The threat of backorders and shipping delays have dogged the iPhone X since before the phone even launched. Yet even despite the rumored shortages of face-scanning camera tech and OLED displays, Apple has done an admirable job of getting stock back on track after the initial few weeks.
Now, wireless customers who prefer to stay off-contract or avoid one of the four major carriers can get in on the fun too, as Apple has just launched a SIM-free version of the iPhone X.
Simply select “Buy without a carrier” when purchasing the device from Apple’s site, and you’ll have a fully unlocked unit compatible with all networks in the United States — both GSM and CDMA.
The prices are the same as what you’ll pay from the carriers themselves: $999 for a 64GB model, and $1,149 for a 256GB one. Delivery for both configurations and colors are slated for December 13, which is consistent with the carrier-supported units.
The release of a SIM-free iPhone X is especially beneficial for AT&T and T-Mobile customers. A recent study conducted by Cellular Insights for PC Magazine suggested that the GSM-exclusive version (Model A1901) for those carriers utilizes an inferior modem, supplied by Intel, that is slower on average than the Qualcomm-built modem inside the SIM-free variant, which is the same one used for Verizon and Sprint (Model A1865).
Therefore, if you’re an AT&T or T-Mobile customer interested in Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone, we suggest you consider buying an unlocked unit, then adding it to your network of choice later, if you can afford it. You’ll either have to pay for the device in full up front, or entertain special financing through Apple, which won’t charge interest if you pay the phone off in 18 months.