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Apple Now Selling Unlocked GSM iPhones in the U.S.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,099
11,359



Apple has begun selling unlocked GSM iPhone 5 models in the United States, some two months after it originally went on sale. This is similar to the delay that preceded sales of the unlocked iPhone 4S last year.

The launch follows the drop of the iPhone 5's estimated shipping times to one week just a few days ago. The unlocked GSM models are available for $649/$749/$849 for the 16/32/64 GB models and also have an estimated ship time of one week. In the U.S., the unlocked models will work on both AT&T and T-Mobile.
The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a wireless contract commitment. You can activate and use iPhone on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States. The unlocked iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

If you don't want a multiyear service contract, or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It does not come with a micro-SIM card for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, or a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5, so you'll need to get one from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.

Article Link: Apple Now Selling Unlocked GSM iPhones in the U.S.
 

sshhoott

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2010
304
0
Sorry, I dont know what ive been smoking. I always thought it was more expensive than that.
 

Rend It

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
265
5
United States
Wasn't there some issue where the locked AT&T iPhone 5 wouldn't work on t-mobile? Or, was that only with respect to LTE?

I vaguely recall that you had to get the Verizon model to ever hope to use iPhone 5 on T-Mobile.
 

1080p

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,846
2,415
Planet Earth
So the article keeps referring to this as an "unlocked GSM model." Does it not carry any LTE capability at all, or is it the AT&T version sold SIM unlocked and SIM free?
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,632
815
Los Angeles, CA
Wasn't there some issue where the locked AT&T iPhone 5 wouldn't work on t-mobile? Or, was that only with respect to LTE?

I vaguely recall that you had to get the Verizon model to ever hope to use iPhone 5 on T-Mobile.

No 3G, possibly no LTE. No visual voicemail. And if you go to Apple with reception complaints don't expect to get a new phone.

But otherwise it works

The Verizon thing was that the SIM cards are all unlocked no matter what. So folks were buying the iPhone on a virgin line, waiting a day or two and cancelling the service but not returning the phones. And had a phone they could use on tmobile. Or doing things like upgrading a family members number that uses Verizon and then switching that line back to their old phone (great trick if you have a parent/grandparent that only wants a cheap flip)
 

WardC

macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
2,726
213
Fort Worth, TX
I am going to get the locksmith to cut me a key, so I can unlock my phone too. Probably will save me alot of money. How big is the keyhole on the iPhone?
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,632
815
Los Angeles, CA
So the article keeps referring to this as an "unlocked GSM model." Does it not carry any LTE capability at all, or is it the AT&T version sold SIM unlocked and SIM free?

Gsm and LTE are two different things.

These are unlocked, no activation required to purchase, bring your own sim.
 

Deanobear

macrumors newbie
Nov 27, 2012
27
0
Melbourne, Australia
I can't understand the situation in the US. I live in Australia, and I bought my iPhone 5 outright from Apple, as it has always been - with iPhone 3, 4, etc., you can order from the online site, it's unlocked and you put in the sim of your mobile provider of choice. What hold do US carriers have over Apple? Perhaps someone can enlighten me ... :)

I forgot to mention we have a provider here called Amaysim - they're big in Europe too ... $39.90 (aussie dollars) for unlimited calls to land-lines, mobiles, text and 4gb of data per month, and they use one of the largest telcos here, wide coverage all over the country, why do US telcos charge so much?
 
Last edited:

Junkyman

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2012
112
1
What's the big fuss about? Anyone who wanted to get a sim-lock free iPhone could have already gotten just the Verizon version.

Not to mention the fact that this is probably the AT&T Version unlocked, which means for all the people getting abroad: No LTE (unlike the Verizon version).

So what?
 

turtlez

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2012
977
0
Amazing how you can buy an iPod Touch for a fraction of the cost of an iPhone. May as well just get an iPad and a cheap phone or iPod Touch / cheap crappy phone and have the best of both worlds

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I can't understand the situation in the US. I live in Australia, and I bought my iPhone 5 outright from Apple, as it has always been - with iPhone 3, 4, etc., you can order from the online site, it's unlocked and you put in the sim of your mobile provider of choice. What hold do US carriers have over Apple? Perhaps someone can enlighten me ... :)

well you can get an iPhone in US for about $100 carrier locked. The one advertised in this article is the unlocked one which is same price as Aussie.
 

kstotlani

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2006
610
803
anybody know which GSM model A1428 or A1429?

I would like to know this too. My guess is that it will be A1428 because the only GSM provider in the US that it works on is AT&T and AT&T is on band 17 which is 700MHz. I wish they gave both options as A1428 will not work internationally at LTE speeds.
 

Mr Hill

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2012
500
1
Charlotte, NC
Well if the T-Mobile rumor turns out to be true, then the demand for unlocked iPhones within the US will drop significantly anyway. The majority of people in the US do not travel internationally very much.

Also Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile will unlock devices for customers traveling abroad if they request it. Not sure about Sprint.
 
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