If you are among the millions of souls who live outside the US but crazy after the new touch screen Apple iPhone, here's something interesting - you could get an unlocked iPhone in the grey market of India and other Asian countries very very soon that will work with your existing GSM SIM card.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM mobile phone so it will working internationally in countries outside the US though you'll have to ask AT&T to turn on international roaming on the iPhone and that the places you’re going offer GSM coverage.
Officially, the iPhone won't be in India until 2008 but you could get the unlocked version from the grey markets of Palika Bazar or Sarojini Nagar in New Delhi for around Rs 30,000 (~$650).
Or you could purchase an iPhone from Apple store, get it unlocked in India and pop in your GSM SIM card. The grey market dealers told BS that they can unlock the iPhone cellphone for ~$25 so that it can be used on any GSM carrier network.
It's a surprise that Indian phone dealer are so confident of breaking the iPhone though they have never touched the device and only seen it in pictures.
Though the iPhone has a slot for the SIM Card, you need to activate the iPhone via iTunes so even if phone dealers manage to unlock the iPhone, it could possibly be used only for voice, video or music - the other "cool" features may not work on carriers that are unsupported by Apple.
Update: The iPhone website has more details on the unlock question:
Can I “unlock” iPhone and use it with another wireless carrier? - AT&T is the exclusive wireless carrier for iPhone in the United States. If you currently use another wireless carrier, you can choose to transfer your number when you activate your AT&T account.
Can I use the SIM card from my current mobile phone? - You should use the SIM card that came preinstalled in the iPhone.
Reuters has reported that Vodafone (and possibly Deutsche Telekom) are in talks with Apple to launch iPhone in Europe. Though France Telecom's Orange had also been in the running to bring the iPhone to Europe, but that Apple had a preference for Vodafone.
Another site called PureMobile, which is a CNet retailer, has claimed to offer iPhone units in US or Canada that will work with Cingular, T-Mobile and other GSM Carriers. Let's see who gets to break the iPhone first - wait until Saturday.