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Unlocked iPhone 4 Now Available at Apple Stores

Well, well, well... what do we have here?  Apple is finally selling unlocked iPhone 4s as part of their standard inventory.  Boy Genius Report suspected this would happen after a tweet from @chronicwire.

The 16 GB iPhone 4 is going for $649, while the 32 GB version is going for $749.  These are not bad prices, actually.  The Samsung Galaxy S II 16 GB is going for $749 at Expansys-USA.  I would expect that the next iPhone would be sold at the same price as well, so it will be very competitive with other unlocked phones.

Here in the US, we don't really get to see phones sold this way.  However, if Apple can buck the trend, we should start seeing this more often.  So while there isn't much "other unlocked phones" to compare with, the Samsung Galaxy S II is a good start, since it's the newest and hottest Android phone right now (which isn't even released in the US in any way, shape, or form).

What else?  This actually gives me hope that the next iPhone will be the one that will work on all carriers in the US without the need of seperate SKUs.  A single iPhone that works with both CDMA and GSM.  The Verizon iPhone 4 already have the baseband that does it, but for whatever reason, Apple only utilized the CDMA portion of it.  Just take the same baseband, add AWS frequency support (1700 MHz for T-Mobile US , Wind CDN, etc.), and call it a day.

If Apple sold the next iPhone unlocked and completely carrier agnostic in the US (nay, the WORLD!), it will be one of my favorite phones.

And another thing: for those who jailbreak, you won't have to worry about preserving the baseband anymore!  It was always dicey to update iOS and keeping the old baseband so that ultrasn0w can unlock the phone.  Now, it's one less worry.

Of course, the new hurdle won't be the baseband if everything falls into place.  Oh now.  The new hurdle will be the live OTA updates on iOS 5 and beyond.  But jailbreaking a new version of the iOS was never a real problem - it was always that darn baseband (for the unlock).

With what is basically an international iPhone model for sale in the US, does this also mean that we won't have to heed AT&T's tethering plan just to tether occasionally?  We'll see.

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