Apple Starts Selling Unlocked iPhone 5 In Their Web Store


04.12.2012

Apple Starts Selling Unlocked iPhone 5 In Their Web Store

For those of you who want to purchase an iPhone 5 and don’t want to make a contract with any carrier you can buy the unlock version which is available since last week.

The unlocked iPhone 5 can be bought from Apple.com and starts at $649 (the 16GB version). The 32Gb version is priced at $749 and the 64Gb version at $849. As the on-contract subsidized models, the unlocked iPhone 5 comes in the same black and white colors

if you opt for to purchase it with a two-year contract the price is $199 and it’s available at all three major carriers meaning Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint. You can find it at even a lower price if you agree to sign a contract with a regional carrier. With these prices in mind, some people may have a question: why should they pay three times more for the unlocked model? The answer is simple, you are free to use it as you wish.

First of all, the iPhone 5 is available in a few different models that are optimized for various wireless network operators. The unlocked iPhone is not working on CDMA networks, but GSM networks. In others words  the $649 price tags doesn’t offer you the possibility to use the phone on either Verizon or Sprint’s networks as it is limited to GSM networks. On the United States territory, the GSM networks are AT&T and T-Mobile USA (meaning you can use the LTE service from AT&T and the 3G service from T-Mobile).

Probably the biggest advantage you have when you own an unlocked smartphone is that you are free to utilize it on the networks of foreign carriers when you leave the country. Of course, you are allowed to use them even if you have an on-contract phone as well, but you are required to pay roaming fees to your carriers, fees which are not cheap at all. The unlocked iPhone 5 can be used with local SIM cards, thus a much lower cost. The downside is that your phone number will be replaced with a local one. Of course, you can specify it to your friends and family, but if they call you while you’re away they will be charged for long-distance calls.

There is another big benefit if you buy an unlocked iPhone and it’s the fact that you won’t be obligated to pay a monthly contract. Yes, an iPhone 5 at $199 is a good deal when you purchase it, but you have to think about the fact that you will be bound to a 2-year contract. Considering that most post-paid carriers charge at least $70 per month (this includes voice, messaging and data packages), in two years you will have to pay $1680.

On the other hand, living contract fee means that you are offered a month-to-month service at a much lower price. For instance, T-Mobile USA provides a prepaid plan which includes 100 voice minutes, unlimited messaging and unlimited 3G/4G data for only $30 per month . If you calculate the fee for 24 months you realize that a two-year prepaid plan costs you only $720.

Also, if you don’t have a contract with a carrier you won’t have to worry about changes in your life, like loosing your job (thus you no longer have the necessary money to pay the bills). However, the iPhone 5 comes with something that needs to be remembered. The Verizon Wireless’s version, to be more specific, it includes an unlocked SIM card tray by default. This means that if you by an iPhone 5 from Verizon, it can be used in foreign countries by purchasing a local SIM card (you can use the phone at a lower cost in that exact network).

All in all, if you don’t want to make a two-year contract, the unlocked version of the iPhone 5 is a good choice, but again, the price starts at $649.

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