More than two months after it launched iPhone 5S, Apple Inc has started selling unlocked and SIM-free version of the popular smartphone. It is now posted and offered through the technology firm’s retail online site. The new version is expected to give a logical option to customers who don’t like the idea of being tied up to any network through subscription contract.
This is not the first time for the company to create and release an unlocked version of iPhone. Last year, it also rolled out unlocked iPhone 5 units into the market. The company has decided to retain similar pricing scheme as well as carrier options.
The unlocked version of iPhone 5S is aimed to sever the ties that usually bind customers and wireless networks. However, it still requires GSM-compatible SIM to make it functional. In the case of iPhone 5S, users could opt to use SIM from AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. SIM from other carriers like Sprint and Verizon would not yet be functional when used in the unlocked smartphone version.
Two unlocked versions
This time, Apple is offering two versions of unlocked iPhone 5S available through its Website. The first version is a SIM-less smartphone that would start shipping within a week or two. The second version is an unlocked variant of T-Mobile iPhone 5S, which has a nano-SIM upon purchase. This would start shipping in the next five days.
It could be recalled that T-Mobile has started dropping the traditional mobile contracts this year. It is the first wireless carrier to take what it calls an ‘un-carrier’ approach. This means that although the iPhone 5S version comes with T-Mobile nano-SIM, each user is not tied to any subscription contract and could opt anytime to switch to another SIM from other specified carriers.
Price tags and other options
Because there is no subsidy from any carrier, the unlocked version of iPhone 5S would be sold at full retail tag price. The 16GB version would be sold for $649, the 32GB version for $749, and the 64GB version for $849. With an option for a two-year contract, the same phones would be available for $199, $299, and $399 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions, respectively.
The unlocked iPhone 5S units would still come in three color options—namely, gold, silver, and space gray. The device could be bought through the Apple Store Website. You may choose the ‘unlocked and contract-free’ version of the iPhone upon placing an order.
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