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Pure Mobile preps for unlocking iPhones

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]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    Allellulia...

    ...now why doesn't Apple come to it's senses & follow suit...?

  1. MarkLT1

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2002

    0

    Thats all fine and dandy.

    with the exception that many of the phone features which makes the iPhone so great (for example: visual voicemail) wont work, as at&t made special changes to their network for said features.

    As for why Apple wont come to the senses, they would have had to do so back when they made the deal with Cingular. They signed a 5-year exclusive deal, which would be incredibly tough for them to get out of (unfortunately).

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    Different strokes...

    ...not everyone will use every feature - even a simple phone/ipod/contacts/camera may be better than others & just fine...

  1. dezinewiz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2007

    0

    Umm, Sure?

    And, just where are they going to get these mysterious unlocked iPhones from?

    If Apple was smart, they would keep them at AT&T for at least six months, and then send them elsewhere.

    Why would AT&T want to give up that pot of gold to others also?

    And, since Apple controls its product so horrendously, just where will anyone get unlocked phones from?

    Good luck!

    -Daniel

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    response to dezinewiz

    They will not be buying unlocked devices and selling them. They will be buying standard iPhones, and modifying them so they are unlocked. That's their business model.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Easy to get

    All 'Pure Mobile' needs to do is buy phones at retail from AT&T (or Apple), break the two-year contract and pay the subsequent penalty (currently, about $200 for ordinary phones on most common plans). Once they do that, phones are theirs to do anything they want with them. As long as they figure out how to safely unlock them, they can sell them for $1,000 and have themselves a nice profit. There are very many people out there who'll pay $1,000 for a contract-free device, especially if it is an iPhone. There are less spectacular phones out there costing just as much in legitimate supply chains (especially in European markets).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: umm, sure

    The only way I can see is that these guys will be buying iPhones, cancelling the 2-year contract almost immediately, unlock the phone and re-sell them. Of course, the phone's going to cost a lot more.

    But, now, hey, if you don't care about the phone, there's an idea for you. $499 + $200 cancellation fee, and off you go!

    And this also presupposes the phone will work at all unlocked, as it might be tied to the at&t network more-so then other phones. As "MarkLT1" said, at&t made changes to their software for the phone. I wouldn't be too surprised to see the iPhone look specifically for some indicator from the phone network that its at&t before allowing it to work.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: easy to get

    One little issue with this idea may be the contract you sign. They might stick something in it that you're "leasing" the phone and are required to return it if you cancel before two years. h***, if I know Apple, they'd rather refund a pro-rated $600 back to get the phone then dare let someone keep it without Apple getting a cut of the long-term profit.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    iTMS account

    If you noticed the other article today, about an iTMS account requirement, maybe Apple is planning on some kind of weird iphone/itunes lockin, where it checks your account when you turn the thing on to see whether its still valid. If used from another network, it locks you out?

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    If Rogers or others...

    ...refuse to 'play ball' then Apple has little to lose by allowing iPhones to 'leak' into other countries, effectively cannibalizing the sales of those unwilling to deal...

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