Apple has finally given in and started offering unlocked iPhone 4 handsets in the Land of the Free, but there is a twist, actually a few twists.
First of all the prices are just as obscene as you would expect from Apple, $649 for a 16GB unit and $749 for the 32GB model. Obviously, the phones can be used on any network in the US, but they are GSM only, which basically means they can be used on AT&T or T-Mobile. However, T-Mobile’s data network doesn’t really support the iPhone 4, so users will be stuck using Edge connectivity, at lower speeds and higher costs. Basically it makes more sense to just go for a two-year deal with AT&T and get it over with.
Although the phones are unlocked, they are still stuck with Apple’s strict content restrictions and Apple approved apps, which are about as puritan as something okayed by Ayatollah Khamenei. On the bright side of things, the ability to change carriers while abroad does come in handy for frequent travellers, although anyone with willing to spend $750 on a phone could also get a dirt cheap prepaid phone bundle at any half decent airport.