Recently, while I was in the US, an Indian friend asked me to buy him an iPhone because they can be unlocked in India (or elsewhere, if you know how). I did some hunting and found out that this is quite a hot topic. There is a lot of speculation online and quite a few Made-for-Adsense sites with nothing other than the iPhone name in an article, but there are some gems in there.
iPhone India Edition – Hidden Features is quite a funny read. It has a PhotoShopped picture of an iPhone with features such as “GPMS – Gutter and Pothole Management System”.
There are some posts that allege to show how to unlock an iPhone – take them all with a pinch of salt, as you could end up with an expensive paperweight if something goes wrong:
Buying an Unlocked iPhone
If I were lusting after an unlocked iPhone, I’d be looking at Apple Germany or France, where Apple has been forced to sell unlocked units. T-Mobile has them for €399 on a plan, and unlocked units were selling for about $1480 for a while until the courts gave T-Mobile the right to sell only locked ones. In France, you can still get unlocked models for €749. But if you are in India, your current options are:
The going grey-market price is about $650 (Rs 30,000).
Will an iPhone Work in India?
Locked or unlocked, the iPhone will work in India because it has four GSM bands, two of which work in India (900 and 1800 MHz). All you have to do is ensure that your carrier supports roaming in India. Unlocking also depends on the firmware supplied with the phone – the latest version apparently cannot be unlocked, so don’t upgrade an unlocked phone. Here is someone who got his phone working in India:
iPhone Unlocking Jargon
Unlocking Just Got Harder
Firmware 1.1.3 was confirmed at Macworld 2008. It can’t be unlocked with AnySIM, so life for users of unlocked iPhones just got harder.
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