Buy Unlocked iPhones Macworld put 2 and 2 together today to figure out that there are over 1 million iPhones that are unaccounted for from Apple’s numbers. Earlier Apple said that 3.7 million iPhones were sold in 2007 during the first 6 months it was available. AT&T on the other hand, said that they have a little under two million iPhone customers. Combining that with the estimated 400,000 iPhones in Europe leaves us with over a million that mysteriously disappeared into the abyss.

That abyss is the world of unlocking, where people modify devices they can be used on any network… and eBay is a seller’s haven for unlocked iPhones! I went through some of the completed auctions for unlocked iPhones, and there is one successfully being sold just about every 2 minutes. Sellers who ship internationally fetch upwards of $600 or $700 for an unlocked iPhone, which isn’t bad considering that the devices retail for just $400. That comes out to hundreds of these being sold everyday on eBay!

I actually expected the number of unlocked iPhones to be even higher because of all the people in foreign countries who want to use these on their own networks. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues to rise, or if AT&T will still be getting a majority of the subscribers.

Thanks to Andrew for the tip!

There Are 7 Comments

  1. I’m still wondering why the iPhone needs to be unlocked. Apple should have realized by now that users don’t want to be locked to AT&T. They should just unlock everyone’s iPhone because more people would benefit from it.

  2. Verdican wrote:
    I’m still wondering why the iPhone needs to be unlocked. Apple should have realized by now that users don’t want to be locked to AT&T. They should just unlock everyone’s iPhone because more people would benefit from it.

    Apple would lose big money if the iPhone weren’t locked. They got money from AT&T every time somebody signs up for a plan, and they also get money every month.

  3. I’m sure many are unlocked just to show that they refuse to be tied down to a single company. And…isn’t this forced lock thing somehow illegal? I keep thinking that it is related to a monopoly…

  4. Ashley wrote:
    Apple would lose big money if the iPhone weren’t locked. They got money from AT&T every time somebody signs up for a plan, and they also get money every month.

    They might lose some money, but I’m sure they should be able to make deals with other companies. AT&T shouldn’t be the only company they make deals with because as Amak said; it’s like a monopoly.

    We all know that there are many people out there who would be willing to pay extra to get an unlocked phone. Doesn’t that give Apple the message that they hate being locked to AT&T? Let’s face it; there are those users who can’t use AT&T because they live somewhere, or because they are already tied to another company. I’m pretty sure Apple is losing just as much money from these users who would love to buy an iPhone, but can’t due to AT&T.

  5. People flock to Apple like bees to a honeypot. *sigh*

  6. what about unlocked iphones becoming “ibrick”? I guess Apple’s threat proved that to be false.

  7. Amak wrote:
    I’m sure many are unlocked just to show that they refuse to be tied down to a single company. And…isn’t this forced lock thing somehow illegal? I keep thinking that it is related to a monopoly…

    I would like to think that this could be considered a monopoly, but I think it’s more of just an exclusive contract. A monopoly would be Apple controlling the entire cellphone market, which is kinda the opposite of what they’re doing since they are only with one carrier.

    James wrote:
    what about unlocked iphones becoming “ibrick”? I guess Apple’s threat proved that to be false.

    From what I’ve read thusfar it is completely possible to reverse the effects of a bricked iPhone.

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