The price of an unlocked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

By , Sep 10, 2013

iPhone 5s and 5c off contract prices

This is it. Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c without much surprise to anyone who’s been following the rumors for a while. We’ve already posted about the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pricing and availability but we thought it’d be worth having a post dedicated to these devices’ prices off-contract.

So far, looking at Apple’s website, only T-Mobile will be offering unlocked and contract-free iPhones from day one, starting September 20th. If history is any indication of the future, chances are other carriers such as AT&T will later offer the devices without a contact, and unlocked for use on other carriers.

But let’s have a look at the prices of contract-free iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c…

As you can tell from the image above, a contract-free iPhone 5s will start at $649 for the 16GB version, and go to $749 and $849 for both the 32GB and 64GB versions respectively. It’s not much of a surprise as it is in line with the discontinued current iPhone 5 prices.

Now, looking at the iPhone 5c, these prices aren’t really what we expected. Labeled as the “affordable iPhone”, this device actually isn’t barely more affordable than the top of the line iPhone 5s.

Starting at $549 for the 16GB version, it goes up to $649 for the 32GB version, far above the expected $449 that the press, including us, thought it would be priced at.

But $100 is $100, and for someone who’s getting a smartphone for the first time, it will sure make the difference. Seasoned smartphone owners – that would be you, iDB readers – will still likely get the iPhone 5s instead.

What do you think of these prices?

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  • Andrew Brown

    Verizon by FCC mandate after obtaining its LTE spectrum… Offers all their phones “unlocked” – really as a tech blog you think you’d know more…

    • Christopher

      I think this article is referring to no contract “unlocked” sir. Everyone knows the V phones are unlocked per se but you will be on contract for THEIR service.

      • Guest

        On Verizon’s deal with theFCC when the obtained the 700mhz spectrum – there were conditions put in place: the sim cards couldn’t be locked to devices and all their phones sold with LTE cannot be carrier locked – welcome to 2011 information

  • Andrew Brown

    Btw as a tech blog in need of help you should also take the tip that their are 4 sub models on the LTE bands beig sold worldwide and the USA model will support LTE on all its carriers unlike the iPhone 5… Source – apple.com

    • Alex Rodriguez

      Thank god for the genius over here. Hey everybody LTE is supported. They talked about it all morning but in case you read this artice thinking you were going to get unlocked prices…

      be aware they also have (LTE). I hate to use the Jon Stewartesque sarcasm, but read the title, then read the article. Just common sense.

      • Andrew Brown

        For being a prick you think you would be able to read – the comment was posted as a tip off that for the first time ever for Apple there is only one sub model of the iPhone for AT&T, t mobile, and Verizon, the comment was posted before any blog even noticed it – which means since all verizon phones by FCC mandate must come unlocked now you could by a Verizon iPhone off contract on its release date and use it for AT&T…

      • Alex Rodriguez

        Thank you for the compelling information. You are the king of bloggers everyone bow down because this dude must be the size of a baby carrot. Trying to think he’s a badass by pointing out something we already known.

  • אביאור רוקח

    iPhone 5S the change did not change

  • Joseph

    Am I the only one that sees the iPhone 5C as completely redundant? It’s on-contract price is comparable to that of the iPhone 4S before the 5S was announced, and the price the iPhone 5 would’ve been had it not been discontinued.

    In other words, to me, it seems like Apple just wanted a phone series they could continue and call low-end to lure in more customers by deceiving them. Less work for their minds, since they don’t need to figure that the previous generation phone is near the same price…

    • Alexander Reimann

      I agree, it should have been free with a 2 year contract and $200 less than the high end models… this way it’s really only an option if you really want a colorful phone with less features.

    • Burge

      Better of getting the 4s for free..after all the i5 is not that big of a upgrade from the 4s

      • Joseph

        I can’t deal with a 3.5″ screen at all, so that’s not the case for me.

      • Lhu

        but iphone 4s is 8GB…

      • Burge

        Then get a 16 gig it will be cheaper than a 5c

      • Ahmed M. Afifi

        now there is only 8 gb of iPhone 4s

      • Burge

        Get in early there will be 16gig ones still

      • Robert Deed

        Have you ever actually compared the iPhone 5 vs the 4s. Performance is night and day and the 4s being on the low end of the ios7 install range will likely be much slower then the 5/5c. So what if the 5c is only to lower margined

      • Burge

        That’s it.. A slight speed increase ..oh that’s with in then..

    • itaydrum

      they would kill the 4s they would kill the 3.5 ” screen and the old connector with one stroke! Really stupid to leave the 4s, and the order will be 5C 0$ – 5 99$ – 5S 199$ on contract and 5C Should be most 450$ off contract. I disappointed from the price I thought the goal is to enter new markets!! maybe not

    • Osama Muhammed

      im soooo wondering the same, its not that good looking, 100$ difference for 5s that has a lot more upgrades worth really a lot, whats the point.. only web jokes is the only point i see

  • Dan

    Ridiculous pricing, this will make no difference for most people that are on contracts. For 100$ difference, the tradeoff is not worth it. Stay greedy apple…

  • Hermès Vainstar Chu

    Budget is no where in Apples vocab

  • Imran Mitha

    I think they did this because the 5C is primarily for Chinese market, and they will buy it in contract price, so the high unlocked price doesn’t make a difference to Apple as long as China’s covered. The rest will have to make do with $100 difference, which IMO the 5s is definitely worth paying more for.

    • Nekrim

      Omg, you’re right ! 5C is for 5China !

      • jkl

        it’s supposed to be 5cheap !

    • darkbites

      they do not have contract plan , and it cost $700 for basic model
      the option they have.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    The iPhone 5C unlock price is still to high. 16gb should at least be $449.

  • İlkim Sezen

    Is the iPhone 5 S will be available on Apple stores unlocked and contract free on 20th of September?

    • İlkim Sezen

      Or is it locked but contracts free from T mobile?

      • pmcarrion

        +1 contract-free ≠ unlocked. maybe they forgot to mention this tiny little detail…

  • Roy Chdid

    $549 for iPhone 5C and they call it a low cost iPhone ???? Seriously !!!

    • Sean Cua

      They didn’t call it a low cost iPhone.

  • mfncl

    $649 unlocked in the US vs £549 (~863 USD) in the UK. This is the 2nd year running there’s been a price hike on the UK unlocked flagship model and the US price stayed static at $200 / $649. Staying away this time until I can pick up a US model.

    • D R

      Same here in Canada. It’s like they have to buy retail from AppleUS, then add a stiff markup to cover the local executives “bonus”.

  • Byron C Mayes

    “this device actually isn’t barely more affordable than the top of the line iPhone 5s.”

    What do you mean by that?

  • @sexyhamthing

    $100 USD….real affordable apple

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    lol

  • Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    the budget iphones tiers should all be below the lowest 5S. This pricing isn’t budget pricing at all.

  • blu

    Oh well, was hoping to get an off contract 5C for my daughter, but I guess she will be getting a 4S instead.
    That price is just crazy.

  • Meiklejohn Brandon

    On contract or off contract your still paying a ton of cash. The only difference is paying for the phone upfront or over time.

  • anis

    I need to clarify one thing in iPhone 5s… In case of t-mobile, it will only be activate via t-mobile only or we can put any sim and get it activated. Please clarify.

  • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

    Hi, can you please help me with this? is an “unlocked phone” the same as “factory unlocked phone” meaning it can be use abroad?

    • The Shoonchy 

      Yes true

    • pmcarrion

      contract-free means unsubsidized, it doesn’t mean unlocked. remember you could buy unsubsidized iPhones (pay full price and not extend the contract) but the device would still be locked to AT&T. Apple has to clarify this.

      • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        Thanks. This is the answer i was looking for.

  • Joseph

    WTF? $549! That’s way too much lol.

  • mav3rick

    One word: greedy, arrogant and manipulator.

    Starting to be ashamed using their products. Actually using the apps the good devs. still making for their platform, already caught heavy invested in apps. but looking to not give them any more money.

    Same phone in plastic case at the same price? Same phone as last year with only added fingerprint collector and gimmicks on camera? Dumbed down iOS look and pushing it to the users? Paid for the eye candy experience not blinding white screens and rainbow mesmerizing purple look!

    “Apple assures that it stores your fingerprint on the device and says it never backs it up to the cloud.” LOL!!! Good one!

  • Dodgy Debjit

    The US should count themselves lucky – Australians are being asked for $1129 for the 64Gb 5S.

    • FFF84

      Iphone 5c 16Gb costs 599€ (790$) in Germany.
      WTF

    • jkl

      yes. so don’t get it. why not opt for the S4 instead? 1080p screen, 4.7″ display, and better than the 5S in most practical ways, including price.

  • Sean Cua

    All these comment about the price of 5C being expensive. If you had watch the keynote you would know that it wasn’t made to be affordable.

  • A B

    Disappointing pricing for the 5C, if this was being considered as a game changer in the developing market, I am afraid may not change much! Anyways for $100 more most people would prefer the latest rather than an outgoing one.
    May be the plan is to reap in more money eventually in about a year where the 5C could drop to $400 or less contract free….. At this rate grossly overpriced for the colors it’s available in as its a very youthful oriented phone!

  • Sandeep Roy

    If the 5C was intended to increase sales in emerging markets, it won’t. Apple products, as it is, cost 35% more in these markets.Plus local taxes & duties.

    • RyanF1

      You’re damned right it costs more in emerging markets. My dad got a 4S in Manila from Globe Telecom in June last year. Last week he went on trip to Hawaii with some friends, and guess what, he LOST IT on the second day. His very first smartphone. Fell out of his pocket or something getting off a tour van. No wonder he wasn’t getting any of my texts.

      So the other day he gets back in the morning, and that very evening he goes back to the store where he’s supposedly a “Platinum” post-paid account holder. Sure enough they set him up with a New Contract on a shiny new iPhone 5 (which promptly gets clad in an Otterbox case), but not without first making him pay a Pre-Termination Fee worth about $365.

      Maybe this time he’ll take my advice and pay an extra $6.80 a month for Phone Insurance.

  • someshl

    549 $ and they say it is cheap….. 99 $ in contract is still like buying an ‘iPhone 4s against the latest unveiled iPhone 5′

  • dan

    seriously guys who is gona pay this much for the 5c ?

  • tj4306

    They are just setting up for the 6. The 5c will become free on contract the 5s will become the 6c and the 6.

  • Jacob

    Just got an S3 for $300 off contract. My wife and I pay $80 a month for unlimited everything. Compare that to the cost of buying an iPhone on contract.

  • Cenk

    The T-mobile unlocked Iphone 5S is doesn’t mean “unlocked phone” !!!
    When you buy iphone with this option, your phone is comming with T-mobile sim cards, then you need contact t-mobile or apple for activate your phone.
    So, T-mobile unlocked = locked but, without any contract, you can activate your phone only with t-mobile sim cards.

    Regards.

  • MOhaned

    Guys, I would like to know the iphone 5s 16 gb gold colour in the u.s ?? I know its for 649 $ but does this price includes the taxes ??? or not???
    Plz answer me fast.

    • Ruben

      no, it doesn’t
      From apple:
      “The sales tax listed on the checkout page is only an estimate. The final total sales tax will be reflected on your invoice and will include state and local sales taxes, as well as any applicable rebates or fees. In CA and RI sales tax is collected on the unbundled price of the iPhone.”

  • Ruben

    Well, T-Mobile is “free-contract” but “locked” and Verizon (because of FCC) is “unlocked” (worldwide with any carrier).
    Am I all right?
    So I can buy a Verizon phone “full priced” ($649 16gb) and use this with ATT or T-Mobile or any other carrier all over the world without inclusive activating it with them or they can “ban” my iphone (IMEI, etc.)??

  • US K

    they suck