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 fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- Bowers & Wilkins acquired by EVA Automation
- India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones
- Rumor: Purported iPhone 7 component photo shows headphone jack intact
- Families fight in court over missing teen’s iPhone data
- Court allows police to force woman to unlock iPhone with Touch ID fingerprint
- Coach reportedly releasing bands for Apple Watch
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- 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
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)