Are 10% Of iPhones Sold To Unlockers?

from the are-10%-now-bricked? dept

Analysts from investment bank Piper Jaffray are making some news today after releasing a report claiming that 10% of iPhones are actually being sold to groups that are unlocking them and reselling them. They seem to be basing this on the fact that there are a bunch of folks going in and buying the maximum single allotment of 5 iPhones at a time. If this is true, the actual number of unlocked iPhones could actually be significantly higher, as many unlockers are buying the phone and unlocking it themselves. On the flip side, there could be other explanations for people buying 5 iPhones rather than to resell them unlocked. Either way, it should be clear that there’s a fair amount of demand for unlocked iPhones, which again raises the question of why Steve Jobs ever agreed to an exclusive with AT&T.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “Are 10% Of iPhones Sold To Unlockers?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I will give you a hint:

iPhone purchase price in Chicago (w/tax): $450
iPhone sale price in Moscow, Russia: $800
Roundtrip ticket Chicago Moscow: $600

Profit: ($800 – $450) * 5 – $600 = $1150

Do I really have to explain any further?

P.S. Interestingly enough, there has NEVER been “unlocking” problem in Russia since, like, day 2. They give you a special SIM card ($15), you insert it, bam, unlocked…

Alan McSwain (profile) says:

Open Phones are CRAVED.

The “Walled Garden” is dead. Nobody believes for a second that phones “need to be kept locked to protect the carrier’s network”.

Jobs can keep this game up but he will not win. The iPhone form factor will be cloned and soon. At that point OpenMoko or QTopia will be modded to give the iPhone software look and feel to the iPhone Clones.

Business plans, like the Apple/AT&T one, that are based upon “Customer Lock-In” are fundamentally immoral as they are grounded in coersion and start your customer relationship off with a big dose of hostility.

Only the greedy refuse to give customers what they want at a fair price.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yeah, thats the source UIs

“OpenMoko or QTopia will be modded to give the iPhone look and feel”

Yeah, thats why those Linux UIs that are modded to give the OSX look and feel have pushed Linux past real OS X on the desktop.

Jobs may not win, but its hardly going to be some open source Linux UI project on a clone that is going to beat the iPhone. Keep dreaming, though!

Kiba says:

OpenMoko is a linux platform. What you’re talking about is the neo1973.

The guys behind OpenMoko are smart. Their phones are not locked. They’re making openness the selling point and you have developers developing applications on the OpenMoko platform.

The group behind OpenMoko(FIC)’s strategy of openness and willingness to support 3rd party developers may make them the iphone killer, not the ability to clone the look and feel of iphone.

In short, they’re going to be the one who do it right.

novernetsbandit says:


When u look at apple what do u see something microsoft could of killed long ago but didnt.. so is jobs really doing anything different then when he copied xeriox in the 80’s? hes tring to make money to keep apple afloat.. i still dont see myself buying a apple and i first used a apple 2se and hated the fact i couldnt really upgrade anything…. ill stick with my razor or windows pc clone anyday!

Bah who needs one (user link) says:

What’s this about a “maximum single allotment of 5”? I hadn’t heard that the US had instituted war-time rationing — and absent such, if I want to buy six of something and I have the money then I should certainly be able to plop that money down and get six of whatever-it-is, unless it’s naturally *so* scarce that they don’t *have* that many for sale. (I can’t think of much that fits this description except various originals of art works, where there’d be only one of each, and naturally red diamonds, of which I hear there are only eight in the world and therefore probably never six for sale at the same time.)

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