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There's no such thing as an unlocked iphone. I get what you mean, carrier unlocked, but the implication you can get one that is unlocked in the same way as an android phone can be unlocked is not true. And you're right, even in Australia if you absolutely positively insist on dealing with the carriers at retail, they will try to screw you almost as hard as the people in the US get screwed. You don't have to put up with it though, just buy online.

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