By Stephen Schenck | November 11, 2011 1:30 PM
Earlier today, we talked about changes coming to the iPhone 4S on Sprint, with the handset now being sold with its SIM slot locked against off-network usage. The timing of this decision can’t be coincidental, as it also marks the arrival of the carrier-unlocked iPhone 4S in the United States.
If you just want your iPhone unlocked temporarily so you can use a SIM chip for a local network while traveling, you should have no problems asking your carrier enable the functionality (assuming your account is in good standing), so why pay more for an unlocked handset? If your voice and data needs are low, you may find all the plans offered with a subsidized iPhone 4S seem wasteful for someone with your usage patterns. Over the course of a two-year contract, the difference in price between the service you actually need and the service you’re forced to buy could easily make up the difference between a subsidized and an unlocked handset.
The new iPhone’s off-contract prices will be a shocker to customers not used to non-subsidized phone costs, but shouldn’t seem too out-of-line for our readers, familiar with such things. The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB iPhone 4S are going for $649, $749, and $849 unlocked and off-contract. Order now, and the phones should ship before the end of the month.