I blogged over on nimug.org about a shop in Belfast advertising unlocked iPhones in the UK pending the official release today.
I can see this being a support nightmare as people get their unlocked phones and run the 1.1.2 update on them as they get home. Boom. iBrick. They’ll have voided their warranty with Apple so they’ll have to bring it back to the store they bought it from, only to find there’s no warranty there either.
Their argument, that the iPhone costs Â£899 over 18 months may be true but selling the iPhone for Â£499 is only going to catch stupid people. Once the unlocked iPhone is bought you’ll still need to attach it to a contract that will probably be Â£15-25 a month without unlimited data. You’ll also miss out on visual voicemail. And some networks, like 3 and Vodafone, don’t have any EDGE towers (at this moment it’s only O2 and Orange who do). So, adding on a Â£15 a month contract is going to cost you Â£499 + Â£270 = Â£769 for a substandard service and no warranty or guarantee of software upgrades. Add on a Â£25 a month contract and you’ve just exceeded the cost of the O2 contract (Â£499 + Â£450 = Â£949) for a substandard service and no warranty or upgrades.
I’d hate to be the guy to tell you that you just purchased an expensive iBrick. If you REALLY need the features of the iPhone but don’t want to change your contract, consider an iPod touch…