German iPhones Unlocked by iTunes

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    [​IMG] (German) provides early notes and experiences from customers who have bought unlocked iPhones in Germany.

    The first SIM-unlocked iPhones went on sale 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.

    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 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 on November 29th.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2004
  3. macrumors newbie


    Jan 17, 2007
    I would love to get one, but with the current price.. not for me :(
  4. macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2006
    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.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    It's not long now :)
  6. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    I've been curious about how unlocking works. This answers a few questions, but raises some more.
  7. macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2007
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    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!
  9. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    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...
  10. macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    IMEI Numbers?

    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?

  11. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    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.

  12. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    At this stage I'd wait and see what happens with the French phones.
  13. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Why wouldn't they allow it? It's unlocked. Once it's unlocked, you can put any SIM into it.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2006
    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...
  15. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    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.
  16. macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    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)
  17. macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    That's almost $1500 CAD! My MBP was only $1999! They're nuts...
  18. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    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.
  19. Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Or it is set so high to recoup the lost revenue from not having the person subscribe to a contract.
  20. macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002
    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.
  21. macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    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.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    What would happen if you tired to unlock a us iphone in germany?
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    The Netherlands, Europe
    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.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006
    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!!!)
  25. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    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.

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