O2 UK to Allow iPhone Unlocks When Other Carriers Launch

With the UK moving from the iPhone exclusively on O2, to one launching on Orange UK, with Vadafone UK/Ireland and perhaps 3 also in line, what does this mean for existing iPhone users and their carrier-locked iPhones? Thankfully, it looks like O2 is doing to do right by you:

Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honour any outstanding contract period they have. At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator — though naturally we hope they won’t want to!

Excellent news for the UK, and we can only hope other countries and carriers, like Rogers, Bell, and Telus in Canada, will swiftly follow suit (we won't hold our breath though...)

We're not sure how this process would be handled, for example, would an iPhone user need to physically go to an O2 service rep to have their iPhone unlocked via in-store iTunes tools? If anyone has an answer, let us know.

[Times Online via Stuartino in the TiPb forums]

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.