Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5S now sold through Apple

The phone requires a GSM-compatible SIM, so it can handle either AT&T or T-Mobile.

The iPhone 5S is now available unlocked and SIM-free.
The iPhone 5S is now available unlocked at SIM-free. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

People who like their phones unlocked and SIM-free can now pick up an iPhone 5S in that state directly through Apple.

Available via Apple's online store, the new unlocked iPhone 5S requires a GSM-compatible SIM, which means it'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile but not on Sprint or Verizon. It also means buyers will have to pick up a SIM from their carrier of choice.

With no carrier subsidy, the phone sells at full retail -- $649 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB edition, and $849 for the 64GB version. An unlocked iPhone 5S that comes with a T-Mobile SIM has already been on Apple's Web site selling at the same prices. Apple promises a ship time of one to two weeks for the SIM-free edition and three to five business days for the unlocked T-Mobile version.

Consumers curious about the pros and cons of an unlocked iPhone should read Apple's "About the Unlocked iPhone" Web page.

(Via Boy Genius Report)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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