200 and now i am not tied up (plus i have all the features active like personal hotspot which are usually blocked on the "official carriers").

3. IOS 5 GOAL:This is likely what apple is aiming for...i believe that in continuation of their strategy of having the iphone be a something that is basically independent of wires, pcs, etc. they want to open it up so you can basically if you want to fork out the cash gift the phone to a relative or family member and not have to worry about the plan, the carrier, etc.

MAGNUStm
Jun 14, 2011, 08:59 AM
How likely is it that AT&T will offer to unlock an existing phone? Perhaps for a fee?

NikeTalk
Jun 14, 2011, 08:59 AM
Aren't you still locked into a contract if you activate it with AT&T, even though you purchased it unlocked?

BruiserB
Jun 14, 2011, 09:00 AM
It would be nice if there was some sort of discount to the monthly plans if you bring your own phone. But it doesn't look like there is. I can understand that you are paying off your subsidy during the contract, but if you have your own phone, you pay the same amount....makes no sense!

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 09:01 AM
Except all of the options are worse than the thing they are options for.

Prepaid plans offer a decent price on minutes and texts, for example, but are pathetic for data plans ($25 buys you only 500MB). When you factor in the lack of hardware subsidies, it once again becomes a very grey area for the customer. If I pay $60/month for unlimited talk and text with a prepaid plan, it would be about $30 cheaper per month than I could get on a single contract plan. BUT, that's below the threshold of $37.50 I would need to save every month in order to make the unsubsidized price worthwhile.

I realize that some people want to use an iPhone without a data plan, but it just isn't practical. It's a smartphone, it's meant to always be connected. If you don't want that functionality, you're really after an iPod touch.

However, I do hope that smaller carriers compete with ATT once again. GSM can't be relegated to a single behemoth entity that is as incompetent as it is greedy. We NEED competition. As soon as that happens, the financials of an unlocked iPhone will make a lot more sense.
Again, you don't need data that is tied DIRECTLY to the phone only. I have wifi at home and at work. When i'm not home or at work I have a Verizon 4G mifi that i carry around with us. Right now i barely use my gophone sim it's basically there for emergency or when i'm not connected on data for some reason. It costs me less than $30/month for voice/text on that.

And no, a smartphone does not need to be connected 100% of the time. You are brainwashed just like everyone else thinking you need data 100% of the time. 95% of the time i'm either connected to wifi or my mifi. the other 5% i could careless.

CalBoy
Jun 14, 2011, 09:01 AM
How likely is it that AT&T will offer to unlock an existing phone? Perhaps for a fee?

I'm sure that a class action will be filed on behalf of all of those who recently bought an unsubsidized phone but who really wanted an unlocked one.

Try pressing ATT on the issue and keep your eyes and ears open to such news.

barnetty
Jun 14, 2011, 09:03 AM
by the way... i believe that if Apple had decided to sell the Iphone to be unlocked from the beginning out of their stores/distributors like they do any Ipad, Ipod, Macs, etc. and people could just walk into the store and grab it off a shelf then at least globally almost everyone would have an iphone by now.

The major detriment to the iphone outside the US (us market is strange because major carriers all use diferent technologies so it is very hard to make just a single product...although they did it for ipad 3g) is that it takes a long time to get there and when they do they are not as cheap as they may be in the USA when subsidized. This means that a lot of people end up getting blackberrys and even Android phones as the same models are available for all carriers (so you dont have to be switching) and usually you can get for cheap.

But in turn ipads fly of the shelf and you have to sniff them out to get them because people can just go to a store and get them.

Adidas Addict
Jun 14, 2011, 09:05 AM
Surely this will prompt US networks to join the rest of the world in offering sim-only plans? Everywhere else you can have a sim-only contract at a drastically reduced rate (as there is no phone subsidy to account for). Here in the UK for example all the networks offer sim-only plans with either a rolling monthly charge with no time commitment along with cheaper 12month and longer sim-only plans (Many of these are iPhone specific).

Gregintosh
Jun 14, 2011, 09:08 AM
I'd love it if they offered a way for me to unlock my 3GS which I broke my contract on to go to T-Mobile and at least take advantage of official updates, even if I have to stay on EDGE.

Though hopefully iPhone 5 this fall will be compatible with T-Mobile's frequencies and I can finally get normal 3G speed and all. Though $649 is a tough pill to swallow, so I may just opt for a subsidized version from T-Mobile if they start offering it at $199.

The price really is a bummer. $649? $199 + $375 early termination fee = $575. And doesn't AT&T let you buy one that's locked for $599? It's an Apple Tax I guess!

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 09:09 AM
I'd love it if they offered a way for me to unlock my 3GS which I broke my contract on to go to T-Mobile and at least take advantage of official updates, even if I have to stay on EDGE.

Though hopefully iPhone 5 this fall will be compatible with T-Mobile's frequencies and I can finally get normal 3G speed and all. Though $649 is a tough pill to swallow, so I may just opt for a subsidized version from T-Mobile if they start offering it at $199.

The price really is a bummer. $649? $199 + $375 early termination fee = $575. And doesn't AT&T let you buy one that's locked for $599? It's an Apple Tax I guess!

you have to pay for atleast 1 month of service....so it probably equals out.

blackburn
Jun 14, 2011, 09:10 AM
It's even cheaper than a locked one in here:D
A locked one here costs about 600€ 16GB an unlocked one costs 900€. Yet in the US it costs 450€ + taxes. So it's a good deal:D

steadysignal
Jun 14, 2011, 09:14 AM
Phone contracts are like abusive relationships.

i am all over this. i am tired of these 2 year commitments for a few bucks off on a phone.

CalBoy
Jun 14, 2011, 09:16 AM
Again, you don't need data that is tied DIRECTLY to the phone only. I have wifi at home and at work. When i'm not home or at work I have a Verizon 4G mifi that i carry around with us. Right now i barely use my gophone sim it's basically there for emergency or when i'm not connected on data for some reason. It costs me less than $30/month for voice/text on that.

While that might work well for you, I think a lot of people (like me) frequently go to places where they have no "base" to depend on Wifi or where carrying around an additional device makes no sense. I'm not going to take a mifi (where would I even put it??) when I go out for a night in the city or to the museum, or to go furniture shopping, or to go clothes shopping, or to go grocery shopping. Yet I will undoubtedly use data during these outings.


And no, a smartphone does not need to be connected 100% of the time. You are brainwashed just like everyone else thinking you need data 100% of the time. 95% of the time i'm either connected to wifi or my mifi. the other 5% i could careless.

I'm not brainwashed; I just hate device proliferation. I'd rather not carry around an additional piece of equipment, especially when I'll save, what, $5 a month? And does that factor in the cost of the mifi?

I especially gave up on the iPhone's wifi after about 2 months because it over-estimates it's ability to connect to networks. The iPhone would frequently think it could connect to a network that was really out of range. For my sanity, I just leave wifi off all the time (unless I must turn it on for some reason) and use 3G. Since I'm grandfathered into an unlimited plan, it doesn't make any sense for me to nickel and dime for those last $5 of savings.

cvaldes
Jun 14, 2011, 09:16 AM
the main benefit is YOUR opinion. My opinion is not the same as yours, same as the guy you replied to. time of the month?
No, the main benefit is not just my opinion.

It just so happens to be the opinion of the writer who penned the original MacRumors article.

Your reading comprehension needs work.

Go back and re-read the original article, not just my responses to you. It is utterly clear that you have not grasped the basic concepts of that short piece.

If you are normally better at reading comprehension, then I will posit that it is probably your time of the month.

diamond.g
Jun 14, 2011, 09:22 AM
It would be nice if there was some sort of discount to the monthly plans if you bring your own phone. But it doesn't look like there is. I can understand that you are paying off your subsidy during the contract, but if you have your own phone, you pay the same amount....makes no sense!

Yeah it is annoying. In the US it seem like only T-Mobile has a bring your own phone plans which are cheaper than the buy a phone from us plans.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 09:24 AM
No, the main benefit is not just my opinion.

It just so happens to be the opinion of the writer who penned the original MacRumors article.

Your reading comprehension needs work.

Go back and re-read the original article, not just my responses to you. It is utterly clear that you have not grasped the basic concepts of that short piece.

If you are normally better at reading comprehension, then I will posit that it is probably your time of the month.
here is your exact quote...

"I said it's the main benefit, not the only benefit."

hmmm yeah. "I" definitely means the writer huh?

dontwalkhand
Jun 14, 2011, 09:26 AM
T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, and regional GSM carriers (such as the rare Cellular One etc), start offering Micro SIMs!

celo48
Jun 14, 2011, 09:28 AM
AWESOME news!

dontwalkhand
Jun 14, 2011, 09:28 AM
Surely this will prompt US networks to join the rest of the world in offering sim-only plans? Everywhere else you can have a sim-only contract at a drastically reduced rate (as there is no phone subsidy to account for). Here in the UK for example all the networks offer sim-only plans with either a rolling monthly charge with no time commitment along with cheaper 12month and longer sim-only plans (Many of these are iPhone specific).

Technically you can get a SIM only plan with both T-Mobile or AT&T if you buy a phone outright. I've always been able to take an unlocked phone, tell the T-Mobile/AT&T guy I already had a phone, and they just set me up with a rate plan, gave me a SIM card, and I was good to go.

However, we do not get "drastically reduced rates" we would stay at the same rates as if the phone was subsidized...with AT&T. I know T-Mobile has those Even More Plus deals etc that gives you a reduced rate if you have a phone already.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 09:31 AM
While that might work well for you, I think a lot of people (like me) frequently go to places where they have no "base" to depend on Wifi or where carrying around an additional device makes no sense. I'm not going to take a mifi (where would I even put it??) when I go out for a night in the city or to the museum, or to go furniture shopping, or to go clothes shopping, or to go grocery shopping. Yet I will undoubtedly use data during these outings.



I'm not brainwashed; I just hate device proliferation. I'd rather not carry around an additional piece of equipment, especially when I'll save, what, $5 a month? And does that factor in the cost of the mifi?

I especially gave up on the iPhone's wifi after about 2 months because it over-estimates it's ability to connect to networks. The iPhone would frequently think it could connect to a network that was really out of range. For my sanity, I just leave wifi off all the time (unless I must turn it on for some reason) and use 3G. Since I'm grandfathered into an unlimited plan, it doesn't make any sense for me to nickel and dime for those last $5 of savings.
you were suggesting to me that i didn't need iphone functionality i needed an ipod touch. So i'm going to carry around an ipod touch, a cell phone and a mifi device to connect to the internet if i MUST? Ridiculous.

There is a reason they sell unlocked phones...so people have a choice. Not everyone needs 100% data strapped to their iphones at ALL times.

My mifi device costs me $38/month with tax after my 25% discount through my work. I can use it on my iphone, my wifes iphone, my ipad, and our macbook air and i could connect 1 more device if i really wanted to.

I pay $8 more a month and i can connect up to 5 devices at once and you are stuck paying $30/month for ONE phone.

Factor the mifi out of the equation. Not everyone needs data 100% of the time. Again, my work and home both have wifi. It doesn't make sense to pay $15-$30 per phone to data when i'm going to be using it 5% of the time?

If you don't want/need it, then it shouldn't be a requirement just to use a cell phone.

toddybody
Jun 14, 2011, 09:31 AM
i am all over this. i am tired of these 2 year commitments for a few bucks off on a phone.

I'd love to ditch the contract...but 199.99 (with 2 years of service which Ill be paying for anyway) or 649.00 with the ability to hop GSM providers at will. I just dont have any reason to justify the cost.

Honestly, my next phone may just be a "dumb one"...$120 a month is just too costly:(

gpat
Jun 14, 2011, 09:32 AM
I'd love to ditch the contract...but 199.99 (with 2 years of service which Ill be paying for anyway) or 649.00 with the ability to hop GSM providers at will. I just dont have any reason to justify the cost.

Honestly, my next phone may just be a "dumb one"...$120 a month is just too costly:(

Check out Virgin Mobile.

toddybody
Jun 14, 2011, 09:39 AM
Check out Virgin Mobile.

Yeah, they seem priced rather well.


All I really need is a phone. The iPad 2 fulfills most of my iOS lust.

rmhop81
Jun 14, 2011, 09:40 AM
Yeah, they seem priced rather well.


All I really need is a phone. The iPad 2 fulfills most of my iOS lust.

yeah $25/month is insane.

dgree03
Jun 14, 2011, 09:40 AM
No benefit what so ever buying an Iphone 4 off contract on att. Att doesnt discount your plan buy going no contract, so your best bet is to buy one one contract and save yourself some money.

Almost All telcos are crooks when it come to this. At least Tmobile does cut you a break on your plan if you buy off contract.