Purchasing an unlocked iPhone 5
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Is it known whether customers can walk into an Apple Store and buy a full-priced and unlocked phone or will all September 21st sales be through carriers and with a contract?
A: This will vary from country to country. Initially in the U.S., Apple Stores will only be selling the iPhone 5 on contract for all of the three supported carriers—AT&T, Verizon and Sprint—with the sale of unlocked, contract-free phones to become available in the weeks following the initial launch. Similarly, pre-orders from the Apple online store in the U.S. are also only available to purchase the iPhone 5 with a carrier contract, at the subsidized price. This follows the same schedule that was used last year with the release of the iPhone 4S, although in this case Apple has announced that unlocked phones will be available “in the coming weeks.”
This differs in other countries. In Canada, for example, the reverse is true with pre-orders, with only the full-price, unlocked version of the iPhone 5 being available to order online. Customers visiting a Canadian Apple Store on September 21st will be able to either purchase an unlocked version at full price or a carrier subsidized model at the appropriate contract price. Other countries such as the U.K. are taking a similar approach, with only unlocked sales available from the Apple Store online.
Note that although there are three different iPhone 5 models this time around, the same GSM iPhone 5 model is sold in both the U.S. and Canada, so U.S. customers who want to purchase an unlocked iPhone right away and live near a major Canadian city may want to consider taking a trip north across the border to a Canadian Apple Retail Store.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- iFixit highlights ‘Touch Disease’ affecting many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models
- Rebranded Nike+ Run Club app adds new tracking abilities
- Apple Music Festival set for Sept. 18-30
- Report: Apple planning three iPhone models for 2017, one with curved OLED display
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 808 Audio Canz XL Bluetooth Speaker
- Standzout Helix Dock for Apple Watch
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app