As part of its pre-order plans for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. will offer up factory unlocked (SIM-free) models of the devices on launch day. The decision means that consumers will be able to pre-order the devices for purchase immediately, independent of a carrier.
With every single iPhone release, the rumor mill generally circulates speculation regarding low inventory and a potential for Apple to not be able to meet the demand for the new devices initially. It’s for that reason that Apple more often than not decides to only offer the device for purchase with a carrier rather than offering immediate SIM-free options.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this time around with smartphone lovers able to purchase the device without a carrier or plan right away. It does mean that they need to pay the full price outright but it also offers additional options from a purchasing perspective.
The decision points to the fact that Apple is extremely happy with its production line this time around and that it feels like it has enough global stock to be able to satisfy consumer demand as part of its immediate release plans. Those who do actually opt for the SIM-free option will be receiving a device that is entirely carrier unlocked and can be used globally with the majority of SIM cards without any restrictions. It just means that the burden of the full cost of the handset – which can be upwards of $1,000, depending on the device chosen – is taken on board immediately without being able to spread the cost out across a minimum term.
The option will be present on Apple’s website but instead of choosing a carrier such as AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, the consumer will be able to select the “Buy without a carrier option,” which explains that the purchase will be “SIM-free” and that a user will be able to activate the device with any carrier at a later date.
SIM-free prices for the iPhone XS will start at $999, with iPhone XS Max starting at $1,099 for the entry-level capacity model. Pre-orders will start this coming Friday at 12:01 AM Pacific Time.
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