The Unlocked iPhone 5 Hits the Apple Store

Published on November 30, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Contract-haters rejoice. The unlocked version of Apple’s iPhone 5 is finally available in the U.S.

On Thursday evening, Apple quietly updated its online store to offer an unlocked GSM version of its latest iPhone, untethered from any carrier and contract. But the device comes at a significant additional cost.

Without a carrier subsidy to lower it, the unlocked iPhone 5’s price ranges from $649 for 16 gigabytes of storage to $849 for 64GB. Quite a bit more than the device’s subsidized pricing which starts at $199 for an entry-level model, and tops out at $399. But that’s the price of flexibility. The unlocked iPhone 5 supports any GSM network in the U.S. — AT&T and T-Mobile, for example — but not CDMA networks like those run by Verizon and Sprint.

It’s not clear when the unlocked iPhone 5 will be available for purchase in Apple’s retail stores, though 9to5Mac reports that some locations have been receiving inventory.

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