That means those who will grab the handset won’t have to worry about switching between different carriers around the world, as long as the carrier to use supports the same operating frequency in the GSM network. The catch though is it would only be available in the US and can be ordered only through Apple Online Store, at least for the time being. Both the white and black versions are available. 16GB model of the carrier-unlocked iPhone 4 is selling at $649, while the 32GB model can be purchased at $749.
For those CTB readers who are not regular iPhone users, Apple usually release the iPhone locked to exclusive carriers around the world. In the US, iPhone exclusive carrier was AT&T; but it ended when Apple released a CDMA-based iPhone 4 for Verizon subscribers. Here in the Philippines, the exclusive iPhone carrier is Globe Telecom.
With the iPhone being locked to exclusive carriers, users need to unlock the phone baseband so they can use different carriers anywhere in the world. Unlocking the iPhone baseband can be achieved by jailbreaking its operating system (iOS) and installing an app called Ultrasn0w. When Apple released the iPhone 4 last year, most of the baseband versions that come with it are almost impossible to unlock. This resulted to the release of alternative baseband unlocking product, the SIM interposers, like Gevey. But with Apple’s move to sell unlocked version of GSM iPhone 4, using Ultrasn0w and Gevey SIM won’t make any sense.
Those who will buy the unlocked iPhone 4 need to know that the phone is only compatible with micro-SIM cards. Here in the Philippines, Smart Communications is also selling prepaid micro-SIM cards for Php 40 or less. It’s also important to note that Micro-SIM card that comes with the iPad tablet can’t be interchanged and will not work with the iPhone.
And since Apple won’t ship unlocked iPhone 4 ordered outside US, from here in the Philippines for instance, the last resort is to use a US mailing address or have someone in the US buy the item on your behalf.