On June 14th, MMi reported that Apple had begun selling unlocked iPhone 4's (the GSM iPhone 4 models, that is) through the company's online store - a move that stunned and pleasantly surprised many, particularly since most were quick to dismiss rumors hinting at this possibility leading up the actual announcement from Apple.
"If you donít want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad," Apple said upon the announcement, "the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so youíll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide."
Taking yet another step into unlocked territory here in the US, the tech giant appears to have made it possible for Apple Stores to unlock the full price AT&T version ($650 for the 16GB or $749 for 32GB) of the iPhone 4 at checkout. Prior to these noteworthy changes at Apple just this month, folks could still get a contract-less iPhone (big price tag included) but the devices remained locked to AT&T.
As a result of Apple's new and more relaxed unlocking policy, iPhone owners or prospective buyers can enjoy a small amount of new carrier flexibility - something at least one million iPhone users in the US are already doing. That's the approximate number of iPhones presently running on T-Mobile here in the states.
Source: 9 to 5 Mac