Unlocked iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Now Officially Available In The U.S.

contract_freeApple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been on the market since September, but one thing that hasn’t been available for customers in the United States was an unlocked, carrier-free phone. People who want Apple’s newest phone and phablet unlocked and unsubsidized can now order it that way directly. Technically, this was available on launch day: Apple just didn’t spell it out.

For customers who wanted to pay up front and choose their own GSM carrier, there was a simple enough workaround: just order a T-Mobile phone, which comes unlocked and with a T-Mobile SIM card, but not activated. Ditch the T-Mobile SIM, change it out for one from your favorite domestic or international carrier, and enjoy.

What isn’t entirely clear is whether the unlocked version of the phone is an option for Verizon and Sprint customers. Apple’s own ordering page for unlocked phones says, “You can activate and use the unlocked iPhone on the supported wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint in the United States.” That shouldn’t be the case: Verizon and Sprint use CDMA networks, which don’t require a SIM. Update: While LTE phones do require a SIM on both GSM and CDMA networks, it’s unusual for an unlocked phone to support CDMA. That’s wonderful news if true. We checked with Apple for confirmation that the unlocked iPhone really is compatible with all carriers, and will update this post when we hear back.

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Apple now selling SIM-free unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the US, from $649 [9to5Mac]