iOS Devices ▪ June 15, 2011

Apple now sells unlocked GSM iPhone 4 in America, but AT&T and Verizon still don’t offer authorized unlocking for a fee to existing subscribers.

This article has been updated with comments from Verizon and AT&T at the bottom.

Yesterday Apple began selling unlocked GSM iPhone 4 in the US. Lacking carrier subsidies, prices are $649 for the 16GB model and a hundred more for its 32GB counterpart. Unlocked iPhones arrive without a micro-SIM card so you can use them with any supported GSM carrier worldwide and without pledging to a lengthy service contract.

It’s a life-saver when travelling abroad because you can simply pop in a local carrier’s micro-SIM to temporarily use your iPhone on their network. America isn’t the only country where unlocked iPhones are being offered. Per this support document highlighting iPhone carriers around the world, some or all carriers or authorized Apple distributors in each of the following 34 markets offer contract-free iPhones:

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iOS Devices ▪ June 14, 2011

Found deep inside the iOS 5.0 SDK are graphics for an iPad capable of displaying a 2048 x 1536 resolution on its display. That amount of pixels also happens to be exactly double the resolution (four times the pixels) of the current iPad (1024 x 768), making said graphics compatible with a future iPad that features an Apple “Retina Display.” These graphics include a “2X” marker within the file name and have been found in Apple iPad file systems before.

Earlier this year, iPad 2X graphics were found in the iBooks application and were immediately assumed to be for the iPad 2, which does not include a Retina display – as exclusively confirmed by 9to5Mac months before the device’s announcement. Those very iPad 2X graphics found in the iBooks application were in fact created months before their public discovery and the graphics were soon dismissed as an Apple graphic designer thinking into the future.

Today, we have iPad 2X graphics found in the Twitter frameworks portion of the iOS 5 SDK. These graphics were quickly dismissed by some as another Apple graphic designer thinking ahead due to rumors, but we think the opposite. See, iOS 5.0 is the first SDK to even support the 3rd generation iPad, as previously revealed, so it would make sense that some iPad 3 strings would be present.

Second, iOS 5 will be the base operating system that the next-generation iPad will support, so it makes sense that we would find iPad 3 graphics in the iOS 5 SDK, not the iOS 4 SDK – in which iPad 2X graphics were previously found. Additionally, the Twitter framework is something only present in 5.0, so next-gen graphics for a planned iPad 3 being found in this portion of the SDK would be no surprise.

As previously mentioned, some are making the case that Apple designers are making iPad Retina graphics with no direction from Apple’s elite managers. Nearly two months prior to the white iPhone 4’s release, iTunes 10.2 housed graphics representing this phone. Some may say that is because the white iPhone 4 was supposed to launch months earlier alongside the black version, but these graphics happened to also display the yet to be revealed – at the time – redesigned proximity sensor.

Due the circumstances in which these new iPad 2X graphics were found, we feel that these icons are not just a coincidence or a designer thinking ahead, but rather a strong indication that the next iPad will feature a 2048 x 1536 Retina Display.

Update: The iOS 5 iPad Newsstand application shows 2X images as well. This same image was uncovered in January, but in iBooks:

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Apple wrote in the official court documents pertaining to its legal spat with Samsung that its key supplier “attempts to harass us” by demanding to see unreleased iPhone and iPad devices. Samsung’s request, of course, came as a response to a federal court ruling granting Apple access to the already released Samsung smartphones and tablets that the gadget maker from California alleges infringe on its patents and copy their look and feel. Apple in court documents calls Samsung “the copyist”, author Florian Mueller writes on the FOSS Patents blog. Here’s a juicy excerpt from Apple’s filing in opposition to Samsung’s Motion to Compel the surrender of samples of the iPad 3 and iPhone 5:

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At the Display Taiwan show one of the display vendors, CPT, is showing off what looks like an iPad 1 with a prototype 3D display which requires special eyewear with polarizing lenses. The Apple logo and product labels on the back are covered with stickers, but the device does resemble an iPad, as shown in the included video clip (sorry about the Android intro, folks). Not that it means anything or that has a decent track record of accurate Apple reporting.
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As noted yesterday, Apple has begun selling unlocked GSM iPhone 4 in the United States. The 16GB black model starts at $649 and the 32GB version costs a $100 more. An unlocked handset offers all of the features without a contract commitment and can be used on supported GSM networks, Apple notes:

If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide.

Both black and white models are being offered contract-free. Wondering how the unlocked iPhone 4 works? Apple provides this explanation:

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iOS Devices ▪ June 13, 2011

Sources within United States Apple Stores have told 9to5Mac that shipments of four new iPhone models have reached their respective Apple Store locations today. As originally reported by ChronicWire, the model numbers are in fact MC603 (16GB, Black) MC604 (16GB, White) MC605 (32GB, Black) MC606 (32GB, White).

Those model numbers match up with unlocked iPhone 4s sold internationally. Retail sources say the delivery of these new phones was unexpected and the current plan is for availability starting Wednesday. Separately, MacRumors reports that the unlocked iPhone 4s will cost $649 and $749 for 16GB and 32GBs, respectively.

Thanks, JMFM!

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