Apple has been offering a factory unlocked iPhone for quite sometime and started offering factory unlocked iPhones in UK and France with the launch of iPhone 4.
We had also learned that SIM-free, factory unlocked iPhones will also be offered to Canadian customers.
Folks at Boy Genius Report point to an article on CBCNews, which claims that Apple will start selling factory unlocked iPhone 4 in Canada when it goes on sale this Friday.
The report claims that Apple will offer the factory unlocked 16GB iPhone 4 model for $659 while the 32GB iPhone 4 model will cost $779.
The catch, though, is the phone's price. The 16-gigabyte unit will sell for $659 while the 32-GB version will cost $779.
While the unlocked iPhone has the potential to be a game changer in Canada — where phones are generally sold at a reduced cost in exchange for the customer signing on to a long-term service contract — it's still too expensive to make a difference, said telecommunications consultant Johanne Lemay of Lemay-Yates Associates.
While Canadians are starting to show some appetite for paying the full cost of lower-priced phones up front, they are still likely to chafe at the hefty price tags that upper-end devices such as the iPhone carry, Lemay said.
Despite the high price, factory unlocked iPhones can be highly popular among international travelers who may need to frequently switch carriers.
Apple had released an FAQ that answers some of the pertinent questions that customers may have about these new plans. Here is an excerpt:
Does iPhone work with any SIM card or carrier worldwide?
iPhone 3GS works with SIM cards and iPhone 4 works with micro-SIM cards from compatible carriers, including prepaid cards. Non-GSM carrier networks do not support iPhone. Availability of 3G data depends on carrier support for the radio frequencies used by iPhone.
Does iPhone support tethering?
Yes. You can share the fast 3G connection on your iPhone with your Mac or PC and connect to the Internet from just about anywhere — no Wi-Fi required. Contact your carrier for details.
Will all iPhone features work with my carrier?
Visual Voicemail requires carrier support and may not function on your carrier’s network. Please read this Support article or contact your carrier for more details.
If I buy iPhone from this Apple Online Store, can I ship it to another country?
No. Orders placed through this Apple Online Store can be shipped only within the country of purchase. You can also shop for friends and family in countries where iPhone is sold. Just visit the local store of the country where you want your products delivered.
Are you planning to buy the SIM-free, factory unlocked iPhone 4 or the subsidized one from carriers? Let us know in the comments.