Apple now offering unlocked iPhone 5 starting at $649

Starting today, Apple is now selling unlocked iPhone 5 handsets for those who want to eschew a contract and drop a few more Benjamins in the process. The unlocked units are available online via the U.S. Apple Store. All three models are available, with the price starting out at a hefty $649. Limit two per customer.

The 32GB model is priced at $749, and the 64GB is priced at $849. As notes Apple, the unlocked handset can only be used with supported networks, including AT&T. The phone requires a GSM network, and can be used in conjunction with a nano SIM card when travelling abroad. Because the phone requires a GSM network, it can't be used with Verizon and Sprint or other CDMA options.

The handset doesn't include a nano SIM, so be sure to factor one into your budget. Using one is simple: insert the SIM, then turn the phone on. A series of step-by-step instructions will appear on the screen. Follow them carefully, and you'll be up and running in no time. Overall, this is an ideal way for users to get their iPhone fix without being bound to a two-year contract. The freedom comes with a substantial price tag, though.

The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch Retina display, and weighs in at a mere 112 grams. The handset is made from anodized aluminum, and is the same width as the 4S despite its larger screen size. Inside you'll find an A6 chip. The purchase is rounded out with the inclusion of a pair of EarPods with a remote and microphone, as well as a Lightning-to-USB cord and a power adapter.

[via Apple Insider]