Unlocked iPhone 5 models won’t be available at launch

By , Sep 13, 2012

We’re t-minus three hours and counting until the iPhone 5 pre-orders begin, and some new information regarding model availability and pricing has just come to light.

According to several Apple customer service representatives, unlocked models of the iPhone 5 will not be available for tonight’s pre-order or even next week’s launch…

The Verge reports:

“We spoke with several Apple Store customer service representatives today, who informed us that US customers won’t be able to sign up for the unlocked variant of Apple’s new flagship phone when pre-orders start early tomorrow morning.The unlocked version also won’t be available from either the US online or brick-and-mortar Apple Stores when the iPhone 5 launches on September 21st.”

Conversely, unlocked iPhones will be available immediately for folks in Canada. But, as the site points out, all of the handsets sold in the Canada Apple Store are unlocked.

As far as pricing goes, it will be the same as the iPhone 4S. So when unlocked models become available here in the US, you’ll pay $649 for the 16GB, $749 for 32GB and $849 for 64GB. The word is that will happen sometime in the next several weeks.

Admittedly this is a bit disappointment for me. I was, like I’m sure several others were, hoping to be able to purchase an iPhone 5 tonight sans the carrier contract.

My gut says this was more of a carrier request, asking Apple to make sure stock goes to on-contract buyers first.

What do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/iAli7336 iAli

    And it’s will be more expensive in Canada
    Bad news

    • http://twitter.com/jalexcarter Jordan Carter

      everythings more expensive in canada

  • sylvan feghali

    I am kindda confused because i thought there is 3 versions of the iphone where the third version besided GSM and CDMA would be a world phone which you can use anywhere overseas by puting a sim in there , correct me if am wrong , but i wanna know if there is such thing with the new iphone where u can sign up for 2 year contract with at&t for example but still be able to take the phone with u overseas and use it.

    • javierE186

      I think the one your are talking about is the one that is being sold in Asia and Europe. It’s different from the other two. Their are two GSM versions but they have different radios for different LTE Bands and then the CDMA version with it’s own LTE Bands

    • http://twitter.com/HuchongLing Joey_Z

      you can probably do that with verizon, maybe sprint, but it may not work with AT&T. All 3 versions are the same in terms of GSM spec. The only difference is LTE bands. So, yes you can use any 3G network in the world. But as a conservative GSM service provider, AT&T may not unlock the phone for you because they may tell you that they have great overseas coverage and you may choose to use AT&T’s global voice and data packages….

    • pegger1

      For you to take the phone overseas and use a sim from there, it has to be the unlocked version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ramiro.bravo.79 Ramiro Bravo

    Your definitely right about that

  • javierE186

    Well at least this gives me a chance to get that 200 dollar gift card you guys are giving out. That will help a lot with the total I am going to spend on the 64GB version.

  • Kok Hean

    Title should be: “Unlocked iPhone 5 models won’t be available at launch FOR US CUSTOMERS

    • Gabriel Moussa

      agreed, i got scared for a minute

    • Kurt

      true

    • http://twitter.com/jalexcarter Jordan Carter

      so if i go to canada i culd get a iphone 5 unlocked on september 28th or whenever its launching there instead of a month or so later like here in the states?

      • Kok Hean

        Yes. But remember, there are 3 different variants of the brick 5 – 1 CDMA version and TWO GSM versions.

        They do work the same though, unlike *cough* other Android phones *cough* where all variants have different specifications and speeds differ.

  • sylvan feghali

    ok thanks

  • http://twitter.com/walkingsaltine Spencer Lowe

    This is bull! Deep disappointment from me as I work in wireless and don’t need a contract! I need an unlocked iPhone which has always been available for those willing go fork out the cash. #StupidMoveByApple

  • ic0dex

    This is the part where the rip people off… People are going to void their contracts just to get the iPhone 5. I’m going to wait the extra 2 week or even a month, so when the unlocked version is available I’ll buy it then. There is no way I will pay additional $250 and set myself back another year.

  • Guest

    Damn, I’m confused. On another site I saw the 32GB model would cost US$949 and that was too much for me so I settled on renewing my contract. But $749 might make it worth to wait… Is there an official apple announcement on the unlocked price? I wanna know before I buy it in 3 hours :)

    • http://twitter.com/jalexcarter Jordan Carter

      the unlocked price is $750 definitely not $950 don’t know where you heard that but they were wrong

  • http://www.rachelfridkin.com/ rachel.

    ugh lame.. i have a lower plan with AT&T because of my employer, so I have to buy the phone off contract to begin with. Is a full price AT&T the same as an unlocked phone? I know ‘unlocked’ sells better than any other model so im thinking for the future.

    • pegger1

      Full price and unlocked are typically same price. But unlocked has better resale value.

  • Dlevi309

    well users can just use the verizon LTE version because that will allow gsm and cdma

  • http://www.facebook.com/CMak70 Chris McOmber

    The coolest part of the new iPhone is IOS6!!!! If you have the 4s why on gods earth would you spend so much money on the 5 off contract people???? If you have a 3gs or even a 4 I can maybe see why, but the 4s is brilliant. Not to mention, on the 4s the headphone jack is where it should be, on the top!!!!!

    • pegger1

      I agree with you on all parts, except the iphone jack. The headphones coming out the top is the wrong place, makes the cord bend and hang in the way. Coming out the bottom is more natural and out of the way place. Plus when it goes in my pocket it always goes top down, so when I pull it out I’m already holding it the way I want.

      • http://www.facebook.com/CMak70 Chris McOmber

        As long as it suits you then cool :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000223936151 Jerry PowerHouse

    I spoke with a AT&T customer Service person and they said I can buy a iPhone 5 at full retail price at launch date without opening or extending a new contract as long as I was a AT&T customer. It might not be unlocked but I won’t be needing a contract

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      So I am looking for 2x 32GB, 549 vs 749, and I travel once a year… I guess I will go with locked version since I think it is easier to tradein with Amazon instead of selling it on eBay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/snir.dolev Snir Dolev

    Twitter: Snirdo
    Facebook: snir dolev

    i would be glad if you’ll pick me cos im a huge fan of apple and i had own every
    iphone that got out!!! and im sure not gonna break the cycle now!
    thanks(:

    • Shane

      35th in line for a while 64GB order on line with rogers with the reserve option. Hopefully I will get it first day or first week I will be just as happy.

    • pegger1

      Snir, you’re commenting on the wrong story.

  • http://twitter.com/Woscoe_ Keith

    how about if we get it unlocked online like how we do it for the previous iphones? does anybody know if that works? if it does it would only cost 10 bucks.

  • http://twitter.com/chlinden Christof

    I will get a unlocked one on next weeks launch. No doubt. In belgium its illegal to combine handsets with contracts. :) So we got cheeper contracts and pay the full unlocked phone every time :)

  • http://twitter.com/omgwutsthat Clark Wallace

    Could you maybe edit the article to say this Applies to U.S only?

    U.K store lists..

    iPhone 5 64GB Black & Slate (GSM) Unlocked

  • http://twitter.com/kanyin__ Kanyinsola

    des anyone know when it would be unlocked in the us can i order it from canada?