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« BEA's fairy tale: over and out? | Main | Amazon Mechanical Turk gets an evil twin »

Apple battles iPhone lock-in failure

Apple has started requiring credit card payments for iPhone purchases in an apparent bid to stop commercial unlocking operations.

Apple_lock1 About a quarter of all iPhones have been unlocked, allowing owners to use devices without the pricy AT&T subscription in and outside the US. In some countries vendors have started selling unlocked iPhones months before the official release.

You can therefore safely assume that there are professional operations that buy large numbers of iPhones, unlock the devices and resell them on the secondary market. Apple for one can't prevent the practice: removing the iPhone's SIM-lock is fully legal because the iPhone is sold without subsidy.

Apple however can't be happy. The iPod maker requires AT&T to cough up a share of the subscription revenues. No activation, no dough.

Apple tried to change the rules for an established market, where users expect to pick a provider that delivers the best value – not one that squeezes them for the most money. iPhone unlockers for now have to demonstrate that they are worthy of Apple, by showing that they can continue operating by thinking different.

_iphone_unlock_2


October 29, 2007 at 09:42 PM | Permalink

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