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Apple Now Selling Unlocked, SIM-free iPhones Online

By - Source: Apple | B 11 comments

But they're GSM, so you can't use them on any network you want.

When the first iPhone launched, it was only available on AT&T, and it was locked to that carrier. In fact, unless you lived in a country where consumer laws prevented Apple from locking its phone to one carrier, you didn't have a whole lot of choice when it came to carrier no matter where you lived. In the years since, folks have gained a little more freedom when it comes to the iPhone. The device is now available across multiple carriers and, as of today, you can now get the phone unlocked and SIM-free through Apple.

 

Apple is now selling a GSM version of the iPhone 5S that is SIM-free and not attached to any carrier. This version will cost you $650, $750, or $850 depending on the capacity you're after (16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, respectively), and is currently shipping in 1-2 weeks. You could also opt for the iPhone 5C, which is a little bit cheaper and is also available unlocked and SIM-free. That'll set you back $549 for the 16 GB model or $649 for the 32 GB model.

The iPhone 5S was launched in September and packs Apple's 64-bit A7 SoC, a Retina display, TouchID authentication on the home button, and iOS 7. The iPhone 5C runs on Apple's A6 SoC and features a 4-inch retina display, an 8-megapixel iSight camera, a new Facetime HD camera with improved low-light functionality, dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, more LTE bands than any other phone, and is available in pink, yellow, green, blue and white.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • -1 Hide
    f-14 , November 23, 2013 9:34 AM
    "But they're GSM, so you can't use them on any network you want."

    LTE is patented, unless your using the carrier that holds the patent or a sub licensed carrier of the patents involved. you're stuck with what ever a former standard became released from patent or is granted free license to.

    http://www.withersrogers.com/news/19/113
    Expiring GSM patents will spark a fresh wave of innovation in the global mobile phone industry

    20th October, 2008

    Expiring GSM patents will spark a fresh wave of innovation in the global mobile phone industry,

    Tens of thousands of patents filed back in the late 1980s to protect GSM technology used in the first digital mobile phones are now starting to expire, paving the way for a fresh wave of industry competition and innovation, according to Withers & Rogers LLP, a leading UK firm of patent and trade mark attorneys.

    GSM technology was originally developed by the leading mobile phone operators and handset manufacturers for use in the first digital mobile phone handsets and networks, supporting voice calls and text messaging. The technology was extensively patented, but these patents have already started to expire and this is likely to spark a fresh wave of global industry competition over the next few years.

    Nick Wallin, patent attorney, said:

    “These essential GSM patents are held by leading brands like Motorola, Nokia and Eriksson and they have successfully protected this early digital mobile phone technology from competition for the past 20 years.

    “As these patents expire, we should expect to see a fresh wave of competition among mobile phone manufacturers around the world as they seek to apply the technologies in their own handsets and infrastructure.

    “This increase in competition is likely to drive down prices for GSM mobile phones and network equipment this could have a significant effect on the global mobile phone market.”

    While in the UK and most of the developed world, GSM technology has been superceded by 2.5G (better known as GPRS) and 3G, which can support more data services, it remains popular in countries like Africa and India, where there is high demand for low cost telecommunications systems and infrastructure. The arrival of additional competition, bringing lower prices, is likely to drive market demand in these countries and could also create a new market opportunity in the UK.
  • 7 Hide
    burnley14 , November 23, 2013 10:06 AM
    Or you could get a Nexus 5 for $350.
  • 4 Hide
    samjabr , November 23, 2013 10:23 AM
    burnley14 is on to something.
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • -3 Hide
    Supermuncher85 , November 23, 2013 10:30 AM
    Huh? I got my unlocked Iphone5S from apple a month ago...even got receipt if anyone wants proof.
  • 1 Hide
    memadmax , November 23, 2013 2:28 PM
    heh, iPhones are for people that are technologically handicapped...
  • 3 Hide
    patrick47018 , November 23, 2013 6:06 PM
    Still overpriced and gross, no thanks
  • -6 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 24, 2013 4:57 AM
    @memadmax:
    Quote:
    heh, iPhones are for people that are technologically handicapped...


    The most technically savy people I know in IT (I'm an IT professional) all own iPhones. The least technically savy people in our circle in IT typically own Android.

    In my personal circle of friends and family. The most technical and educated in sciences / engineering mostly have iPhones and its a 50/50 split in non-technical.

    You're entire premise is nonsense even at a macro level.
  • 1 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , November 24, 2013 11:19 PM
    Don`t know how is there, but here only bimbo`s own an Iphone...and people who can`t learn to use a normal phone (like memadmax put it: technologically handicapped ones)...
  • 1 Hide
    nznickwlg , November 25, 2013 2:50 AM
    i think by "gsm only" Jane is saying/copying and pasting that the unlocked/simfree iphones wont work on verizon as its not gsm. why oh why do you guys make a big technical detail out of something so painfully simple. PS: Who gives a flying F if iphones are good or bad - that is not the purpose of this "article". Stick to the plot PlEaSe!
  • 0 Hide
    urbanman2004 , November 25, 2013 9:01 PM
    overpriced, lacking innovation and no new technology: i'll pass
  • 0 Hide
    AGTDenton , November 26, 2013 9:29 AM
    $200 to add 48GB of data and no other features?? Thats why I would never buy an ianything