Now might be the time to consider upgrading your iPhone, if you haven’t already. According to 9to5Mac, Apple will begin selling SIM-free, fully unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the U.S. on January 6. They should be available in both Apple’s brick-and-mortar retail stores and online store.
Why this matters: Currently, Apple requires you to buy the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus alongside a contract with your carrier—or unlocked and unsubsidized if you’re with T-Mobile. Making the iPhone available without a SIM card means that customers can use the phone with any carrier around the world, or switch carriers at any time without having to worry about compatibility.
This isn’t a new move for Apple—the company releases fully unlocked versions of the iPhone shortly after each new model’s initial debut—but as 9to5Mac points out, the unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are being released later than usual. Apple has typically released unlocked versions about two months later—perhaps manufacturing demand caused the slight delay.
As for pricing, it’s likely to match T-Mobile’s structure, starting at $649 for the iPhone 6 and going up from there depending on the model and storage space.
Macworld reached out to Apple for comment, and will update this story with any additional info we find.