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"Off Contract" AT&T iPhone 4Ss Already Come Unlocked

For those awaiting an unlocked iPhone 4S, it seems that Apple is already selling them at retail stores as simply "Off Contract" devices. "Off Contract" devices are sold at full retail price and don't lock you into a contract with AT&T. The prices for these models are $649, $749 and $849 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB iPhone 4S models.


The finding was noted by 9to5Mac and had also been discussed in the MacRumors forums where multiple users noticed that iTunes informed them of the "Congratulations your iPhone has been unlocked" message from iTunes:
I really have no idea. Part of me thinks it was some kind of glitch. The only thing I can think of is that a paid full price and didn't extend my contract. I ordered through Apple too. I wish there was a way I could confirm it, but I don't have any T Mobile or foreign sims laying around lol - BFW122083
The same thing appeared on mine when I did a restore... I am wondering if it came like this from the factory because I paid the full $849.99 for a 64 GB because my AT&T contract was not eligible for an upgrade...- mjcxp
The common thread was that they were purchased as off contract devices. Developer @stroughtonsmith has since verified this by purchasing one himself.

Meanwhile, it seems Sprint iPhone 4Ss are also come GSM unlocked according to @gruber who was able to successfully use a Canadian SIM card in his Sprint iPhone 4S. However, Sprint has promised to lock them at a later date.

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago
I'm more thrown that someone shelled out $849 to upgrade because their old device was still under the terms of the contract subsidy.

It would have been several hundred cheaper to break your contract and switch carriers... and this person is probably using the iPhone 4.

Maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have $500 to take a match too.
Rating: 14 Votes
42 months ago

those retail prices sure are expensive.. just get an iPad. If you need a new phone, wait for your contract, and get a new one, or pay Apple the $199 for the OOW fee. but $649-$849 is absurd.


If you only need a $20 plan per month for your iPhone and you buy the cheapest unlocked iPhone, you save about $1000 in 3 years. It really depends on what you need in a plan, data, minutes or to save money
Rating: 12 Votes
42 months ago

those retail prices sure are expensive.. just get an iPad. If you need a new phone, wait for your contract, and get a new one, or pay Apple the $199 for the OOW fee. but $649-$849 is absurd.


Paying $XXX a month on a contract is even more absurd. You end up having to pay more because it doesn't occur to you that your going to be paying for your iPhone (and then some) over 2 years, rather than giving them the money upfront:rolleyes: It may make sense to some who spend $50 or more on their phone a month, but as someone else said, if you only spend $20 a month on it you'll save a lot.

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They do. All iPhones sold through Vodafone, Gen-i or Apple NZ are unlocked.


Yeah but Apple only sells the 8GB one.
Rating: 10 Votes
42 months ago
Okay, I'll bite. Please walk me through what I should do.
1. buy unlocked iphone.
2. buy SIM card from your desired carrier and install it in your iPhone
3. Sign up to a month-to-month plan or buy text/data/voicecall value packs.

Seriously, I can take the upfront hit. Where do I go from there?
Rating: 9 Votes
42 months ago
Wow nice! I hope AT&T automatically unlocks iPhones as contracts expire!
Rating: 8 Votes
42 months ago

those retail prices sure are expensive.. just get an iPad. If you need a new phone, wait for your contract, and get a new one, or pay Apple the $199 for the OOW fee. but $649-$849 is absurd.


Oh yeah, call you from my iPad :rolleyes:
Rating: 8 Votes
42 months ago
In Australia we have always been able to purchase unlocked phones - and it is the only way to do it via the Apple Online Store. Have a look at the Australian prices for the iPhone 4S...

http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone/iphone4s?mco=MjU1NTYxODM

it is shocking!!

16 GB - $799
32 GB - $899
64 GB - $999

Only reason I am complaining is due to the average currency exchange at the moment!
Rating: 8 Votes
42 months ago

I'm more thrown that someone shelled out $849 to upgrade because their old device was still under the terms of the contract subsidy.

It would have been several hundred cheaper to break your contract and switch carriers... and this person is probably using the iPhone 4.

Maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have $500 to take a match too.


Break my contract and lose my unlimited data and $5 texting plan? Hell no.
Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago

How does this work for CDMA networks? With GSM you just put in the SIM but how do you get the unlocked phone on a different CDMA network?


The US CDMA system use not support device unlocking.

In some countries like China that have CDMA, they have a SIM-like chip that's called the RUIM (basically it's a SIM card) that stores your CDMA information and lets you move around like other GSM subscribers. Note this does not let you move that RUIM to a GSM device, only to other CDMA devices.

I imagine if Apple starts selling CDMA iPhones in China, they would have to repurpose the SIM card slot as a RUIM slot.

Wouldn't it make more sense to buy the phones under contract at $199, $299, or $399, and then pay the $325 to break your contract 31 days out, resulting in an end cost of $524, $624, or $724?


No, because you bought as a locked phone, it will stay locked even if you cancel service.
Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago

Awesome. I wish they did that where I lived :(


They do. All iPhones sold through Vodafone, Gen-i or Apple NZ are unlocked.
Rating: 6 Votes

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