Apple now selling unlocked iPhone 5

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. 

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.