Unlocked iPhone 4S Available, Costs $649 and Up

Oct 7, 2011 - 10 Comments

black iPhone 4S

Apple has announced that unlocked iPhone 4S models will be available starting in November, slightly later than the general 4S availability for both the US and other countries. These phones will work on any GSM carrier worldwide, you simply need to pop in a local GSM providers micro-SIM card and follow the onscreen activation instructions. The dependence on SIM cards does mean that the unlocked iPhone 4S will not work on CDMA carriers, however.

Unlocked iPhone 4S

Unlocked iPhones are ideal for users who travel internationally on a regular basis and need to be able to utilize local carriers, this offers a significantly cheaper option than paying the roaming overage charges through a home carrier like AT&T. Unlocked phones also provide a pre-paid option, allowing you to use GoPhone, T-Mobile, or other pre-paid GSM choices.

The downside to an unlocked device is the costs. The price of the iPhone 4S contract-free is quite a bit higher than the subsidized price through a carrier, with the 16GB model starting at $649, the 32GB model costing $749, and the 64GB model coming in at $849.


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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPhone, News


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  1. icehunter says:

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to confirm the rumors 11/8/2011 I bought white Iphone 4S 16gb in apple store in San Diego (Fashion Valley Mall) and I placed tmobile card inside turn the phone on, connected to “Apple Wireless” and activated the phone, it’s fully unlocked, everything is working on my tmobile, calling, texting, edge.

    I’ll buy one more later today and will post video on youtube from scratch so no scam, I’ll even cut my card in front of you.

    I’m so happy about this cause this cat and mouse for last few years, with devteam, geohot and 100s of blogs, nights, weekends…etc.

  2. […] reports indicated the unlocked 4S would be sold in November, which may suggest a change in policy at some point when paying the full out-of-contract […]

  3. Jimmy says:

    I’m a semi-noob, but it would seem that the phone isn’t truly unlocked unless access to both types of antennas was available (GSM as well as CDMA)–making the phone usable on any carrier, anywhere. Seems crazy that this isn’t a possibility. The phone would truly be worth the price they want if that were the case.

  4. Hans says:

    Just curious, since it will only work with GSM networks, does this mean that the CDMA side of the device is worthless with these unlocked phones?

  5. MacBytes says:

    Add approx $150 to each of the above and you get the price of the iPhone 4S in the Australian Apple Store. It’s the only way Apple sells the iphone 4S in Australia. you have to get Carrier deals from the carrier and they are not available yet

    $AU799 16GB, $AU899 32GB, $AU999 64GB from Apple Aust store

    The Free 3GS is $AU499

    Since the $AU is equal to better than $US it makes you wonder why the big difference

    Nuff said

    • Matt says:

      The difference is that AU prices include VAT, tariffs, and other taxes and costs associated with selling products in Australia. The US prices do not include taxes because for whatever reason American businesses show the pre-tax price, so in a place like California, the $649 iPhone ends up costing about $715 when you go to buy it. Additionally, the AUD is slightly stronger than the USD at this point, so when you include the currency differences and AUS taxes, it evens out.

  6. Zamm says:

    Unlocked is the only way to go, so frustrating that they’re sold not unlocked to begin with in USA!

  7. Tyler says:

    I think it’s interesting that the unlocked 4S costs so much more than the unlocked 4 did, and that the unlocked 4 is the same price as it was originally. More expensive than the iPad 2! Great phone though, I will get one but probably with a contract since I can’t fathom spending $800 out of pocket!

    • Morgan says:

      The iPhone 4 costed the same price for factory unlocked when it launched… 649 for 16, and 749 for 32. (At least in Canada).

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