Though Apple Inc. claims the new iPhone 4S's unlocked version will hit the stores only in November, reports suggest a contract-free iOS 5-powered device is already on sale.
If a report from 9to5mac is to be believed, selected Apple stores in the U.S. have started selling the unlocked the iPhone 4S. According to the report, one Steven Troughton bought the unlocked smartphone.
If the report is true, it is certainly good news for people waiting for the unlocked version. The device, however, will support only GSM networks and will be significantly costlier than the iPhone 4S with a carrier contract.
Apple will sell the 16GB version of the unlocked iPhone 4S at $649 and the 32 and 64GB versions will be available for $749 and $849 respectively. On the other hand, the tech giant sells the 16GB iPhone 4S (with contract) at $199 and the 32 and 64 GB locked devices are $450 cheaper than their unlocked counterparts.
The contract-free, unlocked iPhone 4S included an AT&T SIM card, which is of course removable.
According the same report, users can activate the contract-free iPhone 4S by simply plugging the device into iTunes. Once plugged in, a popup will appear. Troughton-Smith's unlocked iPhone 4S in the United States successfully connected to T-Mobile's EDGE network via an O2 SIM-card on roaming.
Apple users who frequently travel overseas will save a good deal of money, from international roaming charges.
AT&T charges its users $6 per month for the AT&T World Traveler service.