Why does Apple let the grey market for phones exist?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ryanwarsaw, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68000

    ryanwarsaw

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    #1
    I am sure this has probably been asked before but is there some logical reason why Apple doesn't sell completely unlocked (contract free) phones? Why am I forced to go to some shady reseller in Thailand or where ever to buy one that is in violation of some contract that must have been signed in Hong Kong or where ever?

    I understand that they have agreements with their partners around the world, however they could price it a bit over what the revenue of a contract phone would be. This would eliminate under cutting their partners. Not everybody would pay the huge price for this option but a few would. 3G phones are selling for like 42,000 Baht $1,200 USD in Bangkok.

    Why doesn't Apple get in on this? Is it possible that they are just so insistent that for the phone to function to it's fullest potential a data plan is needed? I would think any potential buyer would understand the limitations of not having a data plan.

    Seems Apple is only grudgingly selling unlocked phones in countries where they have no choice but to do so. They know some of these phones will make it to places they weren't supposed to be. Hmmm now that I think of it maybe they like it that they don't have to fix them if they stray to foreign shores.

    Maybe I just answered my own question. Sell the phone, let the carrier take the contract money and when it goes abroad not worry about the warranty issues. Perhaps that's the trade off for not raking in a little of that grey area cash? I assume if there was money in it, Apple would be doing it (or at least I hope they would for the sake of their shareholders) so any other theories?
     
  2. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #2
    In most countries the carriers signed an exclusivity agreement. They would be pissed if Apple sold the iPhone unlocked. That's about it.

    I guess in a few years there will be unlocked iphones at the apple store for everyone and anywhere to buy.
     

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