iPhone: unlock for Australia?
Apple may be forced to sell iPhones unlocked in Australia
Apple may be forced to sell unlocked iPhones in Australia, and is engaged in an attempt to patent the device’s Multi-touch “pinch” technology.
Reports from Australia this morning claim competition law experts there have analysed Apple’s preferred network business practice for iPhone, and believe the device may fall foul of local competition laws
“The iPhone is breaking new ground in using technology to restrict customer’s choice in technology markets,” Queensland University of Technology (QUT) law researcher Dale Clapperton said, as reported by AustralianIT.news.com.
Full article > HERE
iPhone in Asia Editorial Comment:
I agree 100% the notion of selling both a locked and unlocked iPhone in Australia, and if possible, in concert with all new carriers deals to be announced throughout the world.
I suspect the new 3G iPhone will be more hack resistant, yet there is no end to the resourcefulness of locksmiths. Unlocking could become far less a problem if Apple works out (with TBA carriers’ blessing) a two-tier offering … a locked iPhone w 2-year contract and a premium-priced unlocked iPhone in the same market.
This would follow the iPhone in France via Orange model (French law prohibits handsets from being locked to a network for more than 6 months). Such a move by Apple would preserve the revenue sharing model (albeit at a slightly lower revenue share as I imagine 20 to 30% would choose buy the “unlocked” iPhone), and at the same time deliver a death-blow to the black-market for hacked and jail-broken iPhones.
Setting the right price-point for the unlocked iPhone will be important. If the premium for the unlocked iPhone is too high, black-marketers will engage in arbitrage (unauthorized unlocking options at a lower cost). If the premium is modest, or “just right,” buyers who want to unlock will opt for the “official” easily upgradable iPhone that will come with a warranty and w/o the need to hack or jail-break.