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Apple Begins Offering Unlocked iPhone 4S in U.S. Online Store

Alongside today's round of international iPhone 4S launches, Apple also began offering unlocked iPhone 4S models for sale in the United States. Orders placed through the company's online store are currently listed with estimated shipping of 1-2 weeks.


Pricing for the unlocked, contract-free iPhone 4S comes in at $649/$749/$849 for the 16/32/64 GB models respectively. The unlocked device is compatible only with supported GSM networks, and Apple offers some advice on which customers might benefit most by purchasing an unlocked iPhone.
The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the micro-SIM card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.
Apple had previously announced as pre-orders went live in the United States back in early October that unlocked models would become available in November. The company's retail stores, however, began selling off-contract phones immediately after launch, with customers discovering that those devices were also coming through unlocked.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago

So it's $100 for a 16 GB memory difference and also $100 for a 32 GB difference? What kind of arbitrary pricing is that? If we assume they get a healthy margin on the 32 to 64 GB upsell, then the margin on the 16 to 32 one must be insane.


I'm not going to argue about the margins, but flash cost isn't geometric like you think it is.
Rating: 13 Votes
35 months ago
So it's $100 for a 16 GB memory difference and also $100 for a 32 GB difference? What kind of arbitrary pricing is that? If we assume they get a healthy margin on the 32 to 64 GB upsell, then the margin on the 16 to 32 one must be insane.
Rating: 8 Votes
35 months ago

Too High! the UK Equivalent Pricing for the 64GB is £700 which is $1200!. You are getting it cheap!



We go through this every time there's a new product launch :rolleyes:

US prices don't have sales tax included (anywhere between 7 and 10%) so you have to add that onto the price of the phone. Plus the VAT which is included in the UK price is 20%. Do a little math and the pre-tax price of the iPhone in the UK is £583, or $928. Still a bit more expensive than the US, but a far cry from the $351 difference you claim it is.
Rating: 7 Votes
35 months ago



As much as I love Apple, I think the off-contract prices are too high. Begin the down-voting.


They are pretty consistent with off-contract prices for other phones. Nokia used to sell the N97 for $699 back in 2009, for instance.
Rating: 7 Votes
35 months ago

US Pricing of iPhone 4S 64GB Handset only is $849! Yet that is £530! it costs £500 to buy the 16GB Version here in the UK! I paid £700 for the 64GB iPhone 4S here. That is equivalent to $1,120.

Why so cheap over there? It's basically the same phone. Yet in the UK we pay £170/$270 more for exactly the same phone?


Couple of things to think about:

1/ We have better consumer protection laws which will allow you under certain circumstances to get repairs well beyond the manufacturers warrantee period (and the manufacturer therefore has to factor the cost of this into the phone).

2/ Americans get completely screwed on call plans and costs. We don't get charged when people call or text us (yay!), and in the US there's no way you'd get a deal like GiffGaff:
£10 / $16 per month for 250min talk, unlimited text, unlimited data
Rating: 6 Votes
35 months ago
US Pricing of iPhone 4S 64GB Handset only is $849! Yet that is £530! it costs £500 to buy the 16GB Version here in the UK! I paid £700 for the 64GB iPhone 4S here. That is equivalent to $1,120.

Why so cheap over there? It's basically the same phone. Yet in the UK we pay £170/$270 more for exactly the same phone?
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago

US Pricing of iPhone 4S 64GB Handset only is $849! Yet that is £530! it costs £500 to buy the 16GB Version here in the UK! I paid £700 for the 64GB iPhone 4S here. That is equivalent to $1,120.

Why so cheap over there? It's basically the same phone. Yet in the UK we pay £170/$270 more for exactly the same phone?


You're forgetting VAT at 20% which takes the price to £636. Then there's import duties on top of that. The US prices don't include sales tax.

So it's not quite the price difference you're suggesting.
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago

You're up six votes this morning so it seems at least some agree with you.

I don't understand why someone would pay $900 for a device they're likely to replace in a year or two. I don't even pay that much for a bicycle, which never becomes obsolete at all.


If you travel outside of the country 1-2 times per year, paying the extra $450 premium is a no-brainer. I purchased an unlocked iPhone 4 last year, and used it in 6 different countries:

1. In Canada, I spent $10, which included 125MB of data for a week, and unlimited evenings and weekend calls for 3 days. I live 30 miles from Canada and go there several times a year.

2. In Singapore, I spent about $20, which gave me unlimited incoming calls for 30 days and 50MB of data, which I used sparingly.

3. In Hong Kong, I spent about $12 and had unlimited data for about 3-4 days, including tethering.

4. In Macau, I spent about $12 and had unlimited data for about 4 days.

5. In Bali, Indonesia, I think I spent about $10, and I had plenty of data to use for the 3 days I was there.

6. In China, I think I paid $30 for 600MB and unlimited incoming calls that lasted me for almost a month.

With a locked iPhone, I would have had to subscribe to AT&T's international data roaming plan for $200 for 800MB (back then it was $200 for 100MB) and still pay $3 per minute for calls.
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago
WOW!

You guys get those for quite cheap prices, I'm jealous.
Rating: 4 Votes
35 months ago



As much as I love Apple, I think the off-contract prices are too high. Begin the down-voting.


Too High! the UK Equivalent Pricing for the 64GB is £700 which is $1200!. You are getting it cheap!
Rating: 4 Votes

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