If you are a US citizen, then you know that owning an iPhone means you are pretty much stuck to a single mobile carrier. And if you want to unlock your device you will have to use a third-party software. But there's a rumor circulating within the Twitterverse that US Apple Stores will start selling factory unlocked iPhones, and it is coming this Wednesday.
According to jailbreak developer, Chronic, who tweeted about having sources that could confirm that factory unlocked iPhones will be available to US consumers starting Wednesday. It is worth mentioning that while factory unlocked iPhones are already available in countries outside the US such as Canada, UK and Hongkong, if this rumor turns out to be real, this will be the first time that US customers will be able to buy carrier-unlocked iPhones.
According to Chronic:
Unlocked iPhones headed to Apple Stores for Wednesday: MC603 (16GB, Black) MC604 (16GB, White) MC605 (32GB, Black) MC606 (32GB, White)
This particular rumor will certainly make some people happy, specifically those who loves to travel and swap sim cards. In case you don't know, purchasing a factory unlocked iPhone means that you will not be restricted to a single carrier and you will be able to freely swap your sim-cards even if you travel abroad. But this seemingly good news does have a drawback.
As you all know, the iPhone 4 is sold by Apple for about $199 and that is only because it comes with a contract with a single-carrier (a 2 year contract in this case), whether it is AT&T or Verizon. This effectively subsidizes the cost of the device. Which means without the contract with the carrier, you will be expected to pay about $600 - $700 for a factory unlocked iPhones, which is about the same price when the first-gen iPhone came out.
Such price range for a carrier unlocked phone is simply too steep for an average consumer, and as it is mentioned before, this might only be useful for those who travels and swaps sim cards a lot. There have been some buzz about the next gen iPhone that will be announced by Apple soon, so you might want to wait for that, instead of dishing out $600 on a previous generation iPhone.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback