Apple USA Starts Selling Unlocked iPhones–Welcome to the Club

With the introduction of the iPhone 4 last year, Apple Canada sold phones factory unlocked. This allowed Canada to join other parts of the world such as Italy, Hong Kong and parts of Europe, to have factory unlocked iPhones. As of today, our fellow neighbours down South have joined this exclusive club.

An unlocked iPhone means any carrier SIM card can be used, therefore allowing consumers freedom instead of being locked down to a particular carrier. It’s especially helpful when traveling. Popping in a local carrier SIM card can result in huge savings, as opposed to racking up expensive roaming charges. Although it’s interesting to note the only other GSM network in the USA is T-Mobile, but data is limited to EDGE since their 3G data network operates on a different frequency.

Price comparison of an unlocked iPhone 4


16GB/32GB: $659/779


16GB/32GB: $649/749

With the strength of the Canadian dollar, buying an unlocked iPhone from the US could save you a few dollars. There biggest saving would be $30 for 32GB models from the US.

Why is this such a big story? Horace Dediu believes this will open up the market for the iPhone to parts of the world that don’t have access. We’ve heard stories of people lining up to buy iPads to sell overseas–we can expect a similar situation for the unlocked iPhone market now. During my time in the line up for the iPhone 4, I ran into a few Americans that made the trip to Vancouver to nab an unlocked iPhone. Clearly, the demand is there.

Are you using a factory unlocked iPhone?

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