Several websites including AppleInsider reported Nov.4 that search for factory unlocked iPhone 5 on Apple's official website revealed a list of unlocked units that are likely to hit stores later this year. But while a search for the string "iPhone 5 factory unlocked" on Apple.com reveals a host of devices on the right navigation, nowhere is it mentioned in the listing that the device is unlocked.

And on clicking a displayed device, the page is redirected to the Apple Store showcasing the carrier versions from Sprint, Verizon and AT&T in the U.S.

However, a search for the string "iPhone 5 unlocked," on Apple.com reveals a host of iPhone 5 listing with technical specifications. Alongside, on the right navigation, iPhone 4 devices are listed wherein for iPhone 4S GSM 16GB Black and white models, it is mentioned the handset is 'Unlocked.'

Further probing on the search results, redirects the page to Apple Store where the devices are listed along with their price tags, with availability status and shipping details.

As reported in AppleInsider, the "Unlocked iPhone 5" units are priced at $649 for the 16GB version, $749 for 32GB model, $849 for 64GB variation.

Even AppleInsider has conceded that it is not clear as to how long the iPhone 5 search results were hosted on the website. And the report goes on to add that previous reports published on the subject provide comparison of prices for unlocked versions bound for the U.S. and Canada.

A CNET reported published Sept. 13 points out how all Apple devices sold in Canada are unlocked. Besides, Apple Store representatives told The Verge earlier that unlocked devices will not be available for several weeks after the commercial launch of iPhone 5, Sept. 21.

In the case of iPhone 4S, the unlocked version went up for sale a month after major mobile carriers released subsidized versions.

AppleInsider also noted that Apple does not offer factory unlocked versions of its latest handset yet in the U.S. but the Verizon CDMA handset is compatible with GSM networks in AT&T and T-Mobile.

Reportedly, the Cupertino-giant is expected to introduce unlocked versions of iPhone 5 after worldwide rollout of the handset and easing of supply pangs.