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Unlocked, Contract-Free iPhone 4S Delivered in November

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If you’re a frequent traveler, getting a truly unlocked, contract-free iPhone 4S may be a better option than getting a subsidized handset through a carrier, like AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. The benefit of an unlocked handset allows you to just use a local or pre-paid SIM card when you’re abroad so that you can choose whatever network you want to use when you’re traveling and pay local toll rates, rather than pay for high roaming fees when you’re traveling. So, with all the buzz about the iPhone 4S for Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T costing as little as $199 for a 16 GB version, $299 for a 32 GB version, and $399 for a 64 GB version in either black or white, how do you get an unlocked version?

Going through the pre-order process on Apple’s web store, you’ll start the pre-order process as you would for a carrier-branded version and scroll to the bottom to select the unlocked, contract-free iPhone 4S. Without carrier subsidies, a 16 GB iPhone 4S would cost as much as $649 while a 64 GB iPhone 4S will cost as high as $849. These phones will ship in November.

With an unlocked iPhone 4S, you’re not tied to any network, and you won’t be locked into a contract for 2 years.

Unfortunately, though, there are stipulations for unlocked iPhone 4S devices. These will not work for CDMA networks and would only work for GSM networks in the U.S., such as AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s networks.

The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S. When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone 4 will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

2 Comments

  1. Landon Lasseter

    10/26/2011 at 9:21 pm

    To the author, you are incorrect about one point in your article when you state that the unlocked iphone 4s will ”only work for GSM networks in the U.S., such as AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s networks.”

    Actually the phone will work internationally, see this quote from your quote “When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM card from a local GSM carrier.”

    As for the ‘restriction’ that this phone will not work with CDMA carriers, there is a reason for this.  The phone is only available unlocked in the GSM version, which doesn’t have the CDMA hardware (think Verizon version).  The reason it is not available ‘unlocked’ in CDMA version, is likely because the majority of countries do not have CDMA networks, only GSM.

  2. catche tsang

    02/22/2012 at 6:00 am

    Now everyone could have a unlocked iPhone 4s if you have the new released iPhone 4s Rgknse unlock R-sim card from http://www.dealmelody.com/rsim-rgknse-unlock-sim-card-for-iphone-4s-ios-50-501-version_p6332.html, with all the GSM/WCDMA network supported, the best choice for your travel all around the world!!!

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