Apple on Tuesday began selling unlocked iPhone 4 on its online and retail stores across the United States. If you don’t want to purchase the handset with the standard two year carrier contract commitment then you can purchase the unlocked iPhone by paying a huge premium. The high prices for the commitment free phone are no surprise as the carrier subsidies don’t apply for unlocked phones. However, the cost is still much lesser than the international market.
Only the GSM model (in white and black color) is available factory unlocked and works with any carrier worldwide that offers micro sim cards. The 16GB model is available for $649 and 32GB for $729.
If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide.
It’s interesting to note that after announcing Verizon as its second carrier partner Apple is now offering the hugely popular iOS device without any contract. This is great news for anyone who wants to use their iPhone with another carrier when they travel.
Additionally, this move is being seen as an attempt to make the device available to a larger audience who could probably be looking at importing the phones where Apple does not have a partnership with network providers.
Apple could have announced this news during the WWDC keynote event but chose to quietly update its online stores with the unlocked handset. It’s clear that the Cupertino based company is timing the release of such updates to keep the focus on iPhone 4 while its rumored to be preparing for iPhone 5 launch this fall.