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 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.