Hate commitment? iPhone 4 goes SIM-free and unlocked in the UK

Today is the day that most of the UK mobile carriers are taking iPhone 4 pre-orders. But, if like me, you’re afraid of commitment – well the 2 year mobile contract kind, anyway – then you might want to hold off for now.

Apple today has announced the availability and pricing of its latest smartphone SIM-free (sans contract) for British iPhone-touting wannabes shy of signing on the dotted line.

It’s not going to be cheap though, with Apple’s shiny new toy starting from £499 for the 16GB and £599 for the 32GB version, although both come ‘unlocked’, leaving you free to jump networks on a whim or stay price-savvy with the latest SIM-only or pre-pay deals.

But still, 500 quid is a lot of cash to lay down up front and runs counter to British mobile culture where we are very accustomed to subsidized handsets and lengthy contracts.

And with not all of the UK carriers revealing their hand yet when it comes to their iPhone 4 tariffs, it’s difficult to compare the potential cost saving or premium paid for going commitment-free. That’s likely to change later today.