updated 12:40 am EDT, Tue September 9, 2008
Unlocked Russian iPhones
Although pricing information was not mentioned, Russia-based Vimpelcom on Monday announced it would offer the iPhone with no subsidy, since Russian law dictates that locked phone are illegal. Reuters reveals that Vimpelcom CEO Alexander Izosimov confirmed the move at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit, continuing upon an official launch confirmation in late August. An estimated half-million unlocked iPhone handsets already see use by Russians.
"The earlier we start working with it, the better we will be prepared. It is not technologies that will change, but the business model," said Izosimov. "Our research shows that when the iPhone falls into the hands of a customer, the use of data services increases by four to five times." Izosimov made the observation, echoing hopes in the telecommunications industry that have computing technology merging with the rapidly-growing field.
A specific release date was also not mentioned, with the company mentioning an official unveiling "later this year."