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Apple Begins Offering Unlocked, SIM-Free iPhone 5s Models in U.S. with 1-2 Week Shipping

Apple today updated its U.S. online store to begin offering sales of unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s models, with shipping estimates currently set at 1-2 weeks compared to 3-5 business days for carrier-specific purchases (via 9to5Mac). Pricing is the same as for other unsubsidized iPhone 5s models, with the 16/32/64 GB models available for $649/$749/$849 respectively.

iphone_5s_unlocked
While the launch brings official unlocked device sales to Apple's stores for the first time, many of the carrier-specific models sold by Apple have been unlocked all along when purchased at full retail price. For example, the T-Mobile iPhone 5s models sold by Apple have been unlocked since launch, although the company has not been specifically marketing them as such. There had been some early confusion about the issue, as Apple initially listed some iPhone 5s models as unlocked leading up to the launch, but the company removed that text at launch time.

With today's addition, the company is now more clear about offering unlocked models without the need for any SIM card to be included at the time of purchase, with the models available for use on a number of carriers around the world.

As Apple notes on the store page, unlocked iPhone 5s devices are model are A1533 and are compatible only with GSM networks.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago

Just thinking the same thing. Here in the UK we could also get sim free on release day.


My guess is that since unsubsidized phones are such a small part of the US market, they waited until supplies stabilized before offering them rather than divert manufacturing capacity away from the more popular subsidized models.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 months ago
I bought the T-Mobile 5s at launch. Even though I use it on T-Mobile it did not come with the certificate necessary to set it up on-line, but it did come with a T-Mobile SIM. It was a hassle to get set up.

I don't see why anyone would buy the "SIM-Free" version with the extra wait when they could just buy the T-Mobile version and toss the SIM.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 months ago
A word of warning: If you get a SPRINT phone, and later want to unlock it for use on AT&T or T-Mobile domestically, they WILL NOT unlock it for you regardless of if you are still under 2 year contract or not.

What's more, if you get an unlocked phone and then bring it to Sprint for their network, you are now PERMANENTLY locked to Sprint and CANNOT get it unlocked for AT&T/T-Mobile.

They will unlock it for INTERNATIONAL use, but not domestic use.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 months ago
Isn't it simply incredible how expensive this stuff is?
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago

What I have in mind is buying the unlocked model, putting it on a Verizon family plan, and putting a SIM in there when traveling to UK or AUS.

If I understand correctly, that would work. No?

I think my existing locked Verizon 4S can do that as well.

Rocketman


You cannot add it to a Verizon plan. Verizon will not add any iPhone not specially sold as a Verizon phone. All of the Verizon iPhones are in a database and if they do not see the IMEI number in their database they will not activate the phone.

The Verizon 5s is SIM unlocked purchased on a plan or device only full price. So you can buy the Verizon version either way and use other GSM SIMs when you travel.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Why does that always take time in the US? We just got the Phone a couple of weeks ago, but at least I could order a simlock free one immediately.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

Full price-no contract- ATT and verizon 5S iphones were always free and will be free!!! :eek:

I don't know why people were waiting for the "official" unlocked iPhone when the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile versions purchased device only from Apple retail are all unlocked. A waste of time waiting if you ask me.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
The Verizon version is even better (unlocked and works on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile too). And it ships immediately (with free 2 day Fedex).

See how to get it here (device only, full price):
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1675136
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

Well, that AT&T iPhones are not SIM unlocked.

The Verizon iPhones are unlocked because they're required to be as a result of the 700mhz spectrum they bought.

The TMobile ones you buy from Apple are unlocked because you're paying full price for them to begin with.

Read what I said. If you purchase from Apple retail store "device only" the AT&T version is unlocked.

Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile device only full priced from Apple retail or website are unlocked. Always have been. Always will be.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

T-Mobile's official policy it to lock their phones, but then allow unlocks after 40 days of use.

Some say their T-Mobile iPhone they bought from Apple was unlocked. Some say the iPhone they bought from T-Mobile was locked, requiring them to request an unlock.


T-Mobile iPhones sold by the carrier or other retailers are locked to T-Mobile.

T-Mobile iPhones sold by Apple are unlocked.
Rating: 2 Votes

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