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Apple selling SIM-free (Unlocked) international iPhones

As the UK and France Apple Online Stores come back up and start taking iPhone 4 pre-orders again, it's worth noting that Apple is actually offering them SIM-free in those countries. That's right -- unlocked:

When you purchase your iPhone from the Apple Online Store, you’ll get it SIM-free. So you can sign up for service with the carrier of your choice and change your carrier at any time.

It's not cheap, mind you: £499/16GB and £599/32GB in the UK, and €629/16GB and €739/32GB in France. Cana

Any of our international readers taking that iPhone 4 unlocked option? Anyone looking to buy international and have it shipped home? (And if you see it SIM-free anywhere else, let us know!)

[Apple Online UK (opens in new tab) - Apple Online France (opens in new tab)]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

34 Comments
  • I'll wait, already eligible for upgrade/renewal
    otherwise I'd be tempted
  • Will the unlocked international phone work well with T-Mobile?
  • I ordered a 32Gb Sim Free in the UK. :o) I'm on O2 Simplicity so don't want a proper contract.
  • I would jump on this if I didn't get great coverage by AT&T but that's not the case. By the way, the Apple Store this morning SUCKED!!! Tried 5 times to complete my iPhone 4 order but was booted with a "Timed Out" screen. Then later the store had a "We'll Be Back Soon" message. Apple.com can't deal with this type of traffic, yet? Geez, and they criticize AT&T! I ended up having to go to AT&T online to put an order in reliably!
  • It may be worth noting that the UK price for the 32G iPhone, when taxes are taken into account works out at pretty much the same for the unlocked iPhone 3Gs here in Thailand; and that price compared fairly well with other unlocked phone offerings in the region. As the price for 3Gs and iPhone 4 are the same, this seems about right. Of course when WE get it (officially) is open to speculation.
  • Ordered a 16GB SIM free - On an O2 Simplicity contract at £15 a month at the moment. When you factor in the £20 a month saving over a 18 month contract, it isn't actually that bad a deal..
    And I remain 'out of contract' ready for iPhone 5 next year!
  • Yup, 32GB ordered and will be putting my O2 £15 per month Simplicity SIM into it.
  • Rene, I don't want to rub it in, but would you like me to send you an iPhone 4 from here in blighty?
  • @Mephisto - you know you'll need to hack your SIM down to size right?
  • The iPhone has been like this here in Belgium for 2 years now. We don't even have the cheaper ones with contract, only 500€ and above
  • Sim free in Canada??? I find this very hard to believe. There must be some kind of catch. I'm going to check with my Apple contact and report back.
  • @ParishYoung, you can change your current tariff to a Micro Sim.
    I am on Unlimited texts (12000) and Unlimited internet with o2 for topping up £15 a month, they take £10 off me leaving me with £5 for calls or a call Bolt-on but I rarely make calls. So Sim free will be best for me. Hopefully there is some iphone 4's around on pay day on the 30th.
  • @ParishYoung
    O2 are sending out Micro SIMS in advance so you can transfer your number/contract over to the new SIM on the 24th.
  • I too am curious if an "unlocked" international phone would function on USA T-Mobile. Does anyone know what 3G Bands the international phone supports?
  • T-Mobile USA uses 1700 MHz for 3G. No iPhone (including iPhone 4) supports 1700 MHz. Therefore, iPhone 4 will not work on T-Mobile USA 3G.
  • Would a sim free 32GB iPhone 4 work with Rogers in Canada?? What's this Micro sim people are talking about and what is the process of transferring to one?
  • the UK price isn't that bad, the unlocked 32GB iphone 4 costs the same as an unlocked nexus one here.
  • Also unlocked in Canada.
  • @chrisw
    Apple Canada will be selling all iPhones unlocked as well. Look at the iPhone order page onn apple.com/ca and read the faqs! Finally..no need to renew my rogers contract :)
    Thanks apple
  • @Adam h
    Where's the iPhone 4 FAQs??
  • @Adam h
    Thanks for the help, didn't even notice the FAQ section, I was too excited, haha.
    I would just hate to invest in a $600 phone and not have it work. Thanks!
  • Ok. Might be a Noob question but here goes.
    Do you need all 3G bands to match in order for a phone to work on 3G?
    Example:
    UK iPhone 4:
    3G – (850/900/1900/2100 mHz)
    EDGE – (850/900/1800/1900)
    US Nexus One (Tmobile)
    3G (900/AWS/2100 mHz) – 900/2100 mHz match
    EDGE – (850/900/1800/1900 mHz)
  • Ok the FAQ on the Canadian site does say it will be changeable if you buy through the Apple store, but I'll believe it when I see it.
    This would make my day though!
  • Orange UK is NOT letting customer's move to a MicroSIM without upgrading their account!!! You have to either get a new number or new contract dates. They WILL NOT give out MicroSIM's just for people to use with the iPhone 4. Not impressed at all.
  • People are definitely buying them. Just tried to order one fo prick up at my local Apple store and they are sold out apart from 16GB white. Tried the other Apple store in my city and it's pretty much the same story.
    They're like proverbial hot cakes.
  • Unbelievable prices here in Europe... 750 euros for a device like this? They're so crazy!!!! Maybe it's the time to go on other platforms?
  • @Plazmic
    from the apple store for Canada:
    "Your new iPhone. Direct from Apple and ready to use. When you purchase your iPhone from the Apple Online Store, you’ll get it commitment-free."
  • Hey if anyone needs a micro SIM after they buy an unlocked iPhone I found lots of "DIY" articles on both google and bing... I'm not up for taking a butcher knife to my own card, so does any one have a good "steady" hand?
  • 16Gb 3Gs cost me £430 almost a year ago (with a yrs free Internet on o2). Expansys currenty selling Desire sim free for £400.
    Have apple inc taxes?
  • Apple is selling unlocked ones since the iPhone 3G here in Belgium.
    Using a factory unlocked 3GS ATM.
    And will buy a unlocked 4 soon :)
  • Canadian apple site said it's gonna be commitment-free if u buy iphone 4 from there, does that mean the same as sim-free?
  • I need to buy iPhone 4g 32g sim free (unlocked)
    1 519 722 91 71 mobile
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