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I'm looking for a "just the facts" answer that lists the various models that are for sale and whether these devices are locked to a carrier or unlocked.

I understand that CDMA doesn't become active unless you elect to activate it at the time of purchase, so the locking status can apply only to the microSIM GSM usage when roaming to avoid billing through your primary carrier.

I'm not looking for shopping advice - just a clean summary of the list price and limitations of what is for sale for Fall 2011 in the US (we can edit this later if things change, but I expect stability as in the recent past on pricing and models). Also, please ignore any temporary shortages or any temporary discounts/bundles. Just the full list price of the devices sorted by carrier and just iPhone 4S.

Apple have done a marvelous job with a concise summary of rate plans for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. I'm looking for that to cover all the hardware locking to carriers that is done in Apple's servers when you buy an iPhone 4S which then restricts what you can and can't do with that device after purchase.

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

All models come in white or black at the same price, so we'll list them by capacity and locking status by increasing price.


Unlocked GSM Phones

All these ship without a micro SIM (Coming in November)

  • 16 GB - $649 - GSM unlocked - no contract or subsidy
  • 32 GB - $749 - GSM unlocked - no contract or subsidy
  • 64 GB - $849 - GSM unlocked - no contract or subsidy

AT&T

AT&T iPhone 4S will be configured to use GSM domestically and GSM roaming.

Comes with AT&T micro SIM (all ship 1-2 weeks currently)

  • 16 GB - $199 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 32 GB - $299 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 64 GB - $399 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy

Sprint

Sprint iPhone 4S will be configured to use CDMA domestically and GSM roaming.

Sprint iPhones may or may not be unlocked internationally out of the box Even in this article, there is currently some confusion and flip/flopping on this point.

  • 16 GB Sprint CDMA - $199 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 32 GB Sprint CDMA - $299 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 64 GB Sprint CDMA - $399 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy

Verizon

Verizon Wireless iPhone 4S will be configured to use CDMA domestically and GSM roaming.

After 60 days in good standing, Verizon will unlock the SIM for international use upon customer request, but it remains locked within the US.

  • 16 GB VZ CDMA - $199 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 32 GB VZ CDMA - $299 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy
  • 64 GB VZ CDMA - $399 - GSM locked - with 24 month contract & subsidy

This answer is community wiki - please improve it in any way you please

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