By Jim Karpen on Fri, 11/30/2012
Yesterday Apple began selling an unlocked iPhone 5 on the Apple website, with prices starting at $649 for the 16GB model. What's the advantage of an unlocked device? In the long run you may save money, since you don't have to sign a contract with a carrier. There are a lot of carriers these days that offer pay-as-you-go minutes. Let's say that you don't make a lot of calls on your phone and you're often in range of a wireless router. You'd likely save money with an unlocked phone. Note that it's a GSM phone, so it won't work on the Verizon or Sprint networks. But GSM is the most common protocal internationally, so if you're a traveler, this is a good option. You can simply buy a SIM card in whatever city you're visiting, plop it in your phone, press & hold the On button, follow the on-screen instructions, and you're in business. Unlocked phones are the norm in most countries, and there are often kiosks on the street that sell SIM cards.