Apple’s iPhone 3 and iPhone 3 Gs mobile phone models have now been superseded by the new Apple iPhone 4. Here is a new post on the availability in Italy of Apple’s latest mobile phone the iPhone 4 for those outside Italy who are trying to find an unlocked or contract-less iPhone 4.
The Apple iPhone 4 landed in Italy last week right at the tail end of July. It’s arrival attracted plenty of interest with queues forming at both the Rome and Milan. By all accounts, the launch of the iPhone 4 was a roaring success.
I tried to get hold of an iPhone 4 today, but I don’t want an unlocked version, as I am happy to have one with a contract, seeing as I live and work in Italy.
Anyway, my iPhone 4 hunt proved fruitless, as our local Vodafone outlet has now closed, and the Expert electronics store in nearby Via Canonica only had one 16Gb TIM iPhone 4 in stock – which was an unlocked version of the iPhone 4 and could not be had with a contract.
Via a Twitter conversation with Anyia, a dyed in the wool iPhone and Blackberry fan, I found out that finding a contractless/unlocked iPhone 4 is not likely to be easy. Italy’s mobile phone providers would much prefer people to buy an iPhone 4 with a contract. Fine by me, but not for those of you who are after an unlocked iPhone 4.
So, where can you get hold of a shiny new Apple iPhone 4 in Italy this summer?
Update: 29 August 2010
I noticed that Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper carried a report on the 27 August on how difficult it is to obtain an iPhone 4 without a contract in Italy. 3 Italia is apparently being investigated for misleading advertising and for telling people who visit 3 Italia shops that the iPhone can only be had with a contract. What some of Italy’s mobile phone operators have been doing, which violates Italian law, is displaying iPhones at the full unlocked price in shop windows and then telling customers that they can only have Apple’s latest and greatest if they sign up for a contract.
Mobile phone operators are defending themselves by saying that demand is exceeding supply. Anyway, getting hold of an unlocked iPhone 4 in Italy is not likely to be all that easy for the moment. One wonders whether Apple has been putting pressure on Italy’s mobile phone sellers as a result of pressure having been put on Apple by mobile phone operators in other countries where iPhones are locked and tied into contracts. Just a thought.
If you know where to find unlocked iPhones in Italy, leave a comment. More than I few people will be happy, I’m sure.
Update: 12 August 2010
I have heard, via Vodafone bird, that it will not be easy to get hold of a contractless unlocked iPhone 4 until after August 20.
Actually, this here blogger from Italy has an iPhone 4 on order from Vodafone, and is waiting to be told to go pick it up. I did not buy the iPhone 4, but signed up for a contract.
Looking around a few shops, I’ve not seen any iPhone 4 units on display, aside from in the Vodafone shop where I’m getting mine. However, while I was signing along the dotted lines, several people came in the shop asking if it had iPhones for sale. They left empty handed, for the moment.
End of mini August update.
Summertime Availability of iPhone 4 in Italy likely to be Low
As of the time of writing, getting hold of an unlocked iPhone 4, while, perhaps, you are on holiday in Italy, may not be too easy. The best places to try are the Apple Stores in Rome and Milan, although you might strike lucky in a Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia shop. Most, if not all, towns or cities in Italy have Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia shops. These shops may be stores which are directly owned by Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia, or may be affiliated shops. It’s easy to spot Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia stores and affiliates – you just look for the Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia names.
Try Media World, Expert, Euronics and FNAC
Instead of Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia shops, iPhone 4 hunters could try Italy’s bigger electronics stores. The names Media World, Expert, Euronics and FNAC spring to mind, and many of these electronic goods stores do sell Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia mobile phones. A quick search using Google.it (not Google.com) will help you find a list of Media World, Expert, Euronics and FNAC shops and, more importantly, where one can be found near you. Google maps will then help you locate your chosen store. You could try calling before visiting, but you might not find anyone who can understand English, especially in August.
Some 52,000 visitors appear to have found my post on iPhone 3G and 3Gs availability in Italy quite useful, and many have left comments, the replies to which will also help those after unlocked iPhone 4 mobile phones too. Logically, shops selling iPhone 3Gs models will start to focus on the new iPhone 4 as interest in the old iPhone 3g models starts to wane. Still, the information in my former iPhone Availability in Italy for iPhone Hunters, will still be relevant, so I’ve moved it here, and changed it to information on the Apple iPhone 4.
To see the comments, you’ll have to hop over to the iPhone 3G and 3Gs availability in Italy post. Sorry, but at least the rest of the information is now here in an iPhone 4 flavour.
Apple iPhone 4 Review
I now have an iPhone 4, with a Vodafone contract. I obtained my iPhone from a Vodafone store in central Genoa, Italy. To read my review of Apple’s latest iPhone, visit eOpinions – Alex Roe’s review of the Apple iPhone 4 on eOpinions
Useful Italian Words for Iphone 4 Hunters
When searching online for an iPhone 4, useful Italian words and expressions to know are:
- ‘disponibile’ and ‘disponibilità’ – both of which mean ‘available’.
- ‘Non disponibile’ means ‘not available’.
- ‘disponibilità limitata’ equals ‘limited availability’.
- ‘Prodotto’ means ‘product‘ – as you may have guessed 😉
To check on the prices and the availability on-line in general for iPhones in Italy, try this link to the Kelkoo.it price comparison system, and keep reading for information on how to find out about availability via Vodafone and TIM, two of Italy’s main mobile phone network operators and iPhone providers.
Apple iPhone 4 on Kelkoo.it
Clicking on the links below will take you to up-to-date information on the web availability of iPhone 4 from online shops in Italy (note that as at August 3 2010, Kelkoo is not listing any Apple iPhone 4 models for sale – keep checking, as this will change):
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
You could, however, try visiting the sites of iPhone stockists listed on Kelkoo directly to check availability, which is shown as ‘disponibile’ – available.
You will find a good selection of online stores on Kelkoo Italy, so you can compare prices. Buying online from Italy is not always easy, as sometimes only credit cards issued in Italy are accepted, and delivery outside of Italy – if available, may be around €50 (to the UK). Note that it is not a good idea to use the Italian postal service as a courier, as your iPhone 4 will probably never arrive (An Italian gave me this advice). And even if your parcel is insured, you would find it very difficult to make an insurance claim in Italian.
If you are after unlocked iPhones – look for TIM or Vodafone ‘ricaricabile‘ – ‘pay-as-you go’ – versions, although via its Apple stores in Rome and Milan, and other selected Apple dealers, an iPhone 4 can be purchased without an contract or ‘pay-as you go’ card at all, whereas Vodafone, TIM or 3 Italia deals may insist that you sign up for a ‘pay-as-you go’ contract. ‘Ricaricabile’ means that iPhone 4s are supplied with a SIM card if required, and these models are not tied to any contract. This means these iPhone 4 models are ‘unlocked’ and can be used in countries other than Italy.
Cellulare.net is an online Italian iPhone Seller with web site in partially in English. The site is listed (still listed as at 28 May 2010) on the Italian version of Yahoo’s Kelkoo price comparison system, which means that it should be reliable. They sell iPads too.
Kelkoo Italy feedback is good to excellent for this online seller. Visit Cellulare.net’s Apple iPhone Page to check prices and availability. The site now has English, Spanish and French language versions. As of 3 August 2010, Cellulare.net does not have any iPhone 4 models for sale.
The above iPhones should be unlocked – but check before you pay!
Cellulare.net has a pick up point in Milan, Italy. The pick up point section of the site is in Italian now in English, and there is a map.
Payment can be made via credit card or PayPal, but check to see if non-Italian credit cards are accepted.
Note that neither BlogfromItaly.com nor anyone connected with this website receives any commission or other payment from Cellulare.net (But I would not mind an Apple iPhone 3Gs -so I can provide people with a some hands-on advice! 😉 ) (PS I now have access to an Apple 3G – as my other half has one, and loves it, as does our son! And I hope to have an iPhone 4 soon too.)
Vodafone Italy – iPhone 4 – Check Prices
iPhone 4 availability is clear from the Vodafone website now and Vodafone sometimes offers free delivery throughout Italy, but only to those paying on-line with an Italian Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Aura credit card or pre-charged postepay card. Paypal is also an accepted form of payment too.
Unlike the previous incarnation of the iPhone section of the Vodafone site, availability is not shown, which is a shame.
- Vodafone iPhone 4 – click the iPhone 4 tab to select the model you want, ie iPhone 4 16GB & 32GB White (€659) (?? price could be an error – Alex – 25 May, 2011) or iPhone 4 32GB Black (€779), and you will see the prices.
Here is how to use Vodafone Italy’s store finder, which is now
(28 May 2010) partially in English (Interesting!) in Italian (25 May 2011):
Smartech, Milan – Vodafone Dealer
Smartech, a Milanese chain of shops with Vodafone Points can help you find an Apple iPhone 4. They have a branch in Milan’s central train station, which could be useful, telephone this shop on: 0039 02 4549 8541
Note that the Via Aleardi/ Paolo Sarpi branch of this shop has now closed.
TIM – Telecom Italia Mobile Apple iPhone 3Gs models – Check Prices
On the TIM website, the latest version of the iPhone, the Apple iPhone 3G S models are shown. ‘Disponibile’ indicates available, whereas ‘Non Disponibile’ means not available. To see prices, click on the link below (Link OK 3 August 2010 – I apologise if the link does not go to the right page – TIM keeps changing the link!):
- TIM Apple iPhone 4 16GB and 32GB models – Click on the red ‘Acquista’ button to check availability (Zero as at 3 August 2010)
Check this TIM iPhone link regularly. Note they refer to ‘online’ availability and may not reflect what is actually in TIM shops in Italy.
Overall Availability of iPhone 4 in Italy
Availability of the iPhone 4 in Italy as at 25th May 2011 seems to be OK.
Comments on the fast becoming out of date iPhone 3 G availability in Italy post will now be closed, even if many of them will help you find places in Italy which stock the new iPhone 4.
Please leave comments on your iPhone 4 hunting experiences on this post.
Let the iPhone 4 hunt begin!