£599 sim free iPhones available from play.com. Let's all buy one (not)

25 March 2009

Sim free, unlocked iPhones were going to come sooner or later in the attempt to flush out 3G iPhones, legal or not. So it should be no surprise that Play.com has jumped on the bandwagon, officially being the first in the UK to legally sell unlocked 3G 8GB and 16GB iphones before the launching of Apple's 3rd gen iPhone this Summer.

Except that at a whopping £549.99 for the 8GB and £599.99 for the latter, is anyone going to buy one?  At $900, that makes this a comparatively cold deal especially when the Americans get the no-contract AT&T iPhone for $599.

And what's going on exactly? Is this a move on Apple's part to rid of excess stock, or is Apple finally relaxing and encouraging SIM free sales? Of course not. While Steve Jobs still runs the show, there is unlikely going to be a change of heart. So how are official sim free phones available, albeit the ridiculous price?

Play.com explains on its listings: "This is a genuine Sim Free mobile phone and therefore unlocked to all UK networks. It is not unlocked from a UK or European network and is available due to EU legislation ensuring the sale of sim free mobile phones. Comes with a full manufacturer warranty."

So there's our answer, in the form of EU regulations, ensuring that sim-free mobile phones are available to all networks. The SIM free iPhone will be available through Play.com from this Friday, March 27. And FYI, ITProPortal also points out, there is a 5 percent discount method on HUKD initially made available for RAC Members that you can use. But at the price of £599, I'm going to stick to my 1st gen iPhone for now and just wait and see what the 3rd gen is going to be all about. Not long now!



  • Joff
    Whilst the price is high on paper, it does get you an Apple-friendly unlocked handset. If you're due an upgrade any time soon, choose a handset that the kiddies like and are willing to pay loads for on ebay, flog it and put the money towards the iPhone.
  • Paul Nikkel EDITOR
    Rumour is if your iphone breaks and you get a replacement from the Apple store it is unlocked...
  • acecatcher3
    im glad i went with the 16gb, 8gb wudnt have been enough...ive always been with o2 anyway so im not fussed about unlocking.
  • Chris
    Why not buy one from O2 or Apple for half that price and unlock it yourself?
  • Chris
    ...not covered by warranty? For that price you could just buy yourself a brand new one again from O2/Apple if it breaks and sell the old one as faulty on eBay.
  • Fenza
    Stupid price, anyone prepared to pay that amount to buy into iPhone culture must be seriously rich or mentally addled. I mean £250 max would be a fairer price, till then I'll stick with my trusty w850i :)
  • Ian P.
    Why not a buy a better phone for less money e.g The HTC Touch Pro. I wonder what other products iphone owners (who pay £599) have also brought.............
  • scribbles
    You could have a macbook for that price, albeit 2nd hand. I know what i'd rather have lmfao
  • Mark
    @Joff: The iPhone IS the phone the kiddies like. I really hope nobody is stupid enough to buy one of these at this price, you can get much better phones for less.
  • Bradley S.
    Sickening that people are such slaves to Apple that they're willing to pay this sort of price for a piece of crap.
  • GreyScale
    Whats the big deal, £500 is about normal for any high-end sim free smartphone. From the same site, SE Xperia is £450, Touch HD is £500, Nokia N96 is £450, Blackberry Bold is £450. People only think that these prices are a ripoff because they don't realise just how much the prices of mobile phones are subsidised by the networks. Nokia N97 will be £599 sim free when it comes out in June, wonder if people will spit their tea out to quite the same degree as with the iPhone.
  • Karol
    GreyScale are you kidding! what part of that phone and all the other fashion phones you've listed really cause it to cost £600! Its crazy... especially when you look at the price of a iPod touch. The difference is quite large is it not? I know it has more to offer but is it worth that much more? Not in my eyes... I would like to get an iPhone myself and I think £300 is more than enough to pay for anything like this, and even that is not a good price... think of other technology you can have for £600...
  • GreyScale
    I didn't say it was good value...just that that price is about normal for a product like this. Unbranded, unlocked unsubsidised mobile phones are always hugely more expensive than most people realise. Even something mid-range like the SE C905 will cost you around £350 sim free. Kind of a misleading article really, as hardly anyone buys brand-new sim free phones, it's still cheaper to buy on PAYG then unlock and debrand it. These iPhones will only be bought be people who absolutely cannot use O2, and/or who absolutely refuse to buy a Euro phone or unlock a PAYG for warranty or whatever reasons. Or people who have too much money...
  • Alan G.
    hi,great post,just keep it up

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