I imagine that being an American iPhone user is like being a child who’s parents are trapped in a bad marriage. Witness the debacle following the launch of the iPhone 4G, where current AT&T customers were unable to order iPhones due to server issues.
Adding insult to injury, across the border Apple is making kissy noises to Canadian customers, who can order unlocked iPhone 3GS and 4G direct from Apple, contract-free. You’re then free to use them with whatever compatible carrier you want. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what Apple has to say:
Your new iPhone. Direct from Apple and ready to use.
When you purchase your iPhone from the Apple Online Store, you’ll get it commitment-free. So you can sign up for service with the carrier of your choice and change your carrier at any time.
The iPhone FAQ page goes on to detail the offer: you have to have an activated SIM (3GS) or micro SIM (4G) to put into your phone (sorry GSM customers), and (predictably) they won’t ship out of the country. Currently only the 8GB 3GS is for sale (CA$549), with the 16 and 32GB 4G coming soon.
Of course, there’s nothing to prevent a Canadian friend from buying one for you, or you can make a run across the border, Midnight Express style, iPhones taped to your body.