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Unlocked US iPhone 4 may be only new item, start at $649

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Mon June 13, 2011

Unlocked US iPhone 4 priced, clarified

Talk of new Apple products next week was narrowed down to the rumored unlocked US iPhone 4. A leak Monday night said the hints of new Air systems were a confusion of part numbers and that the smartphones were the only new options. The MacRumors source had the phone costing about $50 more than they do in locked off-contract form, starting at $649 for a 16GB version and moving to $749 for 32GB.

The slightly higher price would reflect not just that they would be sold without a subsidy but could be taken to almost any GSM carrier in the world. Only Apple's own online and retail stores are expected to carry the unlocked version, since AT&T likely wants to encourage contracts.

Reasoning still isn't certain for why Apple would offer an unlocked iPhone 4 in the US just a few months before it's liable to be replaced. It may have represented the earliest opportunity to bring the unrestricted phone to the US for the sake of travellers or even to clear out stock of the phone from Canada and other countries that have had it from the outset. Alternately, AT&T may have greenlit the phone to try and please regulators who would be listening to Sprint's complaints about device exclusives and would be in a position to either mandate device restrictions on the buyout of T-Mobile or block the merger altogether.

The current iPhone 4 works on T-Mobile on a basic form but is limited to EDGE (2G) for data and GSM for voice. Verizon has already said the next iPhone would support both CDMA and GSM in one chipset, but escaped details have hinted it might support both AT&T and T-Mobile 3G bands and guarantee support whether or not the two carriers are cleared to merge.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011

    -16

    Pricing Out of Control

    Steve Jobs has lost his f****** mind. Only a fool would pay $650 for a phone.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +6

    Um ...

    Everyone who has ever bought an iPhone off-contract has paid about that much since oh, 2006 or so? I paid $500 for mine WITH contract back in the day, as did hundreds of thousands of other people.

    Welcome to the real world, Timothy. The one where your parents don't pay for everything.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -13

    re: Pricing Out of Control


    >>>Only a fool would pay $650 for a phone


    Are you saying only fools buy iPhones??




    Drroid!

    - Sent from my Android Device.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Dude

    Dude, trust me I used to sell iPhones. When somebody breaks their iPhone that they loved, they buy a new one regardless of cost. Up in Canada the 32 gigs were 800 at one point, we still sold them off contract ... not a lot, but it happened.

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011

    -4

    chas_m

    You dumb f***, I'm 35 and both of my parents are dead. Eat s*** and die.

  1. trenchcoat77

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Oooh...

    The troll doesn't like being trolled.

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