All Those Unlocked iPhones May Be Costing Apple $300 Million

Illustration for article titled All Those Unlocked iPhones May Be Costing Apple $300 Million

Both Fortune and Marketwatch are saying that all the unlocked iPhones, which make up about a third of the total phones sold, may be costing Apple $300 million in future revenue kickbacks from cellphone providers. And if Apple doesn't stop the unlocking madness, what's the incentive for a provider to pony up that revenue sharing in the first place? [Fortune and Marketwatch - Thanks David!]

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So you wouldn't have minded at all if the iPhone shipped without what many people call the greatest thing since sliced bread (Visual Voice Mail), which required an agreement like the current one between Apple and AT&T, hence making the iPhone a little more mediocre machine, and at the same time the iPhone shipping at $799 instead of $599 (and later $399) because that would've been the price point at which Apple would've been able to expect profit and cover R&D costs sans a hefty kickback they're currently getting from AT&T?

As much as I dislike the current locking-in of the iPhone to AT&T (my previous Cingular phone was unlocked the day after I got it), I understand fully well that a lot of the iPhone's awesomeness is the direct result of the agreement Apple made with AT&T. Despising Apple for that is idiotic.