Skip to main content

Unlocked iPhone now on sale, starting $649 price tag for 16 GB model

apple-iphone-4
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple has a new iPhone product listing in its online store, but it’s not the long-awaited handset upgraded you’ve been looking for. The iPhone 4 can now officially be purchased unlocked, meaning that it isn’t tied to a specific wireless carrier, TUAW has learned. You’ll be paying $649 for a 16 GB model and $749 for a 32 GB model. So, not cheap.

Don’t break out the champagne bottles and start planning a party just yet, however. For starters, the price is pretty prohibitive. Seriously. You could get an iPad 2 for less. The bigger problem is the fact that only the GSM model is available unlocked, meaning the phone is still restricted to the AT&T network here in the United States. The only other major wireless provider using GSM is T-Mobile, and that network is incompatible with the iPhone. Verizon phones use CDMA, and those remain (officially) locked.

The real advantage of an unlocked GSM iPhone is for world travelers. Previously, those with an iPhone who traveled abroad would have to worry about accruing some serious roaming charges when using their device outside the country. With an unlocked iPhone, swapping out your U.S.-friendly SIM card with one for a European service provider will cut down on those costs significantly. There’s also the advantage of being able to wrap your hands around one of Apple’s popular cellphones without signing your wireless communications life away to AT&T for two years. That alone may be enough to attract some buyers.

Editors' Recommendations

Adam Rosenberg
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Previously, Adam worked in the games press as a freelance writer and critic for a range of outlets, including Digital Trends…
Best refurbished iPhone deals: Get an iPhone 14 for $472
An iPhone 13 in white color option.

The Apple iPhone isn’t typically where you should turn if you’re hoping to find some of the best Apple deals. It’s expensive, popular, and always among the best phones, which is a bad combination if you’re hoping for a discount. Shopping refurbished iPhone deals, though, can make a great alternative to the best iPhone deals. You can typically find some significant discounts, and right now that’s just what we’re seeing across a huge selection of refurbished iPhone models. Among them are some impressive iPhone 14 deals, iPhone SE deals, and there are even refurbished iPhone deals stretching all the way back to the iPhone XR. We’ve pieced together all of the best refurbished iPhone deals below, so kick back and enjoy some savings if you don’t need the latest and greatest from Apple.

If you do, however, prefer something newer for your next phone there are some iPhone 15 deals worth taking a look at, and if you’re looking for some other Apple goodies to pair with an iPhone check out the current AirPods deals.
iPhone XR -- from $160

Read more
iOS 18 release date: here’s when your iPhone will get the update
Someone holding an iPhone 14 with the display turned on.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 keynote, the company revealed the next major iteration of iOS 18 for your iPhone. This is one of the biggest updates to the software in years, and it has cool new features like more home screen and control center customizations, RCS support in Messages, scheduled messages, and a slew of features powered by Apple Intelligence.

But are you wondering when you can get iOS 18 to try it out yourself? Here are all the details about when you can get iOS 18 on your compatible iPhone.
iOS 18 developer beta release date

Read more
The iPhone will never be the same after this
Someone holding an iPhone 15 Pro Max with the screen on and showing the home screen.

iOS 18 is a big and exciting iPhone update. From the home screen customization tools to the new Control Center and the various improvements to iMessage, there's plenty to be excited about. I know I am!

However, there's also an ugly side to iOS 18. A big part of this update includes Apple's long-awaited AI features, which Apple refers to as Apple Intelligence. What we've seen so far of Apple Intelligence looks quite promising. Unfortunately, while these AI features are included in the iOS 18 update, they'll only be available for a select group of people.

Read more