The New Contract-Free iPhone 5 Debuts, But the Phone Will Cost You

December 4, 2012  |  

Apple has debuted a contract-free iPhone 5, releasing users from the constraints of a contract, but getting you with the full cost of the phone. The 16GB phone will run you $649; once you get to the 64GB model, the price is $849.

“By selling the smartphone unlocked, it means that users can insert nano-SIM cards from any supported carrier for use on the network, as opposed to the locked phones, which are tied to the carrier they purchased the phone from,” CNET reports.

With a contract, the carrier subsidizes “a substantial portion of the phone’s cost… which they reclaim by locking you into a monthly contract,” reports Mac World.

Apple has sold a total of 85 million iPhones in the U.S. since the 2007 launch, reports the Washington Post. We can only imagine  how many more iPhones Apple will sell now that users don’t need to be tied to a contract. Even at the highest price for the phone, the cost per month breaks down to $70.75. But there are rules. It will still only work on “certain networks,” says NBC News. But, there are rumors that T-Mobile customers will now be able to get their iPhone on. And being carrier-free means you take your phone international.

Maybe they will attract more African American users as well. According to Pew Research, 44 percent of blacks and Latinos are smartphone users. But  Android phones are more common among young adults and African Americans. And Blackberry — not iPhone — is preferred by blacks. According to Nielsen,  RIM Blackberry is preferred by 31 percent of African-American smartphone owners.

Will you buy an iPhone 5 now that they are contract-free?

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