iPhone 6 and 6 Plus buyers in the US can now buy an unlocked and SIM-free model to use on any carrier here or abroad.
As listed on Apple's iPhone 6 page, the SIM-free version sells for the full retail price, which means the 4.7-inch, 16GB iPhone 6 costs $649, while the larger 5.5-inch, 16GB iPhone 6 Plus runs $749. Opting for the 64GB version costs an extra $100, while the 128GB edition adds $200 to the base price.
Why go unlocked and SIM-free? The option is geared for people who don't want to be stuck with the standard, two-year contract with a specific carrier. This means you can activate the phone on any carrier in the US, including major carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint, according to an Apple representative. You can also use it with a local carrier if you travel outside the US. To activate the phone, you simply need to get a SIM card from the carrier.
Otherwise, the unlocked and SIM-free phones have the exact same features and functions as the subsidized versions that are tied to a specific carrier. Apple has already been selling unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for T-Mobile subscribers. That model comes with a T-Mobile SIM card installed, according to Apple, and supports only GSM carriers, such as T-Mobile and AT&T.
The unlocked, SIM-free versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ship in three to five business days.