Some here may doubt the veracity, or truthiness, of reports suggesting that somewhere out there lie 1.7 million inactivated iPhones, 1 million of which are said to be unlocked. Two well-placed analysts think that’s exactly what’s going on. They believe there are groups that buy iPhones in bulk, unlock them, then re-sell them to folks like you and me (or maybe not you and me, but people who wouldn’t know how to unlock an iPhone). Apparently this is common practice is popular in Asia. Let’s not forget that the U.S. dollar isn’t what it used to be. Foreigners can snap up iPhones here dirt cheap, then re-sell them at a profit back home.
Don’t cry for Apple, however. Even though it receives some $15 per month per AT&T activated iPhone, it still makes at least $50 in profit per iPhone sold. All that unlocking and re-selling shows there’s a significant demand for the iPhone as well, which ain’t too shabby.
Good News in the 1 Million Missing iPhones [Bits New York Times Blog]