This week Apple finally came out and is now selling an unlocked version of the iPhone 4. At first thought, you may think that this is a good idea. But, when you really think about it, it may not be the best idea. First, let me explain what an unlocked iPhone is. Basically, with an unlocked phone, you can feel free to use it on different carriers. You are not locked into one carrier, say for example, AT&T or Verizon. You are also not locked into a contract. That is why locked phones are cheaper. It is because you are restricted to stay with one cell phone company for a period of time.
So, an unlocked phone does have an advantage in that you can be with other carriers. But in this case, with the iPhone 4, I can hardly find a reason for you to want to get this. First of all, an unlocked iPhone 4 will set you back a pretty penny, $649 for the 16 GB and $749 for the 32 GB. Definitely not cheap. Secondly, this unlocked iPhone 4 is GSM, meaning that you can only use it on AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. And with the possibility of T-Mobile and AT&T merging in the next year, this makes it even less appealing.
So why would you want to get an unlocked iPhone 4? Well, the main reason would be is if you are a heavy international traveler. This is, in my opinion, the only good reason to get this iPhone. When you travel overseas with an unlocked iPhone you can then just use that countries GSM network, which in other countries, there are a lot of GSM networks and they are pretty much the standard. Versus if you were with AT&T and you wanted to travel overseas, you would be incurring some heavy charges trying to make calls and using your data.
So, is it worth it? Not really, unless you do plan to be making lots of international trips. To be honest, I am interested to see how this will sell in the US. There really isn’t much of a need for it here. What will be interesting to see is if international people will buy it from the US, being that this price is usually cheaper than what unlocked phones cost in their country.
Would you be interested in something like this? Hit us up in the comments.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.