Sim-Free & Unlocked Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Available

Apple’s SIM-free and unlocked iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are currently available for order on apple.com

On October 13 Apple announced the new Phone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max models. On October 16 Apple started taking preorders for the for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro with expected delivery starting on October 23. Preorders for the new iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Max begin on November 6 with expected delivery on November 13.

One of the really exciting things to me is that this year Apple’s unlocked, SIM-free – activate with any carrier later option is avaialble immediately. In previous years, we had to wait weeks and even sometimes months before this option was available.

On smartphonematters.com and my YouTube channel I discuss prepaid wireless service. It’s important to be able to buy unlocked phones without any obligations or restrictions to the big four carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint. Apple finally address this by adding the SIM-Free option.

So what do I actually mean by SIM-free? The SIM-free iPhone models are unlocked and do not include a SIM card for any specific carrier. You can use the phone with the carrier of your choice.

According to apple.com, all of the iPhone 12 models they sell are unlocked, except for the ones purchased with an AT&T installment plan. The problem is that if you currently try to order an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro for AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint you currently will not be able complete your purchase without providing your carrier wireless accoiunt information. This may change at a later date, as it has in previous years.

Note the current starting price for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 SIM-free options are $729 and $839 respectively. This is more than the Apple advertised price of $699 and $799 because this year the four carriers are offering a $30 discount on the phone. A lot of people are not happy about that but it is what it is.

Note that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max SIM-free options start at $999 and $1099 respectively. This is the same price as the carrier options.

Note when you buy iPhone 12 you’ll have two options for payment. You can make a one-time payment in full or pay in monthly installments with Apple Card. If you don’t already have Apple Card, you’ll need to apply. You’ll make 24 monthly payments that went totaled, should equal the purchase price of your phone. Note that if you buy your iPhone with Apple Card and may the one-time payment you’ll qualify for 3% cash back.

At the time of I’m writing this, the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max are not available for preorder so I can’t say with 100% certainty that the SIM-free option will be immediately available on November 6. But if you look on apple.com, you’ll see the SIM-free option is listed for those two phones so I’d be pretty sure this is the case.

One important thing to point out is that for iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, There is only one model number phone that is compatible with all the carriers in the USA. For previous model iPhones, there was sometimes two, one that works with AT&T, and T-Mobile and the other for Verizon and Sprint (but also AT&T and T-Mobile).

For iPhone 12, here are the model numbers for the USA only.

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max Model A2342
  • iPhone 12 Pro Model A2341
  • iPhone 12 Model A2406
  • iPhone 12 Mini Model A2410

Finally, If you are looking to buy an iPhone in the USA for use in another country, I’ll have a seperate article and video about that soon. When that is available, I’ll add a link here.

So what about you? Are you going to buy a new iPhone 12? If so, which one and why? If not, telll us why… Leave a reply below and share.

2 Comments

  1. anna | | Reply

    Good Afternoon,

    If you order an unlocked Iphone (Because you made a one time payment for the phone), do you have to bring the phone to your carrier, or do you just switch out the sim card, and you are good to go?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      If your old phone uses a nano SIM card and you use AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon moving the SIM card works.
      Verizon prefers you activate the new phone which may require a new SIM. If you use Verizon don’t let anyone activate your old phone on a service that uses Verizon

      In some cases if your SIM card is very old you may not get network features that require a new SIM.

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