Just about a month after releasing its latest pair of smartphones, Apple has begun selling SIM-free versions of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus in the U.S. through the official website and app of its online store.
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“SIM-free” means that the iPhone is unlocked, with the name deriving from the fact that the device doesn’t ship with a carrier SIM card.
Instead of going with a wireless contract commitment or carrier financing, you can now purchase a SIM-free iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and enjoy the flexibility afforded by its not being tied to one carrier. You can activate the device using a SIM card from any supported GSM or CDMA carrier network around the world, such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon in the U.S.
A SIM-free iPhone is recommended if you don’t want a multi-year contract with a network service provider or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad.
But since it’s not eligible for carrier financing, a SIM-free iPhone has to be bought at full price. For the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, the pricing is as follows: $649 (32GB), $749 (128GB), or $849 (256GB). And for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus: $769 (32GB), $869 (128GB), or $969 (256GB).
Owing in large part to the short supply of the jet black variants, delivery wait times for the SIM-free phones are as short as 1 to 3 business days for the non-jet black iPhone 7 models and as long as six to eight weeks for the jet black iPhone 7 Plus model.