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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today updated its U.S. online store to begin offering sales of unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s models, with shipping estimates currently set at 1-2 weeks compared to 3-5 business days for carrier-specific purchases (via 9to5Mac). Pricing is the same as for other unsubsidized iPhone 5s models, with the 16/32/64 GB models available for $649/$749/$849 respectively.

iphone_5s_unlocked.jpg
While the launch brings official unlocked device sales to Apple's stores for the first time, many of the carrier-specific models sold by Apple have been unlocked all along when purchased at full retail price. For example, the T-Mobile iPhone 5s models sold by Apple have been unlocked since launch, although the company has not been specifically marketing them as such. There had been some early confusion about the issue, as Apple initially listed some iPhone 5s models as unlocked leading up to the launch, but the company removed that text at launch time.

With today's addition, the company is now more clear about offering unlocked models without the need for any SIM card to be included at the time of purchase, with the models available for use on a number of carriers around the world.

As Apple notes on the store page, unlocked iPhone 5s devices are model are A1533 and are compatible only with GSM networks.

Article Link: Apple Begins Offering Unlocked, SIM-Free iPhone 5s Models in U.S. with 1-2 Week Shipping
 

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Feb 15, 2011
1,772
1,440
Holland
Why does that always take time in the US? We just got the Phone a couple of weeks ago, but at least I could order a simlock free one immediately.
 

BanterClaus

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2011
195
25
UK
Why does that always take time in the US? We just got the Phone a couple of weeks ago, but at least I could order a simlock free one immediately.

Just thinking the same thing. Here in the UK we could also get sim free on release day.
 

TrentS

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2011
491
238
Overland Park, Kansas
Trafone...?

Would I be able to use an unlocked iPhone 5s with my Tracfone account? That would be so sweet, since I only pay about $8 a month with my Tracfone Pay-As-You-Go plan.

:) :) :) :)
 

aduzik

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2008
73
8
Just thinking the same thing. Here in the UK we could also get sim free on release day.

My guess is that since unsubsidized phones are such a small part of the US market, they waited until supplies stabilized before offering them rather than divert manufacturing capacity away from the more popular subsidized models.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,727
337
Oregon
I bought the T-Mobile 5s at launch. Even though I use it on T-Mobile it did not come with the certificate necessary to set it up on-line, but it did come with a T-Mobile SIM. It was a hassle to get set up.

I don't see why anyone would buy the "SIM-Free" version with the extra wait when they could just buy the T-Mobile version and toss the SIM.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,923
167
NYC
What I have in mind is buying the unlocked model, putting it on a Verizon family plan, and putting a SIM in there when traveling to UK or AUS.

If I understand correctly, that would work. No?

I think my existing locked Verizon 4S can do that as well.

Rocketman

You cannot add it to a Verizon plan. Verizon will not add any iPhone not specially sold as a Verizon phone. All of the Verizon iPhones are in a database and if they do not see the IMEI number in their database they will not activate the phone.

The Verizon 5s is SIM unlocked purchased on a plan or device only full price. So you can buy the Verizon version either way and use other GSM SIMs when you travel.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,923
167
NYC
Full price-no contract- ATT and verizon 5S iphones were always free and will be free!!! :eek:
I don't know why people were waiting for the "official" unlocked iPhone when the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile versions purchased device only from Apple retail are all unlocked. A waste of time waiting if you ask me.
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,399
840
St. Louis
Where did you purchase this sim-locked tmobile iPhone?

T-Mobile's official policy it to lock their phones, but then allow unlocks after 40 days of use.

Some say their T-Mobile iPhone they bought from Apple was unlocked. Some say the iPhone they bought from T-Mobile was locked, requiring them to request an unlock.
 

WMD

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2013
175
7
Florida, USA
I don't see why anyone would buy the "SIM-Free" version with the extra wait when they could just buy the T-Mobile version and toss the SIM.
Apple was rather coy at first about the unlocked-ness (new word!) of the T-Mobile version. T-Mobile wanted a launch phone without contract, so leaving it unlocked was pretty much the only way to go, but Apple didn't want those floating around at launch (scalping and whatnot). So, I think a lot of people were afraid to buy the T-Mobile phone, just in case it was locked somehow.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,923
167
NYC
T-Mobile's official policy it to lock their phones, but then allow unlocks after 40 days of use.

Some say their T-Mobile iPhone they bought from Apple was unlocked. Some say the iPhone they bought from T-Mobile was locked, requiring them to request an unlock.

T-Mobile iPhones sold by the carrier or other retailers are locked to T-Mobile.

T-Mobile iPhones sold by Apple are unlocked.
 

iPhone.Freak

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2007
19
14
USA
All iPhones sold in the US without a contract are in fact "unlocked." I was able to buy a T-Mobile iPhone 5s and us it on AT&T's network with no problems. I was even able to do it the other way around (AT&T iPhone with T-Mobile Sim). Apple does not mention this as they was Contracted phones (they make way more money on them).

In a nutshell, this is the same phone as the T-Mobile/AT&T ones, just with no sim card inside. And all iPhones purchased device only are unlocked!
 

WaxedJacket

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
690
1,071
The rest of the world doesn't really get what's going on in north america when it comes to cellular providers. Subsidized phones are king and it's pretty concrete in every release. These unsubsidized phones get released months after the initial release phase. Cellular providers have this weird monopoly on hardware releases.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,923
167
NYC
About time. Why was there even the need to hold this option out?

They didn't hold out. The T-Mobile iPhones sold on the Apple website and in retail stores are unlocked. They were advertised as "contract free" but are unlocked.
 

Bearxor

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
775
504
I don't know why people were waiting for the "official" unlocked iPhone when the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile versions purchased device only from Apple retail are all unlocked. A waste of time waiting if you ask me.

Well, that AT&T iPhones are not SIM unlocked.

The Verizon iPhones are unlocked because they're required to be as a result of the 700mhz spectrum they bought.

The TMobile ones you buy from Apple are unlocked because you're paying full price for them to begin with.
 

timborama

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
715
1,504
Would I be able to use an unlocked iPhone 5s with my Tracfone account? That would be so sweet, since I only pay about $8 a month with my Tracfone Pay-As-You-Go plan.

:) :) :) :)
Unfortunately Tracfone won't work with unlocked iPhone. Straightalk works fine though.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,923
167
NYC
Well, that AT&T iPhones are not SIM unlocked.

The Verizon iPhones are unlocked because they're required to be as a result of the 700mhz spectrum they bought.

The TMobile ones you buy from Apple are unlocked because you're paying full price for them to begin with.
Read what I said. If you purchase from Apple retail store "device only" the AT&T version is unlocked.

Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile device only full priced from Apple retail or website are unlocked. Always have been. Always will be.
 

Nickerbocker

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2012
275
136
My wife's "T-Mobile" iPhone 5S has been working fine on Net10 using an AT&T SIM card. She is even getting LTE service now. The IMEI on the web site claims that the SIM is Unlocked.

My StraightTalk iPhone 5 the IMEI checker shows the SIM is locked. I'm pretty pissed because I paid full price for my iPhone 5. Oh well, I don't plan to switch from StraightTalk anytime soon...
 
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