Apple to sell unlocked iPhone 4 for $649; iCloud mirroring some MobileMe web services

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is rumored to begin selling unlocked versions of the iPhone 4 in the U.S. starting at $649 on Wednesday, while iOS 5 beta users have discovered that iCloud.com is mirroring some of MobileMe's web services.



Unlocked iPhone 4



Hints that Apple would release a factory unlocked iPhone 4 in the U.S. this week emerged over the weekend, though there was some initial confusion with the source. MacRumors is now reporting that unlocked iPhones have "shipped to Apple Stores this week" and will be priced at $649 and $749 for 16GB and 32GB models, respectively.



Though unlocked iPhone 4s have been available internationally, this would be the first time that Apple sold an unlocked iPhone in the U.S. With an unlocked iPhone 4, users could switch between AT&T and T-Mobile for calling, but 3G data would not work on T-Mobile. The unlocked iPhones are expected to be the GSM model, with the Verizon iPhone 4 remaining unchanged.



Apple has seen unprecedented success with the iPhone 4. In the March quarter, iPhone sales grew 113 percent year over year, reaching an all-time quarterly record of 18.65 million units. According to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, iPhone sales were "off the charts in the U.S" with 155 percent year over year growth.



iCloud.com



MacRumors also reported on Monday that a reader had discovered that Apple is mirroring some MobileMe functionality on iCloud.com. By sending a calendar invitation in the pre-release version of iOS 5, a reader received a link to the iCloud.com domain that appeared identical to MobileMe invitations, with the addition of iCloud branding. Links to iCloud.com invitation error messages have also been discovered.







Apple's announcement that it will shutter MobileMe on June 30, 2012 has caused concern among users of the service. One user reportedly received an email reply from Apple CEO Steve Jobs stating that Apple's iWeb hosting services would indeed be shut down next year.



MobileMe got off to a shaky start when it launched in 2008. Jobs admitted during last week's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote that the service was not "Apple's finest hour."



Jobs also made it clear that iCloud is a new product. When it arrives this fall, the free service will replace many of MobileMe's existing services, store App Store, iTunes and iBookstore purchases and offer seamless backups of iOS devices.







Apple will also offer an iTunes Match service for $24.99 that will scan a music library and make available in the cloud any non-iTunes purchased songs that match songs in Apple's music store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Why can't a person who's already bought an iPhone 4 unlock it when their contract is done? Or buy an iPhone 5 unlocked.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    troehltroehl Posts: 31member
    Can someone explain to me how they can make and sell the iPod Touch (with a healthy margin) at $229 and an unlocked iPhone will sell for $649? Surely the iPhone doesn't need another ~$400 worth of added parts to support making phone calls!
  • Reply 3 of 40
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post


    Can someone explain to me how they can make and sell the iPod Touch (with a healthy margin) at $229 and an unlocked iPhone will sell for $649? Surely the iPhone doesn't need another ~$400 worth of added parts to support making phone calls!



    It is not only parts. There are many other factors such as licensing fees that comes into play for the iPhone. Beside, there is more to pricing than parts cost. Economics 101.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Which carrier discounts the cost of the iPhone off the monthly charges if it is purchased unlocked?If the carrier does not offer such a discount what on earth is the point?
  • Reply 5 of 40
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    well the iPod is $299 with 16gb of flash like the ipHOne has. So $350 to go.



    The iPHone has a nicer screen than the Ipod touch. IPS vs TN difference.



    the iPHone has the cellphone/3g radio. 3g on the iPad is a $130 option.



    The IPhone has the nicer camera and a flash for it.



    MOre money goes into designing, writing software and testing a cellphone/data phone than an iPod touch I'm sure.



    I believe the iPhone also has more gps functionality than the iPOd touch.



    I think the body of the iPHone is more expensive than the Touch's.



    Add that up and a few things I forgot and then factor in Apple's usual rich margin and that's the $350 difference.



    Granted paying $650 now after it's been on the market a year means Apple (most likely) makes a larger margin than a year ago. As with all their hardware the price is most competitive at launch.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Why can't a person who's already bought an iPhone 4 unlock it when their contract is done? Or buy an iPhone 5 unlocked.



    This is where I think the US government and agencies have failed to take care of Americans. Carrier locking should be illegal, or at the very minimum be only for the length of the contract.



    If this rumour is true, I think Apple is doing the right thing.



    Then again you guys were screwed the moment AT&T got exclusive access to the core GSM spectrum used by most countries in the world.



    As such the iPhone 4 GSM-only unlocked is a bit moot since you're still mostly stuck to AT&T.



    What will be interesting is the iPhone 5 "world-mode" GSM/CDMA being sold unlocked.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Which carrier discounts the cost of the iPhone off the monthly charges if it is purchased unlocked?If the carrier does not offer such a discount what on earth is the point?



    TMobile is the answer to your first question. Not an iPhone specifically, but you get a discount if you own your phone. Not much, but ....



    That's why I'm a bit intrigued. I want one without the data plan because I don't want to pay for it. Yet I would like to carry one device. If I could pop my current TMobile sim card inside it and it works then I might bite.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troehl View Post


    Can someone explain to me how they can make and sell the iPod Touch (with a healthy margin) at $229 and an unlocked iPhone will sell for $649? Surely the iPhone doesn't need another ~$400 worth of added parts to support making phone calls!



    The profit margins on the iPhone were established by payments from carriers to Apple. The outright purchase price is probably a reflection of Apple balancing out the loss of payments to Apple from the carriers if you buy it outright. The outright price also shows you why Apple has the fattest profit margins in the smartphone business.



    In some cases carriers do not make direct payments to Apple (particularly if they are no longer the exclusive telco), they purchase iPhones for the "full" dealer price. They then "subsidise" the cost of this phone for customers but make up for it with customers paying much higher monthly "iPhone-specific" plans.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Which carrier discounts the cost of the iPhone off the monthly charges if it is purchased unlocked?If the carrier does not offer such a discount what on earth is the point?



    The point is this... If you want to get an iPhone or any other "hot" phone cheaper you sign up for a contract with the telco and you pay less for your carrier-locked phone.



    If you want to be able to switch between carriers, use prepaid, use any SIM overseas, then you buy the iPhone or any other "hot" phone outright and unlocked for full price.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    All I care about is iDisk. My life depends on it. I use it to backup all of my most important documents and keep them in sync between my Macs which are separated by thousands of miles.



    I hope iDisk remains even after iCloud.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    I want one without the data plan because I don't want to pay for it. Yet I would like to carry one device. If I could pop my current TMobile sim card inside it and it works then I might bite.



    That's exactly what you should be able to do with the unlocked iPhone. Just remember if you ever need a data plan you will never be able to use 3G on an iPhone with TMobile, just EDGE.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    All I care about is iDisk. My life depends on it. I use it to backup all of my most important documents and keep them in sync between my Macs which are separated by thousands of miles.



    I hope iDisk remains even after iCloud.



    You may have to consider something like Dropbox, which I find is superior anyways.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,364member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Which carrier discounts the cost of the iPhone off the monthly charges if it is purchased unlocked?If the carrier does not offer such a discount what on earth is the point?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    The point is this... If you want to get an iPhone or any other "hot" phone cheaper you sign up for a contract with the telco and you pay less for your carrier-locked phone.



    If you want to be able to switch between carriers, use prepaid, use any SIM overseas, then you buy the iPhone or any other "hot" phone outright and unlocked for full price.



    Unless one travels overseas, I still don't quite get it. Where else are you going to go in America with an unlocked version of that phone? (And Verizon's CDMA is scarce overseas anyway.)



    So - what's the actual difference in price plans if you bring your own phone to Verizon? Has anybody done the net cost math over a two year period between getting a subsidized phone from V, vs. buying unlocked?



    (And actually you'd have thot the article would have addressed this.)



    As for the GSM version, if the T-Mobile discount is "not much" per month as one poster said (and with T-mob quite likely to be absorbed by ATT anyway in less than two years if the merger goes through), well, so for that "not much" of a discount AND losing 3G, again for a non-international traveler, as already asked, "what on earth IS the point"?



    (A healthy savings on Sprint - which seems to be excluded - and their 4G also wouldn't work I'd think - with full 3G is the only scenario I can see that would make sense.)
  • Reply 13 of 40
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    well the iPod is $299 with 16gb of flash like the ipHOne has. So $350 to go.



    The iPHone has a nicer screen than the Ipod touch. IPS vs TN difference.



    the iPHone has the cellphone/3g radio. 3g on the iPad is a $130 option.



    The IPhone has the nicer camera and a flash for it.



    MOre money goes into designing, writing software and testing a cellphone/data phone than an iPod touch I'm sure.



    I believe the iPhone also has more gps functionality than the iPOd touch.



    I think the body of the iPHone is more expensive than the Touch's.



    Add that up and a few things I forgot and then factor in Apple's usual rich margin and that's the $350 difference.



    Granted paying $650 now after it's been on the market a year means Apple (most likely) makes a larger margin than a year ago. As with all their hardware the price is most competitive at launch.



    The iPad has an IPS display. It doesn't have the pixel density of the iPhone/iPod Touch.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Great, so when can I unlock my iPhone with AT&T? End of my contract in Summer 2012? I don't have a need to unlock it at the moment, but it would be nice if I could when I am done on contract. Give (read sell at a lower price) it to a family member elsewhere in either of my motherlands (Peru, Mexico) is an option for me.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


    Where else are you going to go in America with an unlocked version of that phone?



    There are many small to somewhat medium local providers who offer GSM. Nearly 100% of them outside of ATT and T-Mobile (which I know doesn't use iPhone compatible 3G spectrum) only have EDGE access at best, but they could in theory use it.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    You may have to consider something like Dropbox, which I find is superior anyways.



    I hear this a lot, but never a real explanation. Aside from dropbox being much less available space, how exactly is it superior? I have looked at it, but I have been unable to see what makes it better. I would like to know, because while I actually think that in most case the document syncing described for icloud looks better, I may need to have both...
  • Reply 16 of 40
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 528member
    They're definitely dropping web hosting? Shoot. Now I have twelve months to find a web host who can match their service at an affordable price. I don't anticipate this being a very short or easy search.



    Mind you, at least I might be able to get support for PHP.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    kingkueikingkuei Posts: 137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    You may have to consider something like Dropbox, which I find is superior anyways.



    Well, since Apple has extended MobileMe subscriptions through next summer, it stands to reason that perhaps certain functions like Gallery and iDisk will gradually make their way into iCloud after its launch this fall, making the free extension a sort of stopgap measure to buy time for Apple to make the transition and add that functionality.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    An unlocked iPhone 4 in the US is fine, but it's a year old product. I'd like to know if the next iPhone will have an unlocked counterpart in the States or if this is just a way to boost sales on a product coming to the end of its primary lifecycle.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shen View Post


    I hear this a lot, but never a real explanation. Aside from dropbox being much less available space, how exactly is it superior? I have looked at it, but I have been unable to see what makes it better. I would like to know, because while I actually think that in most case the document syncing described for icloud looks better, I may need to have both...



    A couple of the major ones are:
    • Delta encoding — This means it will only update the changes to the file.

    • Revision history — This allows you go back to an earlier version and even retrieve a file you've deleted for up to 30 days prior.

  • Reply 19 of 40
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Which carrier discounts the cost of the iPhone off the monthly charges if it is purchased unlocked?



    Elsewhere in the world, BYO (bring your own phone), Prepaid, Month-to-month plans are much cheaper than the equivalent “contract + phone” plans. In most cases they are cheaper by approximately the “hidden” cost of the phone. Also US$649 is cheaper than any unlocked iPhone currently available internationally so those prices may prove very popular with travellers.



    Carriers want customers locked into a contract because it guarantees their custom for the duration of the contract and absolves their responsibility to provide anything more than the bare minimum of service. What incentive is there to provide value when a free (read: subsidised) phone every two years provides enough OMG! to have the suckers lining up again to sign on the dotted line.



    Smaller carriers/resellers/start-ups in the US could easily opt to break rank and offer cheap prepaid plans or at least unlock your phone at the end of your contract. Why can Americans reach a critical mass over something as inconsequential as “Weiner-gate” but are incapable of putting the energy into fixing a broken system? One of the many mysteries of life.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,252member
    Am I the only one on these boards who actually uses iWeb? I know it has its limits, but for a non-coder it is invaluable. I started out on PageMill, and when that died I was forced to use Dreamweaver which was way too much--I learned just enough to update my old PageMill site. I hated it. When iWeb came along I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Like PageMill of old, but updated and better. Tight integration to all things Mac was wonderful. I cannot believe they are just going to tell those of us who have all this time and effort invested: tough luck, find some other solution.



    I am a dyed in the wool Apple loyalist, but I am very upset if what they are saying is true. I supported Apple through thick and thin. I'd like to see a little compassion for those of us who wouldn't let you die. It can't cost that much to keep iWeb/hosting functionality going. There should be plenty of capacity with the new NC server farm.



    Say it ain't so, Steve.
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