Apple Retail Stores Carry Unlocked iPhones

Apple began selling unlocked iPhone 4 models that are compatible with more than just AT&T’s GSM-based cell network earlier in June, and now shoppers can buy the carrier-free version of the combination iPod and smartphone in the company’s retail stores.

A quick check with a few Apple retail stores Monday morning confirmed reports that started circulating over the weekend claiming shoppers weren’t limited to purchasing unlocked iPhones from the Apple Web site. The stores TMO contacted said that not only do they have unlocked iPhones, but they have all of the models available in store — meaning black or white models in 16GB or 32GB capacities.

iPhone 4 without AT&T? There's a phone for that.iOS without AT&T? There’s a phone for that.

iPhone 4 units that aren’t tied to AT&T can be used on most GSM-based cell networks assuming the carrier offers Micro SIM cards. In the U.S., the iPhone 4 is compatible with T-Mobile’s voice service, but doesn’t offer Micro SIM cards. Resourceful customers, however, have taken to cutting down the standard SIM cards to fit the iPhone 4’s Micro SIM tray.

While the iPhone 4 supports T-Mobile’s voice network, it doesn’t include the radio frequencies the company uses for 3G data. Instead, iPhone 4 users will be limited to T-Mobile’s slower EDGE wireless data services.

The unlocked GSM-compatible iPhone 4 is priced at US$649 for the 16GB model, and $749 for the 32GB version.