Apple introduced its new 3G iPhone Monday. The phone will be released July 11 in 22 countries and will cost $199 for the 8GB version and $299 for the 16GB model. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, Argentina is not one of those countries. The good news is that Argentina is among the countries included in Apple's “Coming Soon” category.
Claro will sell the phone in Argentina later this year. The new 2.0 iPhone will have a host of new features, including much faster download times. The faster downloads will be available to users in Buenos Aires thanks to a 3G network that currently covers the city. Claro also has 3G coverage in cities including Rosario, Cor
doba, Asunción, Montevideo and along the Atlantic Coast. The phone, which also contains a built-in GPS unit, contains push email and works with Microsoft Exchange.
Unfortunately for early adapters, the new phone will be harder to unlock. Until now, Argentines and expats living here have been able to buy iPhones in the US and crack them for use in Argentina. (See my previous post for instructions on how to do this.) But under a new commercial agreement, future iPhone activations will have to take place in-store. This is a departure from the current system that allows customers to activate the product from home. This latter process has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to unlock the phones from the comfort of their homes without having to pay any fees or penalties. Meanwhile, Reuters reported Monday that iPhone customers who do not activate their phones within 30 days will have to pay a penalty. But this may not be a deterrent to south-of-the-border hackers because any fees incurred will likely be offset by the phone's lower sale price.