With the U.S. Online Apple Store still showing carrier-specific iPhone 5 delivery dates of three to four weeks, a quick search on Apple's website may have revealed the pricing of factory unlocked units expected to hit stores later this year.
First discovered by AppleInsider reader Dhaval Dinani and confirmed independently, the alleged unlocked units are anything but official and could merely be placeholders in Apple's database, however the prices are consistent with identical models being sold in Canada where all iPhones are unlocked.
While not listed anywhere else on the site, a query for "iPhone 5 factory unlocked" in the Apple.com search bar reveals "Apple Store Results" as seen above. The units are priced at $649 for the 16GB version, $749 for the 32GB model, and $849 for the 64GB iteration. While not present in the screenshot, all prices for both GSM and CDMA models can be found by adding the storage size to the search. For example, the price of unlocked 32GB GSM and CDMA iPhone 5s are found by searching for "iPhone 5 factory unlocked 32GB."
It is unclear how long the purported iPhone 5 search results have been on Apple's website, but a report in September showed an Online Apple Store iPhone comparison page that revealed the prices of unlocked versions bound for the U.S. and Canada. The prices quoted in that report are in line with the search results found on Apple's U.S. website.
Currently, Apple does not offer factory unlocked versions of its latest handset in the U.S., however the CDMA version sold by Verizon was found to be compatible with the GSM networks of AT&T and T-Mobile. A subsequent report noted that the AT&T version can be unlocked to operate on T-Mobile's network via an iTunes reset and nano-SIM card replacement.
Apple is expected to introduce unlocked versions of the iPhone 5 when its worldwide rollout is completed and supply of the handset normalizes.