For those looking to buy an iPhone 5 but don’t know which carrier to commit to, today could be your lucky day. Apple may start selling unlocked versions of its iPhone 5 tonight at 9 p.m. PST, 9to5Mac reports. If Apple does start selling these unlocked units tonight, buyers will have to order them online. Apple’s chain of retail locations is projected to start selling the unlocked iPhone 5 soon, but no launch date has been specified at this time. However, some stores have reportedly begun receiving the non-carrier bound iPhone 5 handsets.
The unlocked iPhone 5 is expected to cost $650 for the 16GB version, $750 for the 32GB edition and $850 for the 64GB model. These numbers line up with prices that had leaked on Apple’s official website earlier this month. When searching “iPhone 5 factory unlocked” on Apple’s official page, various editions of the smartphone along with their prices appeared. The page has since been removed from Apple’s website, but if rumors prove to be true it will be returning tonight.
The costs listed above are also consistent with identical unlocked models currently being sold in Canada. Additionally, these price points are similar to what Apple has been charging for unlocked versions of its iPhone 4S.
Factory unlocked smartphones are not tied to any specific carrier. This means that a user can purchase the device up front before inking a contract with any particular network provider. In certain locations, users also have the option of changing carriers as often as they please.
The standard version of Apple’s iPhone 5 officially went on sale in the US on Sept. 21. It was projected to be one of the biggest smartphone launches in history, and soaring sales of the handset have recently pushed iOS to become the top smartphone operating system in the country. Google’s Android mobile software had previously held the honor, but research from market watcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech now indicates otherwise.