Why still no factory unlocked iPhone in the USA?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ThomasJL, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #1
    In Apple Stores in Canada, the iPhone 4 is sold factory unlocked. The 16GB one costs 659 CAD (680.22 USD) and the 32GB one costs 779 CAD (801.98 USD).

    In the USA, Apple does not sell a factory unlocked iPhone 4. Apple Stores in the USA do sell a full-priced contract-free iPhone 4 (599 USD for the 16GB and 699 USD for the 32GB), but those iPhones are still locked to AT&T and Verizon.

    In the USA, at least since February 10, 2011, Apple does not have an exclusivity agreement with AT&T. So why is Apple still not selling a factory unlocked iPhone in the USA? :confused:
     
  2. theonekcrow macrumors 6502a

    theonekcrow

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    #2
    One of my guesses is for service/user experience reasons. Since T-Mo 3G uses a different band than what is already in the iPhone, they would see no reason to do so. It is my estimation that we will finally get factory unlocked iPhones with iPhone 5, if we get them at all.
     
  3. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    #3
    There's a simple answer: Apple gets a big kickback from AT&T.
     
  4. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #4
    In Canada it wasn't until the iPhone 4 came out that Apple started selling them unlocked. The 3G and 3GS weren't sold unlocked, and there was a 7-8 month period when the 3GS was available on several different carriers.

    Do we know this for sure or is it just speculation?
     
  5. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #5
    One big reason is for traveling internationally. It's redicilous that if you pay the unsubsidized price, they still force you to use only ATT.
     
  6. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    #6
    We know it for sure.
     
  7. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #7
    Really, even now in 2011? You have any source/link to show this?
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    Apple does get a percentage from the carriers. There won't be an unlocked iPhone unless the government steps in, which is nigh impossible given the political power of the carriers.
     
  9. darkside flow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    The 3GS was in fact sold unlocked and still is to my knowledge. It wasn't immediately available upon launch, but was made available a few months later.
     
  10. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #10
    Didn't realize.. I guess the 8GB 3GS in June 2010 went unlocked but was it previously available unlocked as well? I remember it being bit of surprise to see iPhones coming unlocked last summer.
     
  11. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #11
    Apple only got a percentage during the sale of the original iPhone no? That changed when the 3G launched in 2008..

    What does the government have to do with it? Other non-subsidized phones are sold unlocked in the US. Maybe that's part of the issue right now.. Can you even get a non-subsidized iPhone 4 (GSM) from Apple directly in the US?
     
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #12
    ATT refuses to unlock the phone. The government could tell them to do it. In other countries all phones are sold unlocked, but that's not the case here.
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    They need to do something about it.
    It's straight up bs IMO.
     
  14. ThomasJL, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    ThomasJL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #14
    Yes, you can get an unsubsidized iPhone 4 from any Apple Store in the USA, but the phones will still be locked to AT&T or Verizon.

    You cannot get an unlocked iPhone from Apple in the USA. Even when your two-year contract with AT&T is finished, AT&T will not unlock your iPhone. It will be locked to AT&T forever.
     
  15. trekkie604 macrumors 65816

    trekkie604

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #15
    The carriers up here who sold subsidized 3G and 3GS phones the previous two years are now willing to unlock them (for a fee).
     
  16. ThomasJL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #16
    Precisely. This is a huge problem for iPhone owners who travel internationally. Apple boasts about the fact that the iPhone is quad-band. What is the point of having a quad-band phone if it's locked? :confused: The whole point of having a quad-band phone is so you can use a cheap local prepaid SIM card in every country you visit.
     
  17. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    #17
    Actually, the whole point of having a quad-band phone is so that you can get charged roaming fees in more places. If you can't get onto a network, then they can't make big fat profits.
     
  18. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #18
    Thank you business politics. They aren't in the best interest of the consumer.
     
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
  20. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #20
    I think O2 and Three in the UK do the most reasonable thing: since you're still bound by the terms of your contract and have to pay the subscription fees until the contract ends, they'll unlock your phone even when it's still under contract At least they don't try to stop you from using your phone with other sims when you're out travelling.

    I don't mind a locked phone when at home, but not being able to use local sim cards while traveling abroad is a real deal breaker for me. Not only does it cost tremendous amounts of money if you use your home sim, but it means that you don't have a a local number in the country your'e visiting -- nobody local will call you on your foreign number!
     
  21. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #21
    He hasn't done anything to correct Wall Street so what makes everyone think that he can correct the iPhone?
     
  22. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #22
    Indeed! The iphone is probably not at the top of his to-do list right now.
     
  23. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #23
    I hear you:D
     
  24. theonekcrow macrumors 6502a

    theonekcrow

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    #24
    The answer to that question is that he talks to Steve Jobs more than the people on wall street. (If he would want to correct the iPhone)
     
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #25
    Not since the first year.

    ATT iPhone 3G Launch press note:

     

Share This Page