Apple Now Taking Orders for Unlocked, Contract-free iPhone 4S

Are you a U.S. customer who’s been holding out for an unlocked iPhone 4S? Good news! Now you can order an unlocked iPhone 4S contract-free from Apple’s online store.

The 16GB unlocked iPhone 4S starts at $649, while customers can also purchase a 32GB version for $749, or 64GB for $849. Oh boy, that sure sounds expensive, but if you compare it to other unlocked smartphone prices it works out to be the same. As of right now, all three models  are estimated to ship within one to two weeks when ordered from Apple’s online store.

Unlocked iPhone 4S prices

Currently, the unlocked iPhone 4S is only supported on GSM networks, like AT&T in the U.S. Users can obtain a micro-SIM card to use on overseas carriers when traveling abroad. Unfortunately, customers of CDMA networks, like Verizon and Sprint, will not be able to use the unlocked iPhone 4S because it cannot be activated on their networks. Which is weird because the iPhone 4S is a “world phone” compatible  with both GSM and CDMA networks.

“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,” Apple’s official product description reads.

“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.”

In addition,  as of Friday U.S. carrier Sprint is now SIM-locking all iPhone 4S handsets to its network during the activation process  according to  Sprintfeed. Nobody knows why this is the case, but I hope Sprint decides to revoke this decision.  Apple’s online store has already been warning customers with the message: “Your iPhone will work only with the carrier you choose.”

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Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.