Apple starts selling unlocked GSM iPhone 5

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) started making its iPhone 5 available as an unlocked phone for the U.S. market, continuing a tradition of selling the gadget not tied to a particular carrier.

The company said the 16 GB model will cost $649, the 32 GB model will be $749 and the 64 GB model will cost $849. With carrier subsidies, those prices are usually $200, $300 and $400, respectively.

However, there are a few caveats. Only the GSM model of the device will be unlocked, meaning Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) customers cannot take advantage of the unlocked version. Additionally, when traveling, customers will need to use a nano-SIM card to have the device work on local GSM carriers. Apple said the device will ship within a week.

Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones in its fiscal fourth quarter, a 58 percent increase from the year-ago period. The quarter only represented nine days' worth of sales of the iPhone 5, which went on sale Sept. 21. Apple said it sold five million iPhone 5s in its first weekend of availability, one million more units than it sold of the iPhone 4S in that device's first weekend last year.

For more:
- see this Apple site
- see this Phone Scoop article
- see this The Verge article
- see this AllThingsD article

Related Articles:
Apple sells 26.9M iPhones, misses analysts' expectations
NPD: Verizon iPhone users consume 1.58 GB/month, almost double those of Sprint
T-Mobile to court iPhone users with in-store demos, iOS app
Unlocked iPhones from AT&T may benefit FreedomPop and H2O