Unlocked iPhone 4S Hits the Online Apple Store

Apple began selling an unlocked version of the iPhone 4S through its U.S. online store on Friday. The unlocked phone can be used on most any GSM-based cell service in the U.S. and abroad.

Unlocked iPhones aren’t restricted to use through a single service provider such as AT&T. The phones are sold without a contract, so users aren’t locked into a multi-year deal with a single carrier.

iPhone 4S now available unlockedThe iPhone 4S is available unlocked through the Apple website

The unlocked iPhone 4S is also handy for traveling internationally since users can pick up local micro-SIM cards and avoid hefty long distance roaming fees.

That freedom, however, comes at a price. There aren’t any subsidies on unlocked iPhones, which means they cost substantially more than in-contract phones.

The 16GB iPhone 4S costs US$649, the 32GB version is $749, and the 64GB model comes in at $849. Apple doesn’t offer an unlocked version of the CDMA-based iPhone.