Apple starts selling the iPhone 5 unlocked online in the U.S., at retail in Canada

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.)

Rene Ritchie

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.

  • Apple needs to charge less for their unlocked stuff. WAY too much.
  • Why?
  • I'm assuming because they are very expensive.
  • Yes.
  • Ordered one tonight about 8 pm PST for pickup tomorrow morning at the Apple store... SWEET !!!
  • I got my iPhone 5, the other day and love it. Left my android behind for 4s, loved it got the 5 now and like it too. My next device is a bb10 phone.
  • I went to the US apple site. didnt see how I could buy unlocked phones though
  • Scalping is crazy over the iPhone 5. People wanting nearly a grand for a 16GB? Just... wow... o.O
  • This works for T-Mobile right?
  • As I see it, APPLE believes and as of today still can charge a PREMIUM for their products, but I am not sure that bravado can last forever. I have always felt that iOS for the most part is a great OS, but I have never been in love with APPLE hardware and thus I never dabbled in the ecosystem. However, if APPLE were to license iOS (like they did with Macintosh OS back in the 90's) I would be tempted to buy into the ecosystem, say iOS on Nokia hardware, talk about a killer combo. Than I would be willing to spend $650.00 for a smartphone, but when I can buy a Google Nexus 4 for $383.00 all in, I have a hard time buying an APPLE iPHONE 5 for about double. Dan
  • Iphone 5 unlocked GSM or no upgrade same price. When the Nexus runs IOS then your commonly expressed opinion would matter more. Plus how is that Nexus working out on LTE officially, or the amount of memory 8 or 16 ? Your $650 buys a 16GB unlocked Iphone 5. Price arguments have to compare similar products, plus price is not the only factor. You can walk into any Google store and get warranty service... OH WAIT. What advantage would iOS on other manufactures bring to the user, other than fragmentation, which is a bonus on Android, isn't it?
  • Way over priced. Rene says "Go get it" like they're giving it out for free!
    There is a reason why people have thousands of dollars of credit card debt !!