If you live in the UK and weren't lucky enough to bag yourself a Nexus 4 from the Google Play Store, there might be a way -- albeit an expensive way -- to get your hands on an unlocked 16GB model. As we reported a few weeks back, O2scored a month-long exclusivity period, meaning it's the only carrier able to directly sell the Nexus 4 in the UK until mid-December. (Carphone Warehouse has the new Nexus too, though officially they're not offering it SIM-free.)
Today we're seeing reports from members on the Android Central forums, corroborated by similar posts from other forums, indicating that Nexus 4s sold by O2 are in fact SIM-unlocked, despite the carrier's protestations to the contrary. Android Central forum member tomjdavies writes --
I got my Nexus 4 from O2 today. They were adamant in-store that it was locked to O2 but I made them put my Vodafone sim in it - and it worked, much to my joy ha. I paid £399.99 plus £10 for a pay as you go SIM.
Similar reports from XDA suggest this isn't an isolated incident, and that despite what O2 store staff are telling customers, at least some of its Nexus 4 stock is unlocked. That means if you're willing to cough up the £400 (plus £10 top-up) asking price, you could walk away with an unlocked Nexus 4, weeks before it's available again on the Google Play Store. Nevertheless, we'd advise caution until there's official confirmation that all O2 Nexus 4s are sold without a network lock.
In the meantime, we've reached out to O2 for any official comment, and will keep you updated on any new information you provide. If you've picked up a Nexus 4 from O2 in the past few days, be sure to hit the comments and let us know if it's SIM-locked.