updated 01:15 pm EDT, Tue June 12, 2007
Pure Mobile Unlocks iPhone
Online phone shop Pure Mobile plans to offer an unlocked iPhone, according to PodTech VP Robert Scoble. The store claims it will de-restrict both 4GB and 8GB versions to allow their use on GSM phone networks beyond its official AT&T home, including the carrier's rival T-Mobile as well as Canadian providers such as Fido and Rogers. No mention has been made of pricing or availability, but demand for the unlocked Apple device is already said to be extremely high -- more so than any phone sold through the store in the past, says Pure Mobile. The company accordingly expects supplies to be very tight during the initial launch.
Also missing in the company's claim are explanations of how it will overcome the restrictions on the phone's SIM card, which are meant to limit the phone's use to AT&T and maintain the multi-year exclusive deal signed between Apple and the provider. Previous comments by the involved companies have suggested that extra measures will be in place to prevent a simple unlock process.
Unlocked phones are frequently considered essential for European providers, which are often expected to let subscribers switch between services without also abandoning their current handsets. Analysts have also suggested that carrier-free versions of the iPhone may flourish in Canada for as long as Apple declines to sell its phone in the country. [via Scobleizer]