According to our sources at O2, Brits who want to buy a 3G iPhone are going to have to sign up to a contract before they can get their hands on one, wherever they buy it. This is seriously bad news for people eager to unlock their new iPhone, as you’re not going to be able to buy one for the discounted contract price and then unlock it.
If you don’t want to get tied to a contract you’ll have to choose the pay-as-you-go option, which hasn’t been priced yet but is likely to be more than a couple of hundred quid. Either way, unlockers are going to be stuck between a hard place and a rock. The choice is clear: sign up to a contract or splash some cash on a pay as you go handset. (link)