iPhone Price Comparison: Locked vs. Unlocked


The Apple iPhone dominates the smart phone market and it seems that everybody wants to have one.  It has a sleek and beautiful design, highly responsive touch screen, and cool features including multitasking, HD video, sharp display, and many more.  The Apple iPhone 4G price, however, makes people have second thoughts about buying the phone.  This is true especially if you want to buy the iPhone 4G without a contract.

iPhone 4G Price – Contract vs. No Contract

You can buy an Apple iPhone or any other mobile phone with or without a contract.  A mobile phone with contract is locked to that service provider and cannot be used with another carrier.  There is an advantage when you purchase a locked iPhone.  The price you pay for the iPhone will be considerably lower.  However, you will be required to pay a monthly fee to the service provider, irrespective of your phone usage.  The duration of the contract is usually one to two years.

When you buy a manufacturer-unlocked Apple iPhone, you can use the device with any carrier of your choice.  You can even switch between service providers whenever you please.  The biggest advantage, perhaps, is that you are not obligated to pay a monthly fee.  This is ideal for people who find that their actual phone usage is substantially less than what they would be paying in monthly fees.  Apple iPhones are available in many countries worldwide without a contract.

There is, however, a disadvantage when buying an iPhone without a contract.  The price of an unlocked iPhone is considerably higher than what you would pay for a locked phone.

iPhone Price Without a Contract

Without a contract, the price of th iPhone 4G is about $600 for the 16GB model, and about $700 for the 32GB iPhone 4G.  Compare this with the price of a locked iPhone.  With a contract, the 16GB iPhone 4G costs about $199 and the 32GB iPhone 4G has a price of about $299.

An iPhone with a contract costs considerably less because the price is subsidized by the service provider.  In return, however, you must sign a one-year or two-year contract with the provider for a specified monthly fee.

When deciding between a locked and unlocked iPhone, you must factor in the amount you will be paying in monthly fees.  Figure out how much you will probably be spending on phone usage without a contract.  If you are a heavy phone user, it may make sense to opt for a contracted iPhone.  Otherwise, you will probably want to go for an unlocked unit.  Besides, you will be able to freely choose your service provider.  And if you travel to another country, you will still be able to use your Apple iPhone.

While the price of an iPhone is a major consideration, keep in mind that it is not the only factor to consider when choosing between a locked and unlocked phone.

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