Apple has begun taking orders for unlocked versions of its iPhone 5 through the company’s U.S. online store. While the unlocked phone probably will seem a bit pricy for the average consumer, the $659 price may make sense for people who frequently travel internationally or simply want to be free from contacts to service providers. Unlocked version had been available at some Apple stores. According to Apple, the unlocked units are seeing ship-by times of one week, identical to Verizon, AT&T and Sprint iterations, while orders are limited to two handsets per customer. Any GSM network in the U.S. is supported, however unlocked iPhones do not support CDMA networks like those run by Verizon and Sprint.
As Apple posts on its website: “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 does not come with a micro-SIM card for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, or a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5, so you’ll need to get one from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the 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.”