Historically, 99.99% of people bought cell phones on carrier-subsidized, two-year contracts. They now do payment plans, but it's essentially the same thing. Since 99.99% of US customers still get their phone through a carrier or seemingly tied to a carrier, Apple funnels all their early production to there. When they catch up to the demand, then they can sell SIM-free ones.Available from launch in the UK (he says typing on his sim free iPhone 7+ 128gb black).
I wonder why they don't do that in the US.
You believe wrong.Most countries in Europe have GSM. In the US Verizon (and I believe sprint ) are CDMA. They do not mix.