In a surprising turn of events, Apple has launched unlocked iPhone 4 in US starting today. Macrumors first reported that the factory unlocked iPhone 4 should be made available in the retail stores very soon, and it is already made available now.
Though Apple has sold unlocked iPhone 4 in international markets like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, India and others, this would be the first time ever that the US consumers will be having access to the unlocked iPhones. Apple has always tied up with the carriers like AT&T and Verizon for launching iPhone, but now users will have the liberty to choose the carrier of their choice without signing a contract.
Why Apple is launching Unlocked iPhone 4 in US?
It is very difficult to understand why Apple has flip-flopped on their policy of selling iPhones locked to the carrier’s data plans. I could think of 3 possible reasons, which are inter-related in a way:
1. Apple was under pressure from Android in terms of sales in US, which is still a major market for them.
2. The mounting pressure from the ever-raising complaints with respect to call drops and lagging 3G performance on AT&T.
3. iPhone 5 release is round the corner and Apple might have wanted to sell off their remaining repository.
Samsung Galaxy S II, which is possibly the best android smartphone in the market right now is priced at $899 for its unlocked version (and Amazon has listed it at $712). iPhone 4, though almost an year old, is still competitive enough in terms of performance and a lower price tag makes the battle even more interesting!
Unlocked iPhone 4 Price in US
The unlocked iPhone 4 models are priced at $649 and $749 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively. This is approximately the same price as of unlocked iPhone 4 in HK, UK & Canada.