Waking up to see the iPhone finally and officially offered as an unlocked device made me quite happy. It’s somewhat ironically showing up the day Apple also agreed to settle with Nokia over their long debated patent issues which is interesting given my long history using Nokia unlocked devices.
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. via Apple Store U.S..
In the years since I’ve left Nokia, I’ve also gone back to buying on contract for my personal devices as the Apple / AT&T upgrade plan has worked just fine and I’m fortunate enough to be able to migrate devices for business using a work-provided SIM. I haven’t seen anything but positive reporting about the changes to iPhone availability … some noting of course the “high” pricing though those prices are close if not even more expensive than the historical “expensive” unlocked Nokia devices which used to be counted against them.
As times have continued to evolve courtesy of the pressures Apple has been able to provide in the industry it’s likely the real buyer is the more niche traveler (able to find micro sim cards) but really the grey market. With an unlocked iPhone now available you don’t even have to jailbreak it to resell in a capable GSM country. It’s ready right from the box ….