If you love your iPhone and you love to travel you definitely won’t love the way carriers lock the iPhone onto their network. This prevents you from using a pre-paid local SIM card once you arrive at your destination which can save a fortune on phone calls and SMS messages.
So what’s the story with the iPhone 4? We polled Telstra Vodafone 3 and Optus on their iPhone 4 unlocking policy.
If you buy an iPhone 4 outright from Apple it comes unlocked of course. That’s just as it should be. You’ve paid anywhere from $859 to $999 for the phone. It’s yours.
All Telstra iPhone 4 units will be locked to Next G with a flat $150 fee to unlock them.
An Optus spokesman confirmed that while their iPhone 4 handsets would be locked “if you want to unlock the iPhone there is no extra charge.”
Vodafone and 3 will sell the iPhone 4 locked but a spokesperson confirmed to APC that both carriers “will unlock the handset free of charge for postpaid (contracted) iPhone 4 customers”.
This is a significant but very welcome change from Vodafone’s previous policy under which the iPhone 3G and 3GS would be unlocked for between $75-$100 if you were in the first six months of your contract and between $25-$50 after that period.