Apple released the iPhone 4S on October 14th, 2011 in the US, but only allowed phones to be sold on contract. These phones sold on contract are sold at a discounted price ($199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB) and locked to the specific carrier.
Supposedly Sprint’s iPhone 4S is GSM unlocked buy they are going to lock it down. This has yet to be verified. We are waiting for Alan to give us confirmation. Verizon’s iPhone 4S comes locked but you can request an unlock after you have been in good standing for 60 days. Lastly AT&T’s iPhone 4S comes locked if you purchase it at the subsidized price. If you pay the full retail price which is also a non commitment or no contract iPhone 4S you will receive an officially unlocked iPhone 4S.
The best way to make sure that you get a factory unlocked iPhone 4S before Apple’s official release sometime in November is to follow these steps.
1. Go to the Apple Store and ask for a no contract iPhone 4S. An AT&T model. I told them that it was a gift for my brother and did not want to extend his contract.
2. They will then sell you the iPhone 4S at full retail price ($645 for 16GB, $745 for 32GB, and $845 for 64GB).
3. Before you turn the iPhone 4S on make sure to swap the included AT&T sim card with a different sim. I used T-Mobile USA.
4. Plug the iPhone 4S into your computer and open iTunes 10.5+.
5. Go through the setup without selecting wifi, and click connect to iTunes.
6. iTunes will then go through the setup process and you will get the message Congratulations. Your iPhone is Unlocked.
Here is a video of my process. Sorry there is currently no sound. I will try and re-upload it later.