If the iPhone 4 is not available in your country on June the 24th have no fear. There are a range of countries around the globe where you can buy them contract free. i.e. You pay a slightly higher retail price, but do not have to sign up to any particular provider, nor worry that your iPhone 4 will work when you take it to another country. If you have a friend or family in one of those countries it’s a simple task to buy the iPhone 4 online, send it to them, and then have them send it to you.
Apple is selling the iPhone 4 in Canada, Japan, the UK and France in this manner. That covers a good portion of the globe. The price of the “commitment-free” iPhone is perhaps not as immediately attractive as a contract iPhone 4. But you pay your money and you take your choice. At the end of the day a contract-free iPhone, and a more flexible contract that you select with another carrier often works out cheaper in the long run. This is because telcos build the subsidy that they give away with their cheap iPhone pricing deals into your plan spread over time with inflated packages you often don’t really need.
Speaking from experience, having had several generations of iPhones contract-free I can say that I certainly think this is the best way to go.
Full details of the way this works are all explained in a FAQ from Apple. But here is the key information :
- Can I use my iPhone outside my home country?
Yes. iPhone is enabled to work on carrier networks using GSM around the world. Because the iPhone sold by the Apple Online Store is commitment-free, you can purchase a SIM or micro-SIM card and service from a local carrier at your destination. Or check with your home carrier regarding international roaming charges.
- Why does the price of iPhone from the Apple Online Store differ from its price from a carrier?
Carriers typically sell the iPhone with a contract that subsidises the initial purchase price of the phone. By purchasing your iPhone without a contract, you can use any SIM or micro-SIM card from a compatible carrier, including your current one.
Does a slightly more expensive, but contract free iPhone appeal to you? Let us know your views in the comments.