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MacRumors
Nov 26, 2007, 01:09 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

MacNotes.de (German) (http://www.macnotes.de/2007/11/22/iphone-ohne-vertrag-eure-ersten-eindrucke/) provides early notes and experiences from customers who have bought unlocked iPhones in Germany.

The first SIM-unlocked iPhones went on sale (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/21/t-mobile-selling-unlocked-iphones-in-germany/) in Germany on November 21st with a considerable (600 euro) premium over the usual SIM-locked iPhones. "Unlocked" simply means that the phone is not tied to any one network provider (such as AT&T or T-Mobile) and can accept any SIM card (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_Identity_Module).

The unlocking process is as follows: You simply buy a regular iPhone ("locked") and pay the additional premium (999 euro total). Your iPhone's IMEI number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMEI) is recorded and sent to Apple. After 24 hours or so, Apple's database is updated. At this stage, once you connect your iPhone to iTunes, the iPhone is automatically unlocked in a process that is described as taking only "seconds". You can then proceed to sync your now-unlocked iPhone with iTunes. The firmware remains at version 1.1.2 after the unlock. The process raises a number of questions and also opens the possibility of unauthorized unlocking solutions to become readily available.

The sale of unlocked iPhones in Germany was forced by a temporary injunction against T-Mobile, and could potentially be overturned at a future court date.

Regardless, Apple is required to offer unlocked iPhones in France after 6 months according to French law, so the infrastructure must remain available in iTunes. The iPhone will launch in France (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/10/16/apple-announces-that-orange-is-exclusive-iphone-carrier-in-france/) on November 29th.


Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/26/german-iphones-unlocked-by-itunes/)



DesertFox
Nov 26, 2007, 01:12 AM
That is some very good news!

raskar
Nov 26, 2007, 01:28 AM
I would love to get one, but with the current price.. not for me :(

thevofl
Nov 26, 2007, 01:29 AM
I say sell them unlocked here in the US as well. They can sell them for $1199. Being an AT&T customer, it will be interesting to watch the reaction.

koobcamuk
Nov 26, 2007, 01:35 AM
That is some very good news!

It's not long now :)

Doctor Q
Nov 26, 2007, 01:36 AM
I've been curious about how unlocking works. This answers a few questions, but raises some more.

djearlybird
Nov 26, 2007, 01:38 AM
wow.......just wow :eek:

redkamel
Nov 26, 2007, 01:42 AM
holy shnikes!!! 999 euros!!! I cant believe people will buy it (probably wont)! I BARELY bought it at the first price! the 399 is acceptable...but 999 euros!!! (blink blink) thats more than a macbook in the US!!! Steves gone mad!

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 01:46 AM
I sort of wish that the iPhone was always sold unlocked and never on any carrier, but at a more reasonable price point. I suppose that they would not have sold as many iPhones that way, however, since we Americans can't seem to grasp the concept of unlocked phones...

brianbobcat
Nov 26, 2007, 01:49 AM
So does anyone think Apple is tracking IMEI numbers so that unlocked phones don't end up stateside without AT&T? My friend has T-mobile here and doesn't want to switch, but does want an iPhone? Would it be illegal for him to bring a phone back form europe and use it here with T-mobile, of course without the Visual Voicemail, ect?

-Brian

arn
Nov 26, 2007, 01:52 AM
So does anyone think Apple is tracking IMEI numbers so that unlocked phones don't end up stateside without AT&T? My friend has T-mobile here and doesn't want to switch, but does want an iPhone? Would it be illegal for him to bring a phone back form europe and use it here with T-mobile, of course without the Visual Voicemail, ect?

I would guess that the IMEI is cross-checked against the Apple database with each iTunes sync, and the phone gets locked if it's not an "authorized' IMEI.

That's just a pure guess... but it makes sense.

arn

Nermal
Nov 26, 2007, 01:54 AM
My friend has T-mobile here and doesn't want to switch, but does want an iPhone? Would it be illegal for him to bring a phone back form europe and use it here with T-mobile, of course without the Visual Voicemail, ect?

At this stage I'd wait and see what happens with the French phones.

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 02:01 AM
I would guess that the IMEI is cross-checked against the Apple database with each iTunes sync, and the phone gets locked if it's not an "authorized' IMEI.

That's just a pure guess... but it makes sense.

arn

Why wouldn't they allow it? It's unlocked. Once it's unlocked, you can put any SIM into it.

LastZion
Nov 26, 2007, 02:10 AM
Why wouldn't they allow it? It's unlocked. Once it's unlocked, you can put any SIM into it.

Exactly, thats why they are paying 600 euro's.
Can't wait for them to offer this elsewhere. Interested to see where that 600 euro's goes, what % to apple, what % to network...

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 02:15 AM
Exactly, thats why they are paying 600 euro's.
Can't wait for them to offer this elsewhere. Interested to see where that 600 euro's goes, what % to apple, what % to network...

I actually think that €399 or $399 is the real MSRP and €999 was a price Apple/DT made up to be ridiculously high because they don't want to be selling unlocked iPhones.

duyvan82
Nov 26, 2007, 02:15 AM
IMO, the price is ridiculous, a fully (or partially) unlocked iPhone at the same price as a MacBook >_<

The only good thing about this is that I really hope the iphone dev team will find out a way to unlock OOB 1.1.2 "using" this technique. I really wanna make some calls using my iPhone (which has been used as an expensive iTouch since lol)

queshy
Nov 26, 2007, 02:17 AM
That's almost $1500 CAD! My MBP was only $1999! They're nuts...

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 02:18 AM
IMO, the price is ridiculous, a fully (or partially) unlocked iPhone at the same price as a MacBook >_<

The only good thing about this is that I really hope the iphone dev team will find out a way to unlock OOB 1.1.2 "using" this technique. I really wanna make some calls using my iPhone (which has been used as an expensive iTouch since lol)

I remember MR did a breakdown of the cost of parts in the iPhone, and it totaled to somewhere around $250. They're making almost $1250 in profit here! That price of 999 was clearly set just so people wouldn't buy it.

xUKHCx
Nov 26, 2007, 03:24 AM
I remember MR did a breakdown of the cost of parts in the iPhone, and it totaled to somewhere around $250. They're making almost $1250 in profit here! That price of 999 was clearly set just so people wouldn't buy it.

Or it is set so high to recoup the lost revenue from not having the person subscribe to a contract.

psxndc
Nov 26, 2007, 03:26 AM
I remember MR did a breakdown of the cost of parts in the iPhone, and it totaled to somewhere around $250. They're making almost $1250 in profit here! That price of 999 was clearly set just so people wouldn't buy it.

a) there is more to the iPhone than the internal parts, e.g., costs to repair under warranty, costs to provide wireless iTunes, etc. so to say profit is based on the internal costs alone is silly. b) Apple is expecting to make $432 per iPhone from the $18/month they are getting from AT&T over the course of a two-year contract. Whether you think Apple should get that is another matter, but it is what they are expecting. Now, if AT&T is out of the picture, i.e., via an unlocked iPhone being used on another carrier, then that's $432 Apple isn't getting and that is what they are trying to make up for. I can't explain the 999 Euros vs. $432 USD difference, but the $432 is part of the discrepancy.

I told a T-Mobile rep the other day (when purchasing my Blackberry Curve) that T-Mobile's customer service is the only reason I haven't gotten an iPhone (since really, T-Mo's service IS great and I don't want to switch to AT&T). The rep suggested I buy an iPhone and unlock it and told me several customers did that and were happy with it. I thought it was funny, but meh, not worth the headache.

Plumbstone
Nov 26, 2007, 03:37 AM
I imagine the extra money for the unlocked version equates pretty well with what Apple would make in 18 months off their deal with AT&T or O2, They are after all a business and don't really care if they get their money direct from the consumer or via a network.

It also appears that some people at least are willing to pay the premium in advance to own an iphone rather than pay it over the course of 18 months via their phone bills like everyone else (illegal unlockers aside of course). Ultimately every "legal" iphone owner will end up paying roughly the same premium to Apple to own an iPhone.

IDANNY
Nov 26, 2007, 04:04 AM
What would happen if you tired to unlock a us iphone in germany?

TheSpecialist
Nov 26, 2007, 04:06 AM
Very interesting. I think Apple keeps the unlocking technique on their servers with IMEI numbers. I guess that your iPhone's IMEI have to be verified by the Apple server, else it would not unlock. I doubt hackers can use this technique.

jmmo20
Nov 26, 2007, 04:15 AM
Now Microsoft can actually say that the iPhone is the most expensive phone nowadays (not taking into account all those silly phones made of gold or filled with diamonds, that is!!!)

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 04:17 AM
You make a good point. I forgot about that, but still, thats another unexplained $800 of profit there.

The customer service is somehing I miss from t-mobile. I also miss the non-utilized 850 band on t-mobile because I still use unlocked phones lacking it from time to time. I'm pretty happy with AT&T, though.
a) there is more to the iPhone than the internal parts, e.g., costs to repair under warranty, costs to provide wireless iTunes, etc. so to say profit is based on the internal costs alone is silly. b) Apple is expecting to make $432 per iPhone from the $18/month they are getting from AT&T over the course of a two-year contract. Whether you think Apple should get that is another matter, but it is what they are expecting. Now, if AT&T is out of the picture, i.e., via an unlocked iPhone being used on another carrier, then that's $432 Apple isn't getting and that is what they are trying to make up for. I can't explain the 999 Euros vs. $432 USD difference, but the $432 is part of the discrepancy.

I told a T-Mobile rep the other day (when purchasing my Blackberry Curve) that T-Mobile's customer service is the only reason I haven't gotten an iPhone (since really, T-Mo's service IS great and I don't want to switch to AT&T). The rep suggested I buy an iPhone and unlock it and told me several customers did that and were happy with it. I thought it was funny, but meh, not worth the headache.

doemel
Nov 26, 2007, 04:29 AM
Very interesting. I think Apple keeps the unlocking technique on their servers with IMEI numbers. I guess that your iPhone's IMEI have to be verified by the Apple server, else it would not unlock. I doubt hackers can use this technique.

If there's any interaction with a server on the net, which is very likely, there's always a way to make your iPhone think it's connected to Apple's server whereas in reality it connects to some other server that'll make it think it's unlocked and fancy-free now...

hdasmith
Nov 26, 2007, 04:38 AM
So does anyone think Apple is tracking IMEI numbers so that unlocked phones don't end up stateside without AT&T? My friend has T-mobile here and doesn't want to switch, but does want an iPhone? Would it be illegal for him to bring a phone back form europe and use it here with T-mobile, of course without the Visual Voicemail, ect?

-Brian

My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.

The lack of FCC mark does make me wonder as to whether they've had to change something internally for the EU market.

In terms of unlocking, I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a way of tricking iTunes to send the IMEI number to Apple instead of the phones real IMEI number. It just creates a game of cat and mouse as Apple removes IMEI numbers used by the hackers from their database.

kamiboy
Nov 26, 2007, 04:48 AM
Wow, a few seconds for the actual unlock, that is awesome. This gives me hopes for a soon to appear emulation of the iTunes legit unlock process so that I no longer have to got though a half assed hack to get a new firmware onto my iPhone every time.

This is seriously too cool.

jonnyb
Nov 26, 2007, 04:50 AM
My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.


Of course mobile phones are supposed to be used in other countries - that's why we have quad-band phones and roaming!

jelloyacket
Nov 26, 2007, 04:52 AM
At one point, didn't Steve claim that the iPhones weren't going to be subsidized by the monthly fees?

xUKHCx
Nov 26, 2007, 04:54 AM
My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.

The lack of FCC mark does make me wonder as to whether they've had to change something internally for the EU market.

In terms of unlocking, I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a way of tricking iTunes to send the IMEI number to Apple instead of the phones real IMEI number. It just creates a game of cat and mouse as Apple removes IMEI numbers used by the hackers from their database.

Interesting about the FCC mark, perhaps a licensing fee issue.

Removing IMEI numbers from the database could lead to legit customers being denied service (only for a short time because they could phone up, assuming they have another phone, and complain). However that would be unacceptable and would potentially cause an outcry.

melevittfl
Nov 26, 2007, 04:57 AM
My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.


It's only illegal for Apple to sell it. It's not illegal for you to use it in the US. In fact I'm using my UK iphone in the US to write this mesage.

trakais
Nov 26, 2007, 04:58 AM
My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.

The lack of FCC mark does make me wonder as to whether they've had to change something internally for the EU market.

In terms of unlocking, I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a way of tricking iTunes to send the IMEI number to Apple instead of the phones real IMEI number. It just creates a game of cat and mouse as Apple removes IMEI numbers used by the hackers from their database.

the FCC is mandatory only for SELLING electronic devices, not using them. Of course you can use your CE'd phone anywhere in the world.

trakais
Nov 26, 2007, 04:59 AM
If there's any interaction with a server on the net, which is very likely, there's always a way to make your iPhone think it's connected to Apple's server whereas in reality it connects to some other server that'll make it think it's unlocked and fancy-free now...

exactly, my bet - it's coming in about a week ;)

hdasmith
Nov 26, 2007, 05:11 AM
Interesting about the FCC mark, perhaps a licensing fee issue.

Removing IMEI numbers from the database could lead to legit customers being denied service (only for a short time because they could phone up, assuming they have another phone, and complain). However that would be unacceptable and would potentially cause an outcry.

I realise removing IMEI numbers will cause problems, but presumably they're only needed once to actually unlock the phone. I suppose it's possible that the phone is tested each time a new sync occurs, and relocked if there's no match.

I imagine this process because companies use it to protect against software downloaded illegally.

As for FCC, I had read somewhere that the lack of CE mark did in fact make it illegal to use in Europe. That could well be wrong though. As for roaming, thank you everyone for enlightening me about that, it's not as if I've worked in Greece and Turkey as well as visited lots of different countries with my UK phone before. However, my UK phone and in fact my 1st Gen iPod have both the CE and FCC marks.

Aihal
Nov 26, 2007, 05:15 AM
Most unlocked smartphones are generally pretty expensive, 300-400 here in the UK anyway.

DukeofAnkh
Nov 26, 2007, 05:39 AM
Apple is expecting to make $432 per iPhone from the $18/month they are getting from AT&T over the course of a two-year contract. Whether you think Apple should get that is another matter, but it is what they are expecting. Now, if AT&T is out of the picture, i.e., via an unlocked iPhone being used on another carrier, then that's $432 Apple isn't getting and that is what they are trying to make up for. I can't explain the 999 Euros vs. $432 USD difference, but the $432 is part of the discrepancy.

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that the rest of the discrepancy is going towards making up the money T-Mobile is losing from not having the unlocked iphone owner as a customer. It's only a guess, but since T-Mobile is doing the actual selling of the phone (unless I read something wrong?) they'd want to make some sort of profit as well as Apple.

twoodcc
Nov 26, 2007, 05:48 AM
wow. i wonder what this means for the US?

Devil's Refugee
Nov 26, 2007, 06:05 AM
Is there any way to clone an IMEI number, and therefor apply it to another phone ?
Would iTunes then be fooled into thinking you've got a German based iPhone and unlock it ??

mooseworks
Nov 26, 2007, 06:23 AM
a) there is more to the iPhone than the internal parts, e.g., costs to repair under warranty, costs to provide wireless iTunes, etc. so to say profit is based on the internal costs alone is silly. b) Apple is expecting to make $432 per iPhone from the $18/month they are getting from AT&T over the course of a two-year contract. Whether you think Apple should get that is another matter, but it is what they are expecting. Now, if AT&T is out of the picture, i.e., via an unlocked iPhone being used on another carrier, then that's $432 Apple isn't getting and that is what they are trying to make up for. I can't explain the 999 Euros vs. $432 USD difference, but the $432 is part of the discrepancy.


I'm interested in what happens after the 18 month / 2 year contract!!
Do you automatically have the right then to 'legally' unlock and go with whatever carrier you want or are you bullied into re-signing for the current carrier and apple get more of the proceeds? Does the contract price drop because Apple have got their cut now? What happens for new customers then? Do they get unlocked iPhones available from the shops at a less heavily penalised rate? I wonder..............

Consultant
Nov 26, 2007, 06:29 AM
Very interesting. I think Apple keeps the unlocking technique on their servers with IMEI numbers. I guess that your iPhone's IMEI have to be verified by the Apple server, else it would not unlock. I doubt hackers can use this technique.

Hacked did use this technique when the iPhone first came out, to jailbreak (fake activate) the phone, but not for SIM unlocking if I remember.

---------
Revision
"Hacked" should be Hackers

Matti
Nov 26, 2007, 06:34 AM
The lack of FCC mark does make me wonder as to whether they've had to change something internally for the EU market.



Why on earth would there be a FCC mark on a phone meant to be sold in Europe. FCC means Federal Communications Commission. Thats a US govermental agency. CE mark is the European equavalent.

Lack of FCC mark doesn't mean anything else excpet that you bought your phone in Europe instead of USA.

slinky0390
Nov 26, 2007, 06:51 AM
unlocked phones are ehh, i guess cool.. i mean, i love at&t, and would never switch to anything else, and really, the only other GSM carrier in the us is T-Mobile (worst carrier ever, had a sidekick for a while) i kinda view it like, if you want a ram truck with a hemi engine, youre going to have to get a dodge. i can understand for the people that do not get service where they live, but for the others that "just" hate at&t, it kinda sucks for them.

Smaugg
Nov 26, 2007, 06:52 AM
I've one of these $1,500 iPhones and 4 days after buying it's still locked. T-Mobile has been completely incompetent in unlocking it and its telephone "customer service" representatives are totally clueless, not to mention those in the shops. Apple has been more professional in their responses, but basically they just blame each other for the delay. In the meantime, I am sitting here with the most expensive paper weight in the world.

mccldwll
Nov 26, 2007, 07:08 AM
.... b) Apple is expecting to make $432 per iPhone from the $18/month they are getting from AT&T over the course of a two-year contract. Whether you think Apple should get that is another matter, but it is what they are expecting. Now, if AT&T is out of the picture, i.e., via an unlocked iPhone being used on another carrier, then that's $432 Apple isn't getting and that is what they are trying to make up for. I can't explain the 999 Euros vs. $432 USD difference, but the $432 is part of the discrepancy.

Just to get something cleared up: The public does not know how much Apple is getting from AT&T. Estimates are all over the map, with the $18/month used often accepted as fact since it came from Gene Munster, one of the more credible aapl analysts. But again, just one guy's guess. It may or may not be accurate, but I seriously doubt it's that simple--probably different amounts for new customers vs. existing, shifting amounts as different sales figures are reached, different for different plans, etc..

As far as the additional amount to be paid for unlocked iPhone (beyond that to Apple), the carrier was required to make up front expenditures to ready the network for the iPhone. Even advertising. Those costs need to be amortized/recovered over an expected number of iPhones to be sold/used on the network. No real profit until those costs recovered. The additional @$400 may sound extremely steep, but probably can be justified on paper, with a straight face, at this stage. That amount should decline as more are sold/activated, and costs are recovered.

xenotaku
Nov 26, 2007, 07:39 AM
I remember MR did a breakdown of the cost of parts in the iPhone, and it totaled to somewhere around $250. They're making almost $1250 in profit here! That price of 999 was clearly set just so people wouldn't buy it.

Those breakdowns really don't express the true cost of a product. While the actual components might cost $250, that doesn't take into account customer service under warranty, the 100s of millions of dollars of R&D put into the phone, they price they pay the manufacturers to actually assemble the product, the packaging, shipping....etc...

I would be interested to know how much Apple spent on R&D over the last 5 years, and then divide that by how many phones they have sold thus far + $250, as that would be closer to the true price of the phone.

chicagostars
Nov 26, 2007, 08:00 AM
Most unlocked smartphones are generally pretty expensive, 300-400 here in the UK anyway.

Similar situation here in the States. Much noise is made about other phones here, but getting one of the really hot Nokia models will set you back $600-800 . . . sometimes more. (Heck, a brand new Blackberry will still hit you for $500 under contract.)

mikesown
Nov 26, 2007, 08:08 AM
Just to get something cleared up: The public does not know how much Apple is getting from AT&T. Estimates are all over the map, with the $18/month used often accepted as fact since it came from Gene Munster, one of the more credible aapl analysts. But again, just one guy's guess. It may or may not be accurate, but I seriously doubt it's that simple--probably different amounts for new customers vs. existing, shifting amounts as different sales figures are reached, different for different plans, etc..

As far as the additional amount to be paid for unlocked iPhone (beyond that to Apple), the carrier was required to make up front expenditures to ready the network for the iPhone. Even advertising. Those costs need to be amortized/recovered over an expected number of iPhones to be sold/used on the network. No real profit until those costs recovered. The additional @$400 may sound extremely steep, but probably can be justified on paper, with a straight face, at this stage. That amount should decline as more are sold/activated, and costs are recovered.

I don't imagine the contract is too complicated. Remember, Steve threw away that $65 million dollar contract from IBM because he thought the contract was too long at 100 pages. He insisted that the contract be 10 pages or shorter.(http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/1220.html).

unigolyn
Nov 26, 2007, 08:49 AM
unlocked phones are ehh, i guess cool.. i mean, i love at&t, and would never switch to anything else, and really, the only other GSM carrier in the us is T-Mobile (worst carrier ever, had a sidekick for a while) i kinda view it like, if you want a ram truck with a hemi engine, youre going to have to get a dodge.

Get your car analogies straight. Dodge=Apple, Ram truck=iPhone. AT&T=Shell. Wanna buy gas at Esso or Texaco? Tough luck.

I don't understand why some people are so gung ho about supporting this dumb carrier tie-in decision by Apple. Would you buy a TV that only worked with one cable provider? Would you buy a computer that worked with only one ISP?

The most popular mobile device this decade is the BlackBerry, and the BlackBerry is NOT carrier-exclusive. Yes, carriers still brand them and subsidize them, but Apple is doing neither with the iPhone on AT&T. Just sell the damn thing like any other phone - unlocked unless the carrier sells it subsidized.

Also, when the hell are we going to get the iPhone in Canada? Or TV shows on iTunes? Or prices that reflect the actual value of the Canadian dollar?

Mybabesagenius
Nov 26, 2007, 08:52 AM
Well, I remember T-Mobile offering their MDA Pro model

http://www.interstar.ua/mobile/img/phones/t-mobile_mda_pro_rus_add_82.jpg

for almost 800,- (+/-$ 1,189) without a contract back in 2005.

http://msmobiles.com/news.php/4242.html

So it has always been like that over here in Germany / Netherlands. Not really suprised about the whole 999,- thang.

Here is an interesting list of simfree phones offered by the phonestore in the Netherlands (e.g. the friggin' MDA Vario2 device 749,90 = +/- $ 1113,- LOL!!! ) to give you an example

http://www.phonehouse.nl/index.php?active=227&type=HS&koopjes=0

popeye6688
Nov 26, 2007, 08:53 AM
love and hate iPhone :(

christian_k
Nov 26, 2007, 09:11 AM
Those breakdowns really don't express the true cost of a product. While the actual components might cost $250, that doesn't take into account customer service under warranty, the 100s of millions of dollars of R&D put into the phone, they price they pay the manufacturers to actually assemble the product, the packaging, shipping....etc...
.

That's right.

But it applies to all other phones as well. I can get a N95 for 499 Eur. unlocked w/o contract, half the price of the Apple one. Sure, that does not have to coolness of an iPhone, but it does have HSDPA, GPS and a better camera. Nokia has to pay r&d as well.

It has been usual to pay a premium for choosing a mac over something else, but in this case its a lot.

Christian

eastcoastsurfer
Nov 26, 2007, 09:17 AM
That's right.

But it applies to all other phones as well. I can get a N95 for 499 Eur. unlocked w/o contract, half the price of the Apple one. Sure, that does not have to coolness of an iPhone, but it does have HSDPA, GPS and a better camera. Nokia has to pay r&d as well.

It has been usual to pay a premium for choosing a mac over something else, but in this case its a lot.

Christian

I agree. I wonder as Apple grows in market share if they will eventually feel backlash from they way the appear to be milking customers. Fanboys will put up with a lot, but the general public won't.

gu014
Nov 26, 2007, 09:22 AM
It also appears that some people at least are willing to pay the premium in advance to own an iphone rather than pay it over the course of 18 months via their phone bills like everyone else (illegal unlockers aside of course). Ultimately every "legal" iphone owner will end up paying roughly the same premium to Apple to own an iPhone.

Perfectly 'legal' to unlock your phone.

megfilmworks
Nov 26, 2007, 09:30 AM
Perfectly 'legal' to unlock your phone.

Isn't "perfectly legal" an oxymoron?

gu014
Nov 26, 2007, 09:33 AM
Isn't "perfectly legal" an oxymoron?

No.

Anderzander
Nov 26, 2007, 09:43 AM
No.

The law is far from perfect, so it might be.


999 is a LOT of money

I think for that price I'd rather get one on a provider and get the bonus of free call time etc. and have it (hopefully) sim free at the end of 18 months.

I presume that is the reaction that apple intended?

jmmo20
Nov 26, 2007, 09:44 AM
Most unlocked smartphones are generally pretty expensive, 300-400 here in the UK anyway.

unlocked german iPhone is about 700 pounds.. that's almost double so I don't see what's the point in your message.

suzerain
Nov 26, 2007, 10:19 AM
I realise removing IMEI numbers will cause problems, but presumably they're only needed once to actually unlock the phone. I suppose it's possible that the phone is tested each time a new sync occurs, and relocked if there's no match.


If this is true, there's a pretty simple solution: go offline before a sync.

But anyway I don't think they can do this. Are you guys really suggesting that if a German businessman takes his unlocked phone to, like, London or San Francisco (where no unlocked phones are sold), Apple is going to disable the phone just because he syncs it in his hotel room while using a British or American sim card?

I don't know German law, but I think they would get their asses sued off in Germany if they pulled **** like that. If the phone's being sold as 'unlocked', it had better work that way.

suzerain
Nov 26, 2007, 10:26 AM
Living in China, I'm interested about the negotiations between China Mobile and Apple. Here, cell service is totally a la carte, so I don't see how they're going to sell this phone in any exclusive kind of way.

Here, you buy a phone (I have a tiny LG), then you go buy a cell number, and when you need to recharge it, you buy cards with a code on it. Totally anonymous; all done with cash...just the way I like it.

Funny, as an American, I had to move to China to experience what freedom in cell service can be like, but that's the way it goes.

With people here accustomed to this sort of way of doing business, I am just curious about how the iPhone's going to fit into the mix. Seems to me if locked with some stupid contract it's not going to sell well, and a price point of more than $2000 (999 euro + 399 euro), it's definitely not going to sell well either.

Consultant
Nov 26, 2007, 11:00 AM
If you have bought one of these unlocked iPhones and have problem activating,
here is some info:

http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=5950897

ChrisA
Nov 26, 2007, 11:09 AM
I remember MR did a breakdown of the cost of parts in the iPhone, and it totaled to somewhere around $250. They're making almost $1250 in profit here! That price of 999 was clearly set just so people wouldn't buy it.

It's not high. What would you pay for an iPhone with a contract? About $1,800 I think. Work it out $60 per month for 24 months. Either you pay $1250 up front of $1,800 on installments over two years.

What Apple is trying to do here is teach people that phones are not free. You pay for them with grossly inflated monthly airtime charges that actually payoff the load on the phone. Yes the phone has only $250 worth the parts inside. But you have to also pay for the factory that assembles the parts, transportationa and the retail store that sells t. And what about all those engineers at Apple, they don't work cheap and there are many of them

ifredrick
Nov 26, 2007, 11:18 AM
You have to remember that when you unlock your phone, Apple is losing out on money that could of been spent on R&D.... or Yachts and Jets. AT&T is amazing when it comes to consumer rights, just think, they thought about us long enough to even consider an exclusive contract featuring the blazing speed of EDGE. I think Apple should take everyone of those iPhone hackers and unlockers in the states to court, and then do the same to those who have "Hackintoshes"

I love kool-aid.;)

EagerDragon
Nov 26, 2007, 11:21 AM
So does anyone think Apple is tracking IMEI numbers so that unlocked phones don't end up stateside without AT&T? My friend has T-mobile here and doesn't want to switch, but does want an iPhone? Would it be illegal for him to bring a phone back form europe and use it here with T-mobile, of course without the Visual Voicemail, ect?

-Brian

Probably illigal as the iPhone in Europe may not have the same FCC certification as the US one. It is possibly ok but I would not bet on it.

suzerain
Nov 26, 2007, 11:22 AM
It's not high. What would you pay for an iPhone with a contract? About $1,800 I think. Work it out $60 per month for 24 months. Either you pay $1250 up front of $1,800 on installments over two years.

What Apple is trying to do here is teach people that phones are not free. You pay for them with grossly inflated monthly airtime charges that actually payoff the load on the phone. Yes the phone has only $250 worth the parts inside. But you have to also pay for the factory that assembles the parts, transportationa and the retail store that sells t. And what about all those engineers at Apple, they don't work cheap and there are many of them

A couple of things...

First, the original poster was wrong. 1398 euro = $2077 today. $2077 - $250 = $1820 (not $1250). Just about the $1800 you quoted. So, Apple and T-Mobile just want the same money they'd get off you with the long contract b.s.

Second, you're contradicting yourself. So what you're saying is that the phone is $250 of parts and $1800 of assembly and transportation? Or is it $250 of parts and $1800 of service time? I think in reality, for Apple it's about $300 of labor/parts and $99 of profit...they typically aim for profit margins of 20-30% on their products, after all. Then, there's the $1400 of service time, which they decided to split somehow with AT&T / T-Mobile / etc.

So, they're roughly just charging you for the whole contract anyway. Say what you want, but I think it's a big f--- you to people who want a little freedom. After all, they already taught us phones weren't free when they charged us $399 for it.

EagerDragon
Nov 26, 2007, 11:25 AM
Why wouldn't they allow it? It's unlocked. Once it's unlocked, you can put any SIM into it.

Radio is controlled in many countries if not all of them. I know little to nothing about New Zealand, but in the US an unauthorized device can put you in a heap of problems.

Example ... You need a license for operating a ham radio.

EagerDragon
Nov 26, 2007, 11:32 AM
IMO, the price is ridiculous, a fully (or partially) unlocked iPhone at the same price as a MacBook >_<

The only good thing about this is that I really hope the iphone dev team will find out a way to unlock OOB 1.1.2 "using" this technique. I really wanna make some calls using my iPhone (which has been used as an expensive iTouch since lol)

As I stated before, the 999 is around the price of the phone (locked) + the amount that Apple would receive over a 2 year contract. Yes sounds horrible, but that was what they wanted to make (999 EU) locked or unlocked. It is a matter of making it over 2 years or now.I am convinced that Apple would prefer to avoid selling an unlocked one as that creates problems in other countries where the unlock is not mandatory and as such they need to add more controls and more controls means more complexity which equals more ways for people to break in.

cxc21
Nov 26, 2007, 11:42 AM
It would be really stupid to pay the $600 premium right now. The injunction won by vodafone against t-mobile-only-iphones also means that t-mobile has to unlock every iphone sold after Nov 19 if the customers wants it. For free, even those which sold for Euro 399. Get your iphone in Germany as long as it lasts. :)

Daeve
Nov 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
Most unlocked smartphones are generally pretty expensive, 300-400 here in the UK anyway.

Because most phones are heavily subsidised on contracts (free phone + 35 a month) - the full price of the handset without a contract (no-subsidising) is often 3-400.

The iphone is sold without a contract (therefore it's unsubsidised) - totally unlike any other phone in the UK, therefore it is unsubsidised - so locked to contract or unlocked 269 should be it's max price, and on a contract it should be cheaper or free like all other phones here are.

If Apple (or rather the mobile networks) sold the iphone like all other mobiles are - subsidised low price on a contract or 3-400 unlocked without contract people would not complain - it fits the sales model we all know, and is frankly what I expected - perhaps even subsidised it would have been say 100-150 as it's supposed to be revolutionary.

For some reason Apple have tried to implement a new sales style that shows the phone to be unsubsidised - proved a you do not have to return the phone if you do not sign up to an O2 (or whichever) contract - yet are not prepared to behave like all other handset providers/networks and allow the phone to be used freely.

tirerim
Nov 26, 2007, 11:56 AM
It would be really stupid to pay the $600 premium right now. The injunction won by vodafone against t-mobile-only-iphones also means that t-mobile has to unlock every iphone sold after Nov 19 if the customers wants it. For free, even those which sold for Euro 399. Get your iphone in Germany as long as it lasts. :)

Well, they have to unlock the phone, but I don't think that means they have to let you out of the contract you signed up for you when you bought it. You'll wind up paying more for the contract than the extra 600 to just get it unlocked without a contract.

tirerim
Nov 26, 2007, 12:02 PM
First, the original poster was wrong. 1398 euro = $2077 today. $2077 - $250 = $1820 (not $1250). Just about the $1800 you quoted. So, Apple and T-Mobile just want the same money they'd get off you with the long contract b.s.


No. The total cost of the unlocked phone is 999, not 399 + 999. That works out to $1,481 US. That's less than the total they'd get out of you with the contract, but they presumably figure that people will not actually buy it if they price it any higher

jordygreen
Nov 26, 2007, 12:12 PM
ooo thats good news hopefully hackers will be able to figure out a way for us O2 and AT&T haters :)

goosnarrggh
Nov 26, 2007, 12:18 PM
Well, they have to unlock the phone, but I don't think that means they have to let you out of the contract you signed up for you when you bought it. You'll wind up paying more for the contract than the extra €600 to just get it unlocked without a contract.

The German lawsuit is based on a claim that there's a German law which allegedly requires that for every (cell phone+service contract) bundle, there must be an option to decouple the bundle and choose to purchase the hardware and the service contract from different companies.

If that is true, then IMHO it stands to reason that if you purchase the €999 iPhone, there will be no contract, and thus no need for an early termination buy-out.

Oops, I just re-read what you wrote, and now I don't think you were actually saying what I thought you were as I was writing this...

redkamel
Nov 26, 2007, 12:36 PM
I dont understand how you are "paying the 600 euro premium" over the two year life of the contract, since you have to pay for cell service anyways, whether its locked or unlocked.For example: I pay 399 for my iphone, now I pay 65 a month for service w/ ATT. I pat 999 for my iphone, now I pay 65 month with T mobile.

It works out to 25 euros a month (for two years equals 600 euros). So unless your preferred carrier is 25 euros a month cheaper, you arent paying a premium in the plan.

I think unless you get a lower carrier rate for using your own phone, or a higher carrier rate for a subsidized phone, I dont think the math some of the people here are using works out. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

morespce54
Nov 26, 2007, 12:55 PM
...As far as the additional amount to be paid for unlocked iPhone (beyond that to Apple), the carrier was required to make up front expenditures to ready the network for the iPhone. Even advertising. Those costs need to be amortized/recovered over an expected number of iPhones to be sold/used on the network. No real profit until those costs recovered. The additional @$400 may sound extremely steep, but probably can be justified on paper, with a straight face, at this stage. That amount should decline as more are sold/activated, and costs are recovered.

I don't want to get back into last week debate, but don't you think they (Apple and they carriers) should have give it a though before investing in their network to make it iPhone-ready and then trying to recovered the cost? I mean, they probably would have done it anyway but how can you miss such a inevitable issue?

IzzyJG99
Nov 26, 2007, 01:07 PM
I'd be more apt to buy an iPhone if they just sold plain unlocked ones for 100 bucks more. Even though I have AT&T already I'd rather not go through the hassel of transfering it via some program or over the phone. I'd much rather just plug the SIM Chip from my old phone in and it workr ight away.

Otaviano
Nov 26, 2007, 01:10 PM
What Apple is trying to do here is teach people that phones are not free. You pay for them with grossly inflated monthly airtime charges that actually payoff the load on the phone. Yes the phone has only $250 worth the parts inside. But you have to also pay for the factory that assembles the parts, transportationa and the retail store that sells t. And what about all those engineers at Apple, they don't work cheap and there are many of them

LOL @ you fanboys!

Please humor me.

If you purchase a MacBook at 1,000 it includes parts, factory assembly, software/firmware updates, research & development, transportation, and the retail that sell it?

If you purchase an iPod Touch at 299 it includes, part, assembly, software/firmware updates, research & development, transportation, and the retail?

But the iPhone at 399 doesn't include any of these things?

LOL

sash
Nov 26, 2007, 01:11 PM
Don't like the entire idea of locked phone at all (and of iPhone in particular)... That's not customary for Europe, it restricts the freedom of choice and -- for some reason -- Apple chooses the wrong partners.

I want it badly, but I'll never buy locked iPhone.

sash

megfilmworks
Nov 26, 2007, 01:37 PM
This is what happens when government meddles in free enterprise. The income for each iPhone comes from continued use on the carrier who invested their money with an anticipated return. A court says, "sorry" and now they must get that income from the sale. Apple is not the problem, even Tmobile Gmbh is not the problem. It's a reactionary and ill informed legal system that is costing the consumer the money. And posters who try to compare laptops with cell phones don't have a clue what the telecom business is like.

JGowan
Nov 26, 2007, 01:45 PM
I've one of these $1,500 iPhones and 4 days after buying it's still locked. T-Mobile has been completely incompetent in unlocking it and its telephone "customer service" representatives are totally clueless, not to mention those in the shops. Apple has been more professional in their responses, but basically they just blame each other for the delay. In the meantime, I am sitting here with the most expensive paper weight in the world.TROLL ALERT.

Thanks for the FUD, Troll.

You've only posted twice on these boards and they were basically the same exact posts on these two very recent Germany iPhone forums. Sure, we believe you... I feel so bad for you and your "most expensive paper weight in the world".

First two links the same posting on 2 forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/search.php?searchid=8264484)

FUD |fəd|
noun
fear, uncertainty and doubt, usually evoked intentionally in order to put a competitor at a disadvantage : [as adj. ] the FUD factor.

troll 2
noun
informal Computing an e-mail message or posting on the Internet intended to provoke an indignant response in the reader.

sash
Nov 26, 2007, 01:57 PM
It's a reactionary and ill informed legal system that is costing the consumer the money. And posters who try to compare laptops with cell phones don't have a clue what the telecom business is like.

Hi megfilmworks,

You're accustomed to this US system, but binding a mobile phone user to a particular GSM operator by mean of an phone is simply not done in Europe.

I don't think that the telecom business is that different from any other business.

sash

Otaviano
Nov 26, 2007, 02:49 PM
And posters who try to compare laptops with cell phones don't have a clue what the telecom business is like.

Or you don't have a clue as to how the telecom industry is outside of the United States.

megfilmworks
Nov 26, 2007, 02:57 PM
Or you don't have a clue as to how the telecom industry is outside of the United States.

Actually I do. I spend 4-6 months a year in the UK and Europe and have been using cell phone service abroad for over 17 years now. I have a French phone number, UK number and a US number.

Eric Lewis
Nov 26, 2007, 03:30 PM
TROLL ALERT.

Thanks for the FUD, Troll.

You've only posted twice on these boards and they were basically the same exact posts on these two very recent Germany iPhone forums. Sure, we believe you... I feel so bad for you and your "most expensive paper weight in the world".

First two links the same posting on 2 forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/search.php?searchid=8264484)

NICE CATCH

LMFAO


but 1400 is a bit much!

sash
Nov 26, 2007, 04:19 PM
Actually I do. I spend 4-6 months a year in the UK and Europe and have been using cell phone service abroad for over 17 years now. I have a French phone number, UK number and a US number.

You're measuring the European market -- not to mention European way of life -- by American ones. That's fundamentally wrong. Please note, I'm not judging, that's simply different things.

What you're doing, you're using your phone in Europe, staying in the US framework.

I'm happy for you, as you seem to be happy with the way things are going on in the US telecom business. And I hope this system will never get accepted in Europe. The customer MUST get all the freedom to choose.

Cheers,
Sash

ogee
Nov 26, 2007, 05:00 PM
So if T-Mobile wins this current law suit, will apple relock all those unlocked t-mobile phones?

winterspan
Nov 26, 2007, 05:48 PM
Very interesting. I think Apple keeps the unlocking technique on their servers with IMEI numbers. I guess that your iPhone's IMEI have to be verified by the Apple server, else it would not unlock. I doubt hackers can use this technique.

"keeps the unlocking technique on their servers" -- thats a ridiculous statement. obviously at some point, Itunes is sending SOMETHING to the iPhone. If not a firmware upgrade, it's sending some sort of encrypted key to the phone to tell it to unlock. Either way, the "unlocking" logic is either being downloaded and executed by Itunes or sent directly to the iPhone.

winterspan
Nov 26, 2007, 05:53 PM
My UK iPhone doesn't show the FCC mark, only the CE mark, so I would guess that it is illegal to use a European iPhone in the US in the same manner that a US iPhone can't legally be used within the EU.

WHAT? thats crazy talk. "Foreign" phones probably can't be sold in volume from a manufacturer if the device is different from its foreign counterpart which was already approved by the FCC/other reg body, but as far as buying a phone in Germany/UK/etc and using it in the USA or vice versa.. thats totally legal and is done all the time.
Why do you think they make QUAD-BAND phones? better yet, why do you think the carriers have INTERNATIONAL ROAMING PLANS???

winterspan
Nov 26, 2007, 05:57 PM
unlocked phones are ehh, i guess cool.. i mean, i love at&t, and would never switch to anything else, and really, the only other GSM carrier in the us is T-Mobile (worst carrier ever, had a sidekick for a while) i kinda view it like, if you want a ram truck with a hemi engine, youre going to have to get a dodge. i can understand for the people that do not get service where they live, but for the others that "just" hate at&t, it kinda sucks for them.

and what redneck **** would EVER want a Dodge Ram with a "Hemi" engine???? :eek:

slinky0390
Nov 26, 2007, 09:10 PM
Get your car analogies straight. Dodge=Apple, Ram truck=iPhone. AT&T=Shell. Wanna buy gas at Esso or Texaco? Tough luck.

I don't understand why some people are so gung ho about supporting this dumb carrier tie-in decision by Apple. Would you buy a TV that only worked with one cable provider? Would you buy a computer that worked with only one ISP?

The most popular mobile device this decade is the BlackBerry, and the BlackBerry is NOT carrier-exclusive. Yes, carriers still brand them and subsidize them, but Apple is doing neither with the iPhone on AT&T. Just sell the damn thing like any other phone - unlocked unless the carrier sells it subsidized.

Also, when the hell are we going to get the iPhone in Canada? Or TV shows on iTunes? Or prices that reflect the actual value of the Canadian dollar?


actually, there is a texaco, shell, exxon, mobile, bp, sunoco, gulf, getty, and lukoil all within 10 mins of my house.. yes all of them. i cant imagine what apple went through to get their phone as they wanted it out into the market. if you think about it, you can get a razar from any carrier, but a verizon razar is different from a t-mobile which is also different from a at&t one and so on.

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 09:19 PM
By the way, I love how three people had to correct my same mistake. :rolleyes:

AidenShaw
Nov 26, 2007, 09:47 PM
Why is this in the "Mac" forum instead of the "Iphone" forum? :mad:

Isn't it about time to assume that people who care about Apple's gadgets will follow the various gadget threads?

A sidebar panel in the Mac forum listing the latest or hottest threads in the gadget forums should be enough....

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 09:55 PM
Why is this in the "Mac" forum instead of the "Iphone" forum? :mad:

Isn't it about time to assume that people who care about Apple's gadgets will follow the various gadget threads?

A sidebar panel in the Mac forum listing the latest or hottest threads in the gadget forums should be enough....

What do you mean? It's in this category because it has to deal with a news story.

:confused:

AidenShaw
Nov 26, 2007, 10:46 PM
What do you mean? It's in this category because it has to deal with a news story.

:confused:

And the title bar asks "Got Mac News/Rumors?"....

This story is neither.

iMacZealot
Nov 26, 2007, 10:49 PM
And the title bar asks "Got Mac News/Rumors?"....

This story is neither.

Well, the iPhone runs Mac OS X, so it technically is a Mac....

AidenShaw
Nov 27, 2007, 12:36 AM
Well, the iPhone runs Mac OS X, so it technically is a Mac....

And Acura, BMW and Mercedes use Windows in their embedded electronics.... That doesn't make them Windows boxes.

;)

iMacZealot
Nov 27, 2007, 01:02 AM
Good to see you drank some calmdown juice while you were gone...

kamiboy
Nov 27, 2007, 02:42 AM
"keeps the unlocking technique on their servers" -- thats a ridiculous statement. obviously at some point, Itunes is sending SOMETHING to the iPhone. If not a firmware upgrade, it's sending some sort of encrypted key to the phone to tell it to unlock. Either way, the "unlocking" logic is either being downloaded and executed by Itunes or sent directly to the iPhone.

I agree, if it only takes seconds for iTunes to unlock an iPhone then it is not modifying much inside the iPhone. It is certainly not re-flashing any of the firmwares for the different parts inside the phone. All that is happening is a small amount of data is written into the phone somewhere. iTunes prolly just sends the phones unique Id (perhaps IMEI) to Apple servers and based on that the Apple server creates an encrypted unlock key that works only in conjunction with the unique ID. Then, whenever the phone boots or something the key is checked with the unique ID and if they provide a valid unlock key then the fully unlocked functionality of the phone becomes activated.

All hackers need is two german iPhones and a controlled environment where they can monitor what iTunes is sending/receiving when they unlock one of the phones. Then they simply just need to dump the contents of both phones and compare to see where the change happened.

Then they can either hack the phones software to trick it to enable unlocked functionality without a key or figure out how to clone Apples unlock key creation process and all iPhone unlockers will be home free.

But then again Apple can just change the key creation and unlock process transparently for each new firmware and we would all be back to square one, like we are now. So I guess not much will have changed.... damn.

TurboSC
Nov 27, 2007, 03:02 AM
I wonder how long it'll take before someone figures out a way to unlock the iPhone so that Apple / Cell Carriers won't be able to tell the difference :) What a day that'll be... I'll stop daydreaming now.

:D

doemel
Nov 27, 2007, 04:56 AM
I wonder how long it'll take before someone figures out a way to unlock the iPhone so that Apple / Cell Carriers won't be able to tell the difference :) What a day that'll be... I'll stop daydreaming now.

:D

That'll be that day I'll buy an iPhone.

Bye Bye Baby
Nov 27, 2007, 06:05 AM
holy shnikes!!! 999 euros!!! I cant believe people will buy it (probably wont)! I BARELY bought it at the first price! the 399 is acceptable...but 999 euros!!! (blink blink) thats more than a macbook in the US!!! Steves gone mad!

Complete greed! I couldn't agree more!

The biggest enemy of the success of the iphone is Apple. The iphone has two possibilities- open it or see it die.

mheidt
Nov 27, 2007, 09:15 AM
I'm just reading in german news, that the french iPhone (unlocked only) will be more than 500EUR, but far less than 1000EUR.

Fortunately I'm only living 100 miles away :)

Smaugg
Nov 27, 2007, 12:23 PM
In my case, I've been yelling at T-Mobile and Apple for five days now because they haven't yet unlocked my phone. They've just now told me that it can take a week to be activated "because they have sold so many and they have to process the unlocking requests".

ABM
Nov 27, 2007, 03:57 PM
Complete greed! I couldn't agree more!

The biggest enemy of the success of the iphone is Apple. The iphone has two possibilities- open it or see it die.

That price for an unlocked iPhone isn't an Apple idea... it's just a T-Mobile crap becaus of the interim injunction