Apple sees shortages of unlocked iPhone 4 units in U.K. | iLounge News


Apple sees shortages of unlocked iPhone 4 units in U.K.

Apple is experiencing sell-outs of unlocked iPhone 4 units at its company-owned retail stores in the U.K. due to the device’s popularity in markets where Apple has yet to launch the device. The Daily Mail reports that the phone brokers who are purchasing the handsets often form long lines prior to the stores’ openings, and that they are targeting the U.K. because it is one of the few countries that sells the iPhone 4 unlocked. The report notes that unlocked iPhone 4s are priced at £499 for the 16GB version (roughly $790) and £599 (~$948) for the 32GB version, but often sell for double the price in markets such as Dubai, Singapore, South Africa, Russia, and India, with the brokers receiving a commission of £70 for every phone they buy. Unfortunately, the situation is making it hard for regular consumers to purchase the unlocked handset. “I have come here five times now,” said Abdullah Al Mubadal, speaking of Apple’s Covent Garden store. “The guards just say there are no more phones. We are just normal customers.”

Related Stories



The reason of this reselling is that Apple make prices on the one same device in every country very different - and in some countries too different without any reason.
For example in Russia the 16Gb model starts selling officially right now - it is unlocked - for roughly $1000. The 32Gb is even higher - for near $1250.

Posted by Alexon on September 25, 2010 at 6:16 PM (CDT)


Yeah, in Russia - iPhone 4 costs like normal notebook computer from Samsung, Dell or etc… You can buy Macbook for that money in US, in Russia not, the official macbooks very expensive here too.

Posted by Alexon on September 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM (CDT)


Most of the Telcos in Australia have no stock of iPhone4. The Australian Apple store online says ‘three weeks’ delivery time. My tip is that after 30 Sep (you know, when the free case program ends), we will see plenty of stock. Hopefully it will be upgraded hardware to overcome the antenna problem. The problem then would be outrage by early adopters. But they should be appeased by the free case they got. Apple can then say ‘hey you wanted is to fix it and now we have’.

That’s my hot tip!

Posted by Dazz on September 26, 2010 at 7:45 AM (CDT)


Don’t you love how these companies want to take advantage of quick and efficient transport across the globe to sell their products globally but then act as though there are still some sort of barriers for consumers doing the same?

For similar reasons, there are grey markets in selling iTunes gift cards from various countries. The broker makes a profit, but the buyer gets the product cheaper than they could through official channels in their own country.

You’d think these multinationals, that are functionally more powerful than even the U.S. gov’t at this point, would wield some of that power to knock down these archaic trade laws that get in the way of their profit and work against consumers. For once their greed could actually work in our favor :)

Posted by Code Monkey on September 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM (CDT)


That is not Apple’s fault selling their devices at different prices. You understand that Apple is an American company, right? And the devices they invent and produce are designed for American customers in mind.

Unfortunately, the rules, taxes and the customer attitude is very different in every country. You can not just compare Canada to Ukraine, for example.

The reason why iPhone prices are different in Russia is actually very simple. Can you buy an iPhone in U.S.A. for $200 and walk away? NO!!! But in Russia you can buy it for $1050 and go to another provider or sell it or whatever you want to do. It is unlocked and you don’t have a contract for 2 years (!) where you bound to pay at least $55 ($40 voice minutes+ $15 for 200 MB of Internet data) a month for a single user.

Do you feel the difference? That’s why millions of iPhone sold in the United States, Canada, UK and other countries. Because people can afford it. I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay $1050 upfront!! No way. What I am trying to say here, that the economy model, national traditions even political systems of each country make a difference. Sorry pals.

I can assure you if Apple was able to sell iPhones with a contract and the same rules, taxes etc. in Russia, you guys would be able to get it for the same $200!!! 

On a side note, even $200 upfront and $55 a month would have been too much for an average Russian…

Posted by Gordon on September 27, 2010 at 7:02 PM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy