Unlocked iPhone 4S coming to the US in November

Apple's iPhone 4S has pricing that starts at $199 for the 16 GB version, no matter which wireless carrier you pick from. But you also get stuck with a two year contract when you purchase the iPhone 4S at those prices. What if you don't want to be shackled to that kind of commitment? Well, if you are willing to wait another month, and don't mind being stuck with using just one of the three US wireless carriers for the phone, you can get an unlocked iPhone 4S with no two year contract needed.

Apple's online store revealed this morning that starting sometime in November, it will begin shipping unlocked iPhone 4S devices to the public. Pricing begins at $649 for the 16 GB version, an increase of about $450 compared to the iPhone 4S with a two year contract. The 32 GB version will sell for $749 and the 64 GB version will be available unlocked for $849.

This version of the iPhone 4S will only work with wireless networks that support the GSM standard. That means that if you purchase this version you will have to use AT&T's network here in the US. It won't be able to connect to Verizon Wireless or Sprint's networks, which use the CDMA standard. If you want to travel abroad with the phone, you can get a micro-SIM card from whatever GSM-based wireless network you will need to use and install it in the iPhone 4S to use it on their networks. It's way more expensive and it limits you to just one wireless carrier here in this country, but if you don't want to deal with a long contract at least Apple is giving you an option.

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13 Comments

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I know unlocked phones are always gonna be expensive but $650 doesn't seem attractive enough to get an unlocked one.

I do not understand: is this phone unlocked or SIM Free? If the latter I could use it with any GSM carrier in the US, if not......... go and buy one on Expansys, buy the European version and enjoy two years of warranty instead of one because two years is mandatory in Europe and use it on AT&T or T-Mobile although only in 2G mode with the latter.

you are correct, tmo usa uses the gsm standard, yes it may use a slight different frequency but the phone will work. what apple needs to make clear is that the phone is dual, tri or quad band. i have an gsm phone from tmo hungary and it works fine in the states. in theory it should either way or it would break the gsm standard. it does make sense saying that the phone will not work on tmo usa.

this is the frequencies supported:

Cellular and wireless

GSM model: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)

this is from apple:

Can I use an iPhone when traveling internationally?

iPhone 4S is a world phone, so you can use it almost anywhere. Whether you are a GSM or CDMA network customer, you can roam on GSM networks in 200 countries around the world. iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS for AT&T also can roam on other GSM networks around the world. iPhone 4 for Sprint will work in approximately 35 countries and iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless will work in approximately 40 countries that use CDMA technology. Contact your wireless carrier for more information regarding international roaming policies and rates.


quote=exit said,]T-Mobile remains and is a GSM carrier in the USA so this phone will work on T-MO
As well as ATT.
[/quote]

Edited by belto, Oct 8 2011, 3:16am :

What's the point? You wouldn't get a lower monthly bill if you paid for the phone up front, would you? What other carrier could you go to with it?

Enron said,
What's the point? You wouldn't get a lower monthly bill if you paid for the phone up front, would you? What other carrier could you go to with it?

As i said if the phone is the "Real" SIM free iPhone you could use it with every GSM carriers both in the US and abroad. Granted in the US you would not be able to get 3Gspeed because T-Mobile uses a different frequency. AFAIK the only phones covering all frequencies both for G2 and G3 were Nokia phones but now....... they are history.

"It's way more expensive and it limits you to just one wireless carrier here in this country"
How its more expensive if we compare it to the 2 year contract (sum monthly bills + phone price) and T-Mobile Sim can also work in it (by cutting) as it does in iPhone 4.

should of been unlocked and world phone at the start... but hey whatever, carriers only forced that to make loads of exclusive contract money