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Unlocking Apple’s iPhone Sales Policy is running a story about the popularity of unlocked, and expensive, iPhones in Israel. From the article: 

“Z-Tov sells the 8GB iPhone for about 2,600 NIS, or about $753 U.S. The current market price in the United States is $399. The store clerk says the store pays a 50 percent tax to import iPhones from outside the country.

But the price doesn’t hinder iPhone’s popularity here, appealing mostly to young men quick to upgrade their 8GB to a 16GB model as if memory size is a barometer of male bravado.”

As the owner of a 60GB iPod, which features far more memory than I can use, I take umbrage to the reporter’s “male bravado” theory. 

Also quite interesting is the anecdote provided about halfway through CNN’s story: 

“Anosh Ishak, a businessman and developer based in Atlanta, Georgia, said his iPhone is a “valuable business tool” that he uses on international trips, notably to Israel, where he’ll pop out his U.S. SIM and replace it with one that will run on a local network.

Ishak said he paid $20 to a friend of a friend to unlock his phone so he can stay with his current phone carrier, T-Mobile.

When he purchased the iPhone from an Apple retail store in Atlanta, he made it clear he wasn’t planning to sign on with AT&T.

‘They told me that they wouldn’t sell me the phone if they knew I was going to unlock it,’ Ishak said.

Determined, Ishak told the salesperson he had the right to buy the merchandise and that the store could not control it.

How did the Apple salesperson respond?

‘To tell me he’ll pretend like he didn’t hear it,’ said Ishak.

I’d be very curious to know if this is a regular occurrence at Apple retail stores.