If you’ve already pre-ordered your iPhone 4S, chances are you’ve noticed that the option to buy an unlocked 4S in the US won’t be available until November.

A specific date has not been given, but US iPhone customers will have to wait for a carrier unlocked 4S. Customers in the UK can buy pre-order an unlocked 4S today.

“If you choose AT&T as your wireless carrier, your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will use only GSM cellular technology for voice and data services, and it can roam internationally on 200 GSM carriers around the world.

If you choose Sprint or Verizon Wireless as your wireless carrier, your iPhone 4 will use only CDMA cellular technology for voice and data services. An iPhone 4S activated on Sprint or Verizon Wireless will use CDMA technology too, but it also has the ability to roam internationally on GSM networks using the provided GSM micro-SIM.”

The iPhone 4S is a “world phone” capable of running on both GSM and CDMA carriers, but buying a 4S for a specific network seems to lock you to that baseband. This means that AT&T 4S customers won’t be able to just switch over to Verizon or Sprint at the drop of a hat.

AT&T customers should be able to remove their microSIM and use T-Mobile’s 3G network on an unlocked, GSM-activated iPhone 4S.

Check out our top 10 reasons to buy the iPhone 4S roundup for more information on this sweet phone.

  • Chris

    I’ll never understand that… 😉

    Come over and grab it in Europe …^^

  • jo-macral

    You can pre-order the unlocked iPhone 4S now, but it will not ship until November. Still not too bad.

    • NewYorker

      How? It doesn’t let you add it to the cart.

  • Mayssam

    any idea about the price of the unlocked iPhone in US?

    • Ken

      You can get unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple Canada for $649.

  • Martin

    Well it’s £699 in UK… So it will be probably between $900-$999 in US…

    • Martin

      Talking about 64GB version of course 🙂

  • Diyab

    Is the iPhone 4S sold in UK unlocked?

    • Martin

      of course

  • msxy

    when preordering click on this to see the price :

    Or get iPhone unlocked and contract-free. Coming in November.

    16GB: $649.00
    32GB: $749.00
    64GB: $849.00

    • revvxz

      Lol 16gb cost more than an ipad 2 16gb… Exactly why I have an ipad!

  • msxy

    uk 64GB is $1081.63

  • bb

    But the big question is, will you be able to take an unlocked phone onto a CDMA carrier (Verizon or Sprint)? Will they add the ESN to their database since it is unlocked.

  • OnlytheShadowKnows

    Unlocked? Not for CDMA carriers — only for GSM. So in the US you can select AT&T or T-Mobile and pay $450 extra for this feature, LOL.

    By the way unlocked in the UK, CA, and US is all the same: no CDMA carriers. WTF!

  • msxy

    BB

    The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

    If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the micro-SIM card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.

  • msxy

    we can wait for unlockers such dev-team or musclenerd. didn’t you guys loved them but lot hated geohot. so let see what they can do now in the days where the king is at facebook. :p

    • AbuJaffer

      That’s a horrible idea… you’ll end up paying contract fees AND whatever network you’re using (presumably T-Mobile). It’ll end up being at least $2000 bucks more expensive, and up to $3000 (both put together). You’re much (much [MUCH]) better off getting an unlocked phone to start with.

  • AbuJaffer

    I’ll wait… I travel a lot so a contract is pretty worthless when I’m outside the US (people call AT&T’s service in the US spotty… try worldwide) and even when I’m in the US I can just plug in a micro-SIM card and I’m set to go.

  • Daniel

    In Australia they are all unlocked and today I ordered 2 x Black 64gb iPhones for AU$999 each.

    Regards
    Daniel

  • bb

    OnlytheShadowKnows & msxy :

    The unlocking term refers to the GSM radio in the phone only, agree. However, since this is a world phone CDMA and GSM it also has an ESN/EMEI number with the CDMA radio. These are neither locked or unlocked, it’s just a matter of getting the carrier to add the ESN to their database and allow the phone onto their network. The question is, will you be able to buy an unlocked, non-contract phone directly from Apple and then will Verizion or Sprint add the ESN number to their database to bring that phone onto their network. nothing to do with the GSM… The only bennefit that I could see from this vs. getting the phone at full price from Sprint or Verizon is that my bet is that the GSM radio when buying from Verizon is still locked to their GSM sim card they use for global roaming.

    • OnlytheShadowKnows

      Hey bb. I am following your thread of thought..

      But I seriously doubt it. Check the Apple pages on “unlocking”. It explicitly says that the Apple-unlocked iPhone 4S cannot be used on either Sprint, or Verizon. Here is full-text paragraph:

      “The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.”

      Cannot be more definitive than that, right? Again, $450 surcharge for the ability to insert a foreign SIM? Or cut a T-Mobile SIM and use GSM/EDGE only under prepaid? [Or, activate the iPhone 4S as an AT&T GoPhone Plan, without contract — but then you do not need to unlock it, right?]

      Depressing. Steve, RIP. But look what Apple is doing to your faithful!

  • Kyle

    And of course, I had to buy my unlocked iPhone 4 last month. I told myself that I wouldnt be lured in by the hardware upgrades but I find that I am regretting that more and more each day…

  • Salvador

    Is the 4s can work on a tmobile 3g speeds?

    • OnlytheShadowKnows

      No, Salvador. T-Mobile uses a distinct UMTS band for cellular-data (called AWS, 1700MHz downstream, 2100MHz upstream). AT&T uses the UMTS 850/1900MHz pairs.

      You will only get EDGE 2.5 speeds with the GSM/EDGE radio on the iPhone 4S, or any other iPhone.

  • DebTym

    the unlocked iPhone 4S is so expensive. How can a high school student like me buy a phone like that.

  • msxy

    bb

    The question is, will you be able to buy an unlocked, non-contract phone directly from Apple and then will Verizion or Sprint add the ESN number to their database to bring that phone onto their network?

    i don’t think so maybe, but know that apple playing with money more they add providers ex(sprint) more the unlocked iphone is becoming dificult to get and higher prices. as you said they can add the ESN number to their database or whatever but apple is doing like this because of providers (think a little bit you’ll understand what i mean).

  • kokhean

    Get an iPod touch.

  • 2035 A.D

    Just order an unlocked one from Australia and use it anywhere in the world!

  • Caroline

    If I get an unlocked iPhone 4S, will I be able to transfer my micro-SIM from my current (locked) 3GS into the 4S, or will I have to work with my carrier to get a new plan?

    • OnlytheShadowKnows

      Hello Caroline,

      The 3GS uses a full-sized SIM, not a micro-SIM. You will need to get a “virgin” micro-SIM (AT&T or eBay), and activate it onto your old account by calling 611 or going to a corporate store. If you had an iPhone 4 then the conversion would have been as simple as flipping the old SIM on the new phone. For more info: GOTO http://www.att.com/activations which is the clearinghouse for all AT&T activations.

      I will enable my new iPhone 4S (I have a 3G now) as an AT&T GoPhone with prepaid, no-contract. No taxes, no hidden fees, as I refill using web-based refill cards. This is the only way I could get away from paying $450 more to get it “unlocked”, not subsidized.

      • Caroline

        Thanks so much — that’s really helpful info.

  • n0m0n

    OK you cant unlock the CDMA baseband, BUT it this a world phone or not?
    I am on Verizon and thought if this is a world phone then it will also have a SIM slot for a GSM card.
    If this is the case cant the GSM baseband be unlocked?

    Thanks

  • MALdito

    So much for it actually being a world phone. With every new article you gus put out it seems that the iPhone 4S is less of a “sweet phone” the it’s made out to be….

  • Carolina

    Are you guys SURE that the iphone 4s is unlocked in UK??
    I am asking that because Im from Brazil, and I going to Uk next month. Im planning to buy the iphone 4s there…
    It will work here with my carrier, right?

  • Zarak

    Please let me know where in the US, i can get a factory unlocked iphone 4s to be used in Pakistan. A friend of mine is currently in the US and went to the apple store in DC to purchase one for me but was told that it wouldnt work in pakistan and she would have to wait till november. she leaves the US on the 7th of november…do you think when they say november it means the the first friday of the month or later… thank you any and all help is greatly appreciated..

  • srikant p

    if i buy an locked at & t iphone 4s and i unlock it using softwares and use it in india do i still have to pay huge amount of bills to at & t…can u tell me the procedure to buy iphone 4s in us …….