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.

Top Rated Comments

iwbyte Avatar
97 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
97 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aduzik Avatar
97 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LFMNX Avatar
97 months ago
Isn't it simply incredible how expensive this stuff is?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boondocks Avatar
97 months ago
Verizon version is better

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):
https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1675136
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Coleman2010 Avatar
97 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
airtags teardown tile mat galaxy smarttag

iFixit Shares AirTag Teardown Revealing 'Impressively Compact' Design Compared to Tile Mate and Galaxy SmartTag

Sunday May 2, 2021 4:54 am PDT by
iFixit has shared the first of its two-part series in tearing down Apple's AirTag item tracker, revealing that Apple had to make impressive design decisions to achieve its small design, including rethinking the speaker layout. For comparison, iFixit compared Apple's AirTag to the Tile Mate and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. Compared to the competition, AirTag is the smallest in size, with the...
facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow

Kuo: Apple to Launch 8-Inch Foldable iPhone in 2023

Sunday May 2, 2021 8:43 pm PDT by
Apple is working to launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1 With Fixes for App Tracking Transparency Bug, WebKit Security Issues

Monday May 3, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1, minor security updates that come just a week after the release of the iOS 14.5 update. There is also a companion watchOS 7.4.1 update for Apple Watch and an iOS 12.5.3 update for older iPhone and iPad devices that don't support Apple's latest operating system versions. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes a bug with App Tracking...
General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier in 'Coming Weeks'

Saturday May 1, 2021 3:57 am PDT by
Citing sources within the music industry, Hits Double Daily reports that Apple is preparing to launch a new HiFi Apple Music tier in the "coming weeks," which will come alongside the release of the rumored third-generation AirPods. According to the report, the new tier, which will offer high-fidelity music streaming, will cost the same $9.99 monthly subscription as the current individual...
Top Stories 58 Feature 1

Top Stories: iOS 14.5 Released, AirTag Launch, New iMac and iPad Pro Pre-Orders

Saturday May 1, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
After nearly three months of beta testing, Apple this week finally released iOS 14.5, the company's biggest update since the iOS 14 launch last September. One of the main new features included in the update is support for AirTags, Apple's item trackers that also finally became available this week some two years after their existence first leaked. Apple this week also began taking orders for...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
apple music album cover art

iOS 14.6 Beta 1 Code Hints at Upcoming HiFi Apple Music Support

Saturday May 1, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple is laying the groundwork for adding HiFi support to Apple Music which would offer Apple Music subscribers and owners of compatible devices, such as certain models of AirPods, access to high-fidelity audio streaming, according to code within the iOS 14.6 beta discovered by MacRumors. Earlier today, a report claimed that Apple will announce a new $9.99 per month Apple Music tier that...