As of today you can walk into an Apple Retail store in Canada and walk out with an unlocked iPhone 5. That's something that was only possible via Apple Online orders until now, likely to prevent the type of scalping activity -- the same people lining up everyday to buy unlocked iPhones only to resell them overseas -- that caused problems with previous Canadian launches. Not to be left totally behind, the U.S. has also started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked, but only via Apple Online.
There's a catch, however. As in previous years, it's only the generic GSM version (which supports AT&T, Rogers, Telus, and Bell LTE bands) that's available unlocked. Nothing for CDMA carriers like Verizon or Sprint.
Still, if you've been waiting to buy an unlocked iPhone 5 at retail in Canada, or at all in the U.S., today's your day.
Go get it.
(Kudos to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman for nailing the U.S. online availability earlier today.)
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
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