MarketWatch: Unlocked iPhones present dilemma for Apple

“With its long history in the computer business, Apple Inc. is no novice when it comes to hackers,” Rex Crum reports for MarketWatch.

“But even Apple seems to have been caught off-guard by the wave of consumers breaking into its latest gizmo, the iconic iPhone, in an effort to ‘unlock’ the device from having to operate within the network of its exclusive telecom-service partners, which include AT&T in the U.S.,” Crum reports. “The trend has been a mixed blessing for Apple. On the one hand, the company is still selling plenty of the devices, which rank as the most expensive wireless phone on the market.”

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone is not “the most expensive wireless phone on the market.” Not even close. Is Crum a liar, too lazy to take a few seconds to check prices, or just ignorant? You decide.

Crum continues, “On the other hand, iPhones that go unlocked are used on unsanctioned networks, denying Apple the ongoing revenue stream it has worked hard to secure through exclusive deals with its carrier partnerships.”

“Demand for the device is strong, and some consumers in other markets are apparently unwilling to wait,” Crum reports. “Estimates of the number of unlocked iPhones on the market range between 400,000 and more than 1 million. There have been reports of the iPhone being used everywhere from Australia to India to China — countries where the iPhone isn’t officially on sale.”

Such instances show the breadth of demand for one of the most-hyped technological products of the decade. That demand goes beyond the limits of Apple and its current network partners to completely control how the iPhone is distributed around the world,” Crum reports. “Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook touched on the matter during a Jan. 22 conference call to discuss Apple’s quarterly results. Cook said the number of unlocked iPhones ‘was significant in the quarter, but we’re unsure how to reliably estimate the number.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Kari” for the heads up.]

For some reason, Crum neglects to mention the rest of Tim Cook’s relevant comments, so we will: Apple sees iPhone unlocking as a “good problem to have” and is a sign of iPhone’s popularity.

29 Comments

  1. Unlocked iPhones present dilemma for Apple

    Hmm…

    1: Cost to make iPhone $250
    2: Sell iPhone for $399 = $149 profit
    3: Make even more profit off of extended warranties and other products, battery replacement. Content sales.
    4: Make a per month kickback from select carriers.

    What dilemma?

  2. According to the numbers, it’s smart to:

    1: Buy a iPhone
    2: Jailbreak it
    3: Shop for the cost effective per month rate plan.

    Becaue if you go with the “authorized carriers” your going to be paying more in monthly fees. The basic service AND Apple’s monthly kickback.

    It’s not a lie when millions of people are jailbreaking their phones that something wasn’t planned right with this phone.

  3. I think its good for them in the negotiations with the local carrier. Demonstrates strong demand.

    But the quote about the iPhone being among the more expensive cell phones is totally correct. Most phones sell for less than 400$ (unlocked). iPhone might be a well-priced “smart phone” but it is expensive as a “phone”.

  4. “Cheap, cheap, my kingdom for anything cheap! If it ain’t cheap, it ain’t worth having. If it ain’t hackable, it ain’t worth having.” So says the average consumer in my beloved America, which explains both McDonalds and Microsoft. God bless us, every one.

  5. So, iPhones are ranked as the most expensive of wireless phones on the market and the extent of unlocking shows the breadth of demand for one of the most-hyped technological products of the decade.

    This fellow thinks the iPhone is too expensive for his budget because he is not willing to pay for quality in his life. More is better you know. The cheaper it is the more you can get. He also thinks the iPhone is popular because it is “the most-hyped.” It must be the hype. Its not cheap, so why else would so many people buy them. He thinks, companies give me my phones. No hype there.

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