Availability of unlocked iPhone 4s in US retail stores?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by NarKEd, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. NarKEd macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2004
    I am going to travel to the US in a couple of weeks and I would like to buy an unlocked iPhone 4s (actually two of them). I am going to Boston and NY. I tried to buy online with the option to pickup at retail store but iphone does not have that option enabled. I also tried the "reserve for next day" but the items appear as "not available".

    Can someone who lives in Boston or NY tell me how is the availability of the unlocked iphones 4s in apple retail stores? If I go one day to the store is it probable that I find two of them? or they are almost impossible to get?

    Some months after iPad 2 came out, I went to the apple store and they were out of stock and people were getting in line at 3 am so that maybe they could buy one, some of them were getting in line every day for a week or so. I thought that it was going to be impossible for me to get one, but then I went to best buy and I bought it without problems :p

    Anyway, I was wondering if iphone 4s is also as 'hard to get' as the ipad 2. I really need to buy it.

    thank you for the help
  2. samven582 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    You won't find any.
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    There is some Apple stores that have factory unlocked iphones in stock.
    You can also have someone from the US order one at the apple.com store and have it shipped to their US address.
    It takes about 7-12 days to arrive but you know you will get it and dont have to check for availability or get stuck with not be able to get one.
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    It's a total crapshoot. If the reserve site says there's no iPhones available, then there's a good chance it's correct. It's not impossible to walk in unannounced and walk out with an unreserved iPhone, but I wouldn't count on it.

    If you're looking in NY, you might also want to consider looking at the Apple stores in New Jersey. There's quite a few of them there that aren't too far away from New York, expanding the possibilities and likelihood of finding one. The sales tax might be slightly less, too. You'll just need to have access to a car (or someone willing to drive you), and probably some toll money.

    But basically, if the sole reason for your trip to the US is to get an iPhone, then maybe that money would be better spent finding it on eBay.

    Part of the problem here is, it seems like the Apple store is the only retail outlet selling the unlocked version. Which kinda restricts your search a bit more.

    Well, no one really *needs* to buy an iPhone. But yeah, it is pretty hard to get.
  5. NarKEd thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2004
    That is what I thought at first, but then I noticed not only that ALL retail stores (at least most of them in different states) show the iphone unavailable, but that ALL products are unavailable which is hard to believe. My latest theory is that the reserve option only works at certain hours.

    No no, it would be cheaper to buy the iphone here in Europe than going to the US just to buy it!. Actually, I am not the one traveling, it is a friend of mine. He has to go in a business trip and I want to ask him to buy them for me. He has limited time and I can not tell him to go to multiple stores...

    that sucks. bad news for me

    I am not going to die if I dont buy it, but I dont have a mobile phone right now because my crappy blackberry suddenly died (worst error of my life buying that phone, but that is another story), and I really want one iphone I have never had one (I had to wait like 6 generations of iphones so that apple finally releases a phone with a decent camera) and now that its here I dont want to spend money on another phone. The other one is a present and it is kind of important so I can categorize my situation as a "I need to have it" situation.

    Yes, that is one of my options. I have some friends in the US but I was not able to contact any of them. I think all of them are on vacations :(
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    The reservation system works only from 9:00pm-12:00am local time each night. Your best bet is to log on around 8:55pm (sometimes you can reserve it a few minutes early), and reserve the unlocked phone at a local store. If there are no unlocked models available, then reserve the AT&T model and just ask to buy it "device only" for full price at the store.

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