"For some customers, though, the most important news may come a year later. Separate O2 staff are suggesting that the wireless carrier's usual policy of offering an unlock code for Pay As You Go phones after 12 months will remain true for iPhone 3G.
While the request for an unlock code costs £15, the gesture would at least theoretically allow iPhone customers in Britain to use their handsets on competing networks such as 3 or Vodafone or to swap SIM cards temporarily for local phone service while on vacation.
It's unknown as to whether or not this policy will hold. For the original iPhone, Apple is known to have taken extra steps in hardware to prevent unlocking , but now is relying primarily on the service signup requirement to guarantee use with official providers.
It would also represent one of the first instances where unlocked iPhones would be sanctioned as a matter of policy rather than law; unlocked iPhone 3G units will be sold in France, for example, but primarily because providers aren't allowed to offer an exclusive device without it also being available as a stand-alone unlocked version."