Apple releases the unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5S into the wild

Want the new Apple iPhone 5S without locking yourself into a costly contract? Well, today’s your lucky day. Apple now offers the option to purchase an iPhone 5S completely unlocked – meaning you can use it on any GSM carrier – with the option to buy it either SIM card-free, or with a T-Mobile SIM.

In the U.S., T-Mobile and AT&T are your only options for carriers that will work with the unlocked iPhone. But if you plan to travel to Europe or other parts of the globe, nearly all the carriers there operate on GSM networks, and you can easily pick up a SIM for your trip.

Because you are buying the device without also signing up for a contract, the cost of an unlocked iPhone 5S is much higher than the $200 to $400 you’ll pay for a locked handset. The unlocked iPhone 5S costs $650 for the 16GB version, $750 for the 32GB model, or $850 for 64GB of internal storage.

Apple estimates shipping times for the unlocked iPhone 5S at one to two weeks. If you buy the handset with the off-contract T-Mobile SIM, however, that drops to just three to five business days. The estimated shipping times do not change depending on which color iPhone 5S you pick, so feel free to bling out with the gold version – it won’t take any longer to get to you.

Of course, Apple also offers other model iPhones unlocked as well. As BGR points out, the iPhone 5C has been available unlocked since it launched in September. And the iPhone 5 and 4S are also available unlocked through Apple.

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