Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

The Apple iPhone Is Getting Unlocked.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 29, 2008

Up to 25% of all Apple iPhones sold in the US are “unlocked” to work with rival telecom networks other than AT&T, according to a study reported in the BBC.

Check out this great story by Peter Burrows and Olga Khariff on The Mystery of the Missing iPhones. Unlocking is having a significant impact on Apple’s revenues and stock price.

About a million iPhones, or 27% of those sold in 2007, have been adapted to work on other networks, according Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Since Apple receives a percentage of AT&T’s contract fees from iPhone users, this unlocking is a significant hit on Apple’s bottom line.

Sacconaghi estimates that if Apple sells 10 million iPhones in the US by the end of 2008, and 30% of them have been unlocked to work with other phone networks, Apple will lose $500m in revenues.

Reader Comments

John Blackburn

January 30, 2008 12:24 AM

Trenchant insights as always, Bruce. When Apple sells iPhone to other carriers sometime this year, how will AT&T react, given that exclusive contract? Or perhaps you weren't referring to the United States? But if that is so, then naturally Apple will be selling iPhone to other carriers, since they're already doing so. Wait, what did you mean at all, then?

And about that monopoly--is it a monopoly, really? That's a legal term that really doesn't apply in this case--you toss the term around without explanation of why it applies--but it's good to know you're an opponent nevertheless.

And when you say "the official unlocking", what does that mean, exactly? If it is official, then Apple must be the one doing the unlocking, but Apple has made no such announcement. Do you mean the iPhone SDK expected next month? I am confused.

Jon King

January 30, 2008 2:17 AM

I agree. But I can't wait to see what value add feature Apple & AT&T package together to entice customers to stay or choose them. Competition feeds innovation.


January 30, 2008 4:01 AM

or they sell 15 million iphones in 2008, and 30% get unlocked. seriously, all of this is conjecture at this point in time and an exercise with no real value.


January 30, 2008 4:01 AM

"Best guess is that Apple will be selling iPhone to other carriers by yearend 08."

Anyone that has followed the iPhone knows that Apple has an exclusive deal with AT&T for five years.

I thought this was BusinessWeek? Strange that you would not know that.

Post a comment



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!