Unlocked iPhones May Hit US on Wednesday

| Rumor

The Apple rumor mill raised a few eyebrows over the weekend with a report that U.S. customers may be able to buy a version of the iPhone 4 that isn’t locked to just AT&T as early as this Wednesday. Currently, Apple’s GSM-compatible iPhone 4 is available only on AT&T’s network in the U.S. and requires hacking to move to a different cell service provider.

This rumor comes courtesy of Twitter users Chronic Wire, who has nailed other Apple product launches ahead of an official announcement.

Unlocked iPhone may come to the U.S.Unlocked iPhones may come to the U.S. this week

The unlocked iPhone 4 will apparently be available in black or white with 16GB and 32GB capacities. Chronic Wire even offered up model numbers MC603, MC604, MC605 and MC606 for the unlocked models.

While Apple already sells unlocked iPhones in other countries, this will mark the first time they will officially be available in the U.S. Assuming the rumor is correct, shoppers will be able to buy an iPhone and then choose to activate it on AT&T or T-Mobile.

T-Mobile’s network doesn’t, however, support the 3G data radio frequencies the iPhone uses, so customers will be limited to slower data connection speeds. T-Mobile also doesn’t support the iPhone’s Visual Voicemail system.

Releasing unlocked iPhones will be good news for international travelers, too, since they can buy local SIM cards in other countries and avoid hefty roaming charges.

Apple doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation, so for now the reports of unlocked iPhones in the U.S. should be treated as speculation.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

vpndev

Since AT&T raised its early-termination fee (now $350 I think) there is no reason to keep iPhones locked. They get their subsidy money back one way or the other.

Hello

No need to rejoice. So, you buy an unlocked iPhone. Great. Consider this: Who is going to provide you access to data? ATT? Think again. ATT currently will not allow any unlocked iPhone to access data on it’s network on a prepaid SIM. ATT has to be the stupidest company in the World to do this. But this is true. Your unlocked iPhone can only make calls and will not connect to the Internet until the morons at ATT realize the stupidity of their policy.

vpndev

Well yeah but…

Do you think that AT&T will keep its head in the same place that it has been these past few years? It may be stupid but it’s not suicidal by ant stretch of the imagination.

LTE is coming, so is LightSquared. If I were working for AT&T (which I’m not, just an unhappy customer since my iPhone is still locked) then I would be making sure that AT&T had the best presence for iPhone.

If Apple is indeed about to sell unlocked iPhones then AT&T has some serious thinking to do. They need to be fast because, if this info is correct, their window of opportunity is quite small.

Log-in to comment