Apple selling iPhone 5 unlocked

Dec. 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM

CUPERTINO, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Apple says the iPhone 5 smartphone can now be purchased without a carrier service contract, offering flexibility for users traveling outside the United States.

"If you don't want a multiyear service contract, or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked (no contract) iPhone is the best choice," Apple said in an online post.

Apple said an unlocked phone "does not come with a micro-SIM card for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, or a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5, so you'll need to get one from any supported GSM carrier worldwide."

Once a consumer buys a card, activating the phone is a matter of inserting the card into the iPhone, holding the On/Off button for a few seconds and following instructions, the company said.

Buying an iPhone 5 without a contract hints at how much carrier services are subsidizing the price of the device when a contract is included.

The iPhone 5 starts at $199 with a contract. An unlocked iPhone 5 starts at $649.

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