Apple's Selling Unlocked No-Contract iPhone 4S Now

Illustration for article titled Apple's Selling Unlocked No-Contract iPhone 4S Now

If you love iPhones but hate contracts and subsidies (or just love T-Mobile), today's a good day. Apple's site will now sell you an unlocked, contract-free iPhone 4S.

Prices are $649 for the 16GB iPhone, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for 64GB. All are shipping in one to two weeks. The unlocked phones only work for GSM carriers, so Verizon and Sprint customers should stay away, even though the iPhone 4S hardware supports CDMA.

You should also note that as of today, Sprint's iPhone 4S is SIM-locking all of its iPhones. They had originally shipped as SIM-unlocked, but now the lock occurs "invisibly" at activation, so you're locked in, just like the other carriers' phones. When in Cupertino, I guess. [Apple, AppleInsider]


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The $850 price point can't possibly be based on the unit cost. Like @joebein pointed out, the cost from a carrier is ~$18.75/mo. on contract. Even with the initial activation price from AT&T, etc., quick math yields:

(18.75 x 24) + $200 = $650

Seems to me the "unlocked" price is punitive to customers in some misguided attempt to protect carriers. "No, Senator, we don't monopolize the market; we just price competition out."