Apple has begun offering unlocked iPhone 4S in United States. That generally means you pay more upfront. The good thing is you won’t be locking yourself in a particular carrier contract for the next two years. You need to shell out full retail price to get factory unlocked iPhone 4S which can be purchase via select Apple stores in USA for $649, $749 and $849 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB model respectively.
In case, you are planning to grab one of them, you need to follow some simple steps before you use it. In order to set-up your iPhone, get active micro-SIM card from a supported GSM wireless carrier (like T-Mobile in USA), insert it into the slot and then connect it to your Mac or PC using the USB cable. Launch iTunes and iPhone 4S unlocked pop-up will appear (“Congratulations your iPhone has been unlocked”) to confirm that your iPhone is good to travel to any part of the world. Make sure to activate the handset via iTunes in the country you bought it in. You can’t, for example, buy the iPhone 4S in USA and activate it in Australia.
If you are on T-Mobile’s 3G network in US, you won’t get 3G-speed since it uses different frequencies than AT&T. However, it will operate under its rusty old 2G EDGE network which is somewhat slower and have turtle-like speeds.
Developer @stroughtonsmith successfully unlocked his iPhone 4S in the United States and connected to T-Mobile’s EDGE network using his O2 SIM-card on roaming.
Additional report suggests that Sprint iPhone 4S being shipped GSM unlocked too! John Gruber (@gruber) was able to successfully activate a Canadian SIM card on in his Sprint iPhone 4S, reports Macrumors.
Frequent business travelers who are hopping between countries, or those who don’t want to be locked into a lengthy carrier contract can buy the unlocked iPhone 4S.