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?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- 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