With millions of iPhones and iPhone 3G’s already sold, this week’s release of the iPhone 3G S is going to be a shot in the arm for the jailbreak community.
It’s all about price, people. The subsidy offered on the new iPhones seems pretty slight. Also given that on AT&T and O2 at least existing users are going to have to spend some spondoolicks on exiting their current contract early in order to get their paws around Apple’s new phone you can expect a pretty healthy second-user market in existing devices.
Also consider that O2 in the UK is offering existing customers the chance to spend cash on a Pay-as-you-go iPhone 3G S, saying all they need then do is swap over the SIM card from their old iPhone in order to use the new one on their existing account…for the PAYG price of £400+…
“You can give the old iPhone to someone else”, the company says. It’ll work too, given that it will be equipped with a PAYG SIM. And you’ll get free WiFi and data for a whole year.
This poses a conundrum. The trade in price on the iPhones seems set near the £100-150 mark by retailers including Carphone Warehouse, but there’s an opportunity for upgraders to flog their old iPhone on eBay, equipped with that PAYG SIM (which doesn’t need to be associated with your account).
What’s the price going to be? We can only speculate, but clearly people forking out a few hundred quid on the new model will be hoping for a decent slice of cash. Let’s speculate we’re looking at £200-250 per unit on the second user market…
But those second users will be trapped on O2, right? Or whichever network happens to offer the device in their country.
And those second users may not want to be… So it’s pretty lucky the iPhone Dev Team already claim to have jailbroken iPhone Software 3.0. This is good, because it means people purchasing second hand iPhones and iPhone 3G’s will be able to unlock their new old device for use on a different network, at the cost of a few features.
This means over time there’s going to be an increase in the number of people choosing to unlock their iPhones, simply because they can…they won’t be tied to the telcos.
And this is why there’s going to be a renaissance of a whole new generation of jailbroken phones and applications. There’s going to be a good few million unlocked/jailbroken iPhones knocking about worldwide. That’s a market. It’s going to happen.
And once it does, Apple may have a few words to say to existing telcos on exclusive distribution deals. Conversations most likely to end with the abandonment of such deals and the provision of the device on a network-agnostic basis. And that’s when Apple will really begin challenging the likes of Nokia.
(And may also be a good point for the introduction of the iPhone nano, which will widen Apple’s marketshare still further).
Just a thought.