For a company that’s wanting to “sell against the iPhone,” T-Mobile still wants whatever business it can get from unlocked iPhone owners. Earlier today we told you about T-Mobile’s new microSIM kits that will easily unlock an iPhone 4/4S to run on its GSM network.
It appears that T-Mobile is also readying flyers that say “Bring Your iPhone to T-Mobile for BIG SAVINGS!” But can T-Mobile’s network really support iPhone users on 3G and eventually 4G speeds?
While Sprint’s initial batch of iPhone 4S handsets were sold unlocked, allowing you to swap out your Sprint SIM card for a SIM card of your choice, that will no longer be the case. From today, November 11, Sprint will be SIM locking Apple’s latest iPhone.
If you’re buying your new CDMA iPhone 4S through Sprint, then you’ll be pleased to know that the device will come unlocked — allowing you to stick in any SIM and use the device on any network. If you’ve ordered a Verizon device, however, it will come locked to Verizon, but you can request to have it unlocked after 60 days.
Apple’s iPhone 4S is available to pre-order today, but if you’re ordering in the U.S., you’ll have to purchase it with a commitment from either AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. Those wanting an unlocked device will have to wait until November, and they won’t get a world phone.
The iPhone 4S might not be out until September, but that doesn’t mean a new iPhone won’t be released in its traditional launch window that June. In fact, new iPhones could hit the Apple Store as early as Wednesday… but don’t expect new hardware. Instead, if the latest report pans out, expect carrier unlocked iPhones that could work on both Verizon and AT&T.
Speaking of jailbreaks, check out this trailer for Unlocked, a mock biopic in the style of The Social Network incorporating footage from his various media appearances as well as a movie starring The Wire’s Ziggy that I’d be pleased if you guys would identify for me in the comments.
Image via Paul Stamatiou
It’s an open secret that there are legions of iPhone owners who operate their phones outside of Apple’s officially sanctioned networks AT&T, O2, Orange, and T-Mobile Germany, either because they live outside of the countries where the iPhone is on sale or because they’re aware that AT&T has terrible coverage.
What is less well-known is just how big the problem has gotten. BusinessWeek reported last week that 800,000 to 1 million iPhones have gone AWOL after legitimate purchase. And now this weekend, analyst In-Stat claims that 400,000 of those iPhone are all in operation on China Mobile, the largest carrier in Mainland China.
This makes a few things clear:
Apple should get a distribution deal in China as fast as they can. They’re just leaving money on the table right now.
Apple would be making more money if they hadn’t gone with an exclusive network for each market. If the iPhone ran GSM and CDMA and was available far and wide, they would be making more money and they wouldn’t need to concern themselves with unlocking. By getting into bed with AT&T and making a part of its revenue dependent on “legitimate use,” Apple has taken an anti-consumer stance that will hurt it in the long run. Unlocked iPhones are only a problem because they depend on an outdated business model. Apple should be embarrassed for taking part in it.