Apple Starts Selling Unlocked iPhone 5

Just in time for the holidays, Apple has started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked and free of carrier subsidies or subscription requirements. The price tag for this stocking stuffer prohibits it from impulse buy status, though. The 16GB model costs $649, and prices only go up from there.

Before you plunk down your cash for a subscription-free Siri, however, you’ll want to read the fine print about which cellular networks the unlocked iPhone works with. The unlocked iPhone 5 only works with supported GSM networks, which means it won’t work on the CDMA-based Verizon or Sprint networks. It will, however, function just fine on AT&T’s service — or T-Mobile’s.

T-Mobile doesn’t offer the iPhone 5, but it runs a GSM network and the company just so happens to offer handy-dandy nano-SIM cards for people who have unlocked iPhone 5s.  In fact, the company is doing all it can to woo unlocked iPhone 5 owners to its service, currently offering said nano-SIM cards absolutely free when you sign up for a two year plan and even waiving the usual $35 activation fee. Unless you’re picking up an iPhone simply to use it on the T-Mobile network, however, signing up for a two year contract somewhat takes away from the allure of an unlocked handset.

The company’s “Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data Plan” reaches across the country, while AT&T offers individual and shared data plans that relies on tiered payment levels and overage charges. AT&T, however, offers true 4G LTE in some locations, while T-Mobile’s 4G technology is of the HSPA+ variety. T-Mobile only supports 4G speeds for the iPhone in a handful major metropolitan areas, however.

Speaking of LTE, Engadget points out that Apple doesn’t disclose which LTE bands the unlocked iPhone 5 works with, so you shouldn’t count on LTE access outside the United States until Apple clarifies the situation.

Head over to the Apple website if you’re interested if picking up an unlocked iPhone 5.

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options