Apple Releases Unlocked iPhone 4

A few hundred extra now gets you a carrier-free phone

Confirming rumors that surfaced over the weekend, several Mac blogs are reporting that unlocked versions of the GSM model iPhone 4 (in both black and white) have arrived in Apple retail outlets and have gone on sale Tuesday.

The 16 GB phone will retail for $649, while the 32 GB will cost $749. The prices are higher than regular iPhones because, apart from being unlocked, the phones are sold as handset-only and come without any carrier contract.

The unlocked phones won’t be too much of an advantage here in the States, since the only major GSM carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile, and the iPhone is incompatible with T-Mobile’s 3G network. But the phone will certainly come in handy for owners who want to be able to switch SIM cards and use their iPhones abroad without being tied to AT&T (and its high roaming fees).