Since the iPhone hit the market, consumers have had two choices: Either sign a contract with AT&T and give up any hope any maintaining healthy blood pressure levels for its duration and perhaps beyond, or fork over a few hundred bucks to some guy working out of an unmarked basement to unlock one for you that would work on other carriers. Well those days are OVER.
Yes, in addition to making the device available to Verizon customers recently, Apple will reportedly begin selling unlocked iPhone 4s in Apple Stores nationwide beginning tomorrow. This means that those of us rare folk who actually like their non-Verizon/AT&T service provider (Yea Sprint!) can use iPhones on their networks without having to be shady about it, though the devices won’t come cheap.
We’re not sure the motivation behind it, but it appears that Apple will be launching unlocked version of the iPhone 4 to Apple Retail stores sometime this week. The rumors started with some confusion over the weekend when there was a claim that Apple would finally be releasing the new MacBook Airs this Wednesday … But the word we’ve received is that they’ve shipped to Apple Stores this week and that they will be priced at $649 and $749 for 16GB and 32GBs, respectively. The higher price reflects the lack of long term contract that normally accompanies a mobile phone purchase as well as the unlocking.
As MacRumors points out, the reason for the higher price tag is that carriers — AT&T & Verizon in the case of the iPhone — usually front a large portion of a phone’s cost up front knowing that it has a customer locked in for two years. With the unlocked iPhones, you’re essentially paying the real cost of the device.
Still, suddenly everything seems right in the world.