back to article Apple to sell unlocked iPhone 4

Apple UK will sell the iPhone 4 Sim-free. Pre-order pricing, posted today, puts the 16GB version of the iOS 4 handset at a whopping £499 and the 32GB version at £100 more. Apple iPhone 4 pre-order Only black iPhone 4s are available to order now. A Sim-free iPhone 3GS can be ordered for £419. It has 8GB of storage. Apple …


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  1. stu 4

    no PAYG yet...

    Still watching o2/orange/vodafone and none have announced pre-order pages yet.

    Beginning to think it might be apple sim free only pre-orders - or wait till release day for carrier deals ?

    I just want a PAYG, but it used to come with 12 months of data free.... so don't really want to buy one for 599 quid to find I can get one for the same or cheaper from o2 in a week with 12 months of data free....

    And I can't imagine the carriers would have been jumping over backwards to give apple a 1 week window either - so can only assume that they have all had to agree to a 1 week exclusive pre-order window sim-free from Apple only ?

    which is a bummer.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Obvious question

    Why would you waste your cash on this, when the HTC Desire is twice the phone at half the cost?

    1. Craig Mulvaney


      You can get a SIM free HTC Desire brand new for £250? Where?

      I won't go into the whole "twice the phone rubbish"....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cheap Desire

      Where can you buy an HTC Desire for £250??

      I've got a Desire and now I think I've been ripped off!

      1. Kenny Millar


        Because it's not?

    3. James R Grinter

      Re: Obvious question

      is it really half the cost, though? I can see an HTC Desire on sale for £399 (inc VAT, unlocked, P&P extra). But that seems to be a 512MB model

      (Do they really come with that little storage as standard? That seems rather penny pinching, even if a good 16GB SD card is only another £20-£30 or so.)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        you're only limited by available sd card sizes

        Only Apple limit your capacity. The 512mb is for the ROM and apps, the desire ships with a 4gb microSD ;)

        I can easily make my Desire 32gb for less than an iPhone, and even 64gb when they come out later this year.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      An even more obvious question...

      Why bother trolling in the first place?

    5. Anonymous Coward


      why would I want something that's twice the phone? my iphone 3g is big enough as it is? Although, if you can get me a £250 htc, I'll take 10 from you, assuming you're not getting them from the back of a truck

  3. Robert Ramsay

    Blimey O'Reilly.

    <Dr Evil>SIX HUNDRED POUNDS!!!!!</Dr Evil>

    I'd think twice about carrying anything costing £600 with me, never mind anything as small and easily left about/stolen as a phone...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    holy crap

    ....Steve's dropped his sandpaper cavity-search glove and done something......nice. Error.....does not compute....*bang*

  5. Graeme 7
    Jobs Horns

    Same price as an iPad

    So that puts the 32GB version at the same price as the 3G iPad and the 16GB version just a few quid less than it's iPad counterpart.

    Which is better I don't know.... the bigger or the smaller screen, the smaller or the bigger item... hmmmm.....

    1. Jon Double Nice

      Theres only one way to find out:


      Or fanboi/troll flamewar, which is a bit like a fight, sort of.

  6. Tony Barnes

    Spot on...

    ...well, my guess was. Been debating what the PAYG would go for, reckoned £500 and £600 for the 16 & 32 respectively. Barring pricing rhetoric I was on the money.

    Almost a daft amount of money to pay, but given it's basically an iPad in a smaller package, with a camera, about "right"

    Still WAY too rich for me though....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sim-locked PAYG.

      I'd expect sim locked PAYG vesion to be cheaper, else there'd be no point offering them for sale.

  7. Thomas Bottrill

    It's working now

    Also, £499 isn't really that pricey for an unlocked smartphone.

  8. Joel 1

    Page went up....

    Site went down...

    The page was opened for pre-orders, and the whole Apple Store fell offline....

  9. chr0m4t1c

    Why "whopping"?

    £499 looks to be about the right price for a new smart phone with 16Gb to me, the HTC Desire has an RRP of £480 for example.

  10. uhuznaa

    Could've been worse

    If you look at eBay prices for new officially unlocked iPhones imported from elsewhere the prices aren't that bad.

  11. Simon Grierson

    Holy cow

    While this is about average for a Sim free phone (the HTC Desire on PAYG is usually around £400-500 depending on carrier), it's still expensive. The iPad 3g 32gb is exactly the same price as a ipad at the same spec, despite 3x the screen real estate, twice the battery etc.

    A camera and Gyroscope dont add that much to the price of a phone!

  12. Andy 115
    Thumb Up

    Reserve for pickup at Apple Store...

    And no matter what you select now (Sim Free / PAYG / Contract) you can make the final decision when you pick up and pay. (as Apple store ones are ALL unlocked to start with at least)

    I'm split between SIM Free and a simplicity contract sorted out seperately or contact and upgrade but it doesn't matter - I have 9 days to decide :-)

    32Gb Black reserved for pickup anytime between 8am and 10pm on 24th from the lovely people at the Manchester Apple Store :-D

  13. batfastad
    Jobs Horns

    I don't get it

    How can any unlocked phone can be priced that high?

    £500 would get you a decentish laptop or 2 Asus eee 1005HA netbooks (9hr battery life), or a 40 inch LG LCD TV from currys.

    Who the heck pays that for a phone? Any phone! Ever!

    1. Campbeltonian

      Re: I don't get it

      There are plenty of SIM-only contracts available that bring the TCO of an unsubsidised, unlocked phone back down to roughly the same as a subsidised phone+contract.

      Everybody who gets a phone as part of a contract is paying for their phone. Every month.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I don't get it either

      Who would spend £200000 on a Lamborghini, I don't understand!!!

    3. Neill Mitchell


      The phone manufacturers have got used to getting away with years of charging the operators a lot of money for their handsets. This has skewed the entire pricing model for mobiles. Everyone has got tangled up in pure greed and it's us poor consumers who pay for it.

      £400-500 is just silly money for what goes into these things, especially in the volumes they are sold in.

  14. stu 4
    Thumb Up


    how do you reserve to pickup ? only option on apple site is pre-order for the whole amount.

    1. Andy 115

      Apple Store Reservation Link

  15. Bill Fresher


    Nokia E55 is the king of smart phones.

    Recently went abroad and switched of data.. the battery lasted 8 days.

    How long does an iPhone battery last?

  16. behzad

    We can thank the falling GBP for this...

    iPhone 4 has exactly the same pricing as the 3GS in the US, while this represents a £50 hike considering you could get the 3GS for £450 on PAYG (£440 with Orange?). There's still a chance PAYG might be cheaper, but given the other perks of that (free data), I'm not holding my breath.

    I think I might just wait for the iPhone 4-ified iPod Touch. The emasculation of data plans was already pushing me in that direction, but now the enormous price premium for what is basically the same hardware with 3G is becoming more and more difficult to swallow.

  17. Cody

    Its not really 'unlocked'

    It only means that Apple is gracious enough to allow you to pick your own network. That is a remarkably generous and humbling concession, one to astonish and delight all Apple fans. What great guys they are in Cupertino!

    But you still cannot pick your own apps. Its either the app store or buy a different phone.

    But then, you never wanted any apps that were not in the app store, did you? That is what freedom of choice means, surely, it must mean freedom to buy from the store Apple has set up for you, any of the apps they want to make available to you.


    1. LordBrian


      Please grow the fuck up. Boo fucking hoo, I cannot run anything but officially overpriced game son my PS3 and Xbox 360 but I have an IQ greater than 3 so I know that before I bought it and don't go crying about it.

  18. Jesse Dorland
    Thumb Up

    Give the devil his due

    I am Linux user by default, so I am no big fan of Mr. Job$. However, I would answer a question another poster have asked why would you spend your money on a phone like this? The simple you get what you pay for. You get a phone, mp3 player, and organizer, and not to mention email, web browser with wifi, and finally games!

    All of these things can be organized with iTune without any major difficulty. Believe me guys I have tried blackberry sync apps, Motorola (a paid app), and few more. Nothing comes close to be as simple as iPhone. Nothing. Yes apple is draconian, Orwellian, and they make Stalin look like a church choir boy. Over all its best of two world.

    Finally, as an iPhone user I am very happy to see that apple is shipping unlock phone with quad band. As soon as they start selling unlock phone AWS phone (hopefully with 200 Gig space). I’d buy it in a heart beat.

    Apple selling unlock phones means they are taking Google android seriously.

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