Canada Apple Stores Will Not Sell Unlocked iPhone 5 On Launch Day [Update]

iPhoneinCanada.ca has been hearing numerous reports about the availability of factory unlocked iPhone 5 units at Apple Stores on launch day over the past few days. According to multiple sources, Apple Canada has decided to no longer offer factory unlocked units for sale on launch day, Friday, September 21st.

The reasoning for reversing this policy, that has been in effect since the iPhone 4? According to our source, Apple makes more money on a contract phone than outright unlocked purchases as they receive residual revenue from monthly carrier fees:

“Due to Apple’s renewed focus on in-store iPhone contracts, unlocked iPhones will be unavailable at launch at Canada Apple Stores”

This information is not available to current employees on the retail floor, so calling an Apple Store to inquire about this will result in being told unlocked iPhone 5 units will be available next week.

Apple Canada wants their staff to focus on signing and renewing carrier customers. Some employees feel they are doing the same job as carrier employees–but without the commission benefit.

A separate source emailed an Apple Store in a large Canadian city about unlocked iPhone 5 units on launch day and was told the following:

Thanks for your email. As it appears now, the only way to purchase an unlocked phone on launch day will be online. Only contract iPhone 5 phones will be sold in store. We are continuously monitoring our website for any changes.

Other Apple Store location employees have mentioned to us about this upcoming change that could result in a negative situation for those intending to wait in line overnight prior to next week’s iPhone 5 launch. Imagine waiting in line overnight only to be told–unlocked iPhone 5s are unavailable for purchase.

Apple retail locations have currently been in the spotlight over employee dissatisfaction, reportedly a direct result of policies implemented by SVP of Apple Retail, John Browett.

When we asked our reliable source if unlocked iPhone 5 units would be sold later on–the answer was unknown, and we were told it was best to order online. Currently, the ship times for online orders have hit two weeks after a busy initial pre-order period last night in the early morning.

So, there you have it folks. If you plan on lining up for an unlocked iPhone 5 next week at an Apple Store…you might be out of luck. It doesn’t make any sense, but it appears to be true at this point in time.

Update: Our source has just confirmed this new change in policy has been confirmed, and information has been passed down to all employees. Unlocked iPhone 5 units are now only available online.

My guess, is this is a way to slow down the proliferation of factory unlocked iPhone scalpers.

Update 2: Apple’s website all but double confirms what we did not want to hear. Check out this paragraph below, found on this page (thanks Dave):

Update 3: Looks like Apple has changed the text on its website, leading some to believe unlocked units will be available in-stores on Friday–you be the judge (thanks all for sending this in!):

Update 4: Nellie González from the Apple Online store executive relations called iPhoneinCanada.ca and confirmed unlocked iPhone 5 will not be available in retail stores tomorrow. She says if the policy changes in the future they will let customers know. Apple would not comment on why the change was made.

So there you have it. Tell your friends and family they won’t be able to buy unlocked in stores if they plan on lining up.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • kyuusei

    Well that’s one way to reduce the lineups…

  • wuju

    wow. that really sucks! Was planning to get an unlocked one. :(

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealJeffN Jeff146

    That’s true and there will be less to resell so people buying online will have an advantage!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Customer service FTW! I feel for the lives of Apple Staff on launch day! People who didn’t order online and planned to wait inline just got screwed with the pushed back shipping times.

  • C Pak

    Are you sure contract iPhones can be bought at Apple retail locations?

  • swotam

    You’ve always been able to do so in the past, don’t see why that would change. If they’re not selling unlocked and not selling contract then that means they’re not selling any phones…

  • benbar21

    I messaged apple earlier and they said that this is false, like through the online-chat system, and that apple will be selling unlocked iphones on launch day. Hmm.

  • swotam

    If this is true it’s gonna piss a lot of people off. I asked 2 staff at the Eaton Center store today and was told they would be selling the phones, but then you mention that staff aren’t aware so who knows…

    Either way, this one qualifies for a WTF!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yes

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Trust me, our source is 100% reliable, unless there is a last minute change.

  • swotam

    This isn’t going to engender a lot of goodwill towards Apple, guaranteed.

  • benbar21

    Well I guess we’ll have to wait and see.I managed to order two last night but I am supposed to get them for my entire family, they’re not going to be happy!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I’m thinking, probably not. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/leo.renard.984 Leo Renard

    Wow. I was planning on getting an unlocked one because I travel to the US a lot, and my contract doesn’t exactly allow me to get the phone at full subsidy, even though I skipped a year by buying an unlocked 4S last year at full price.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

    If you read the article, it says only contract phones will be sold in stores. That refers to customers who are renewing their contracts or signing up for new ones. You can still get an unlocked phone if you order online, so it isn’t like you can’t get one. Sure, there’ll be people who are ticked off, but if it means less phones for scalpers and more for everyone else, then good.

  • draz

    Now I know where to go on launch day.

  • gtasscarlo

    Do you have any iPhones in stock!!!

  • Surfdot

    I think this is a great idea by Apple. As a previous Apple employee who sold thousands of phones to people from other countries who would come with every relative they knew to buy iPhones to bring back to their country really affected the people who legitimately wanted to upgrade their phone. We would see the same people everyday wait hours in line and buy 2 phones, then get back in line again. Its not like Apple is stopping the sale of unlocked phones, just giving you one option (online) which is much easier than waiting in a line.

  • mike

    At the cost of spitting the faces of loyal customers who either don’t like dealing with scumbag carriers and contracts or who travel frequently and SIM swap. Even worse, by not disclosing this policy in advance, we have no hope of getting a launch day phone like we have by lining up at previous launches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leo.renard.984 Leo Renard

    The thing is, if I knew about this beforehand, I would have pre-ordered immediately.

  • Jean

    One word FUCK you Apple

  • Prat

    Exactly ! I’m REALLY PISSED OFF !

  • mike

    Guys…email tcook@apple.com. Be polite and let him know that you disagree with this! He probably won’t get back to you but someone from Apple corporate might see it if enough people email in. It’s worked for friends of mine previously that have had strange one-off terrible experiences at Apple Stores.

  • Tony

    this is really an odd decision to me. Why change this now? I’m sure they knew that they were going to do this long before the presale, so why not let people know that you’re doing this before the presale? You’ve alienated loyal Apple customers who were willing to stand in line. I plan on extending my contact, but if I was one that was going to stand in line and skipped the presale earlier today, I would be pissed. My friend called into Apple and they said the reason they are doing this is to save the congestion for activations and contract changes. This doesn’t make sense. The congestion is going to be there still, you can only go as fast as the system allows you to and the buying an unlocked phone is a lot quicker.

  • Prat

    Riot !

  • PRAT

    SCREW YOU FUCKIN APPLE

  • mike

    Buying unlocked phones is insanely quicker! Last launch, I think they sold 50 unlocked phones in the time they sold 5 locked ones since the cell carrier’s servers always crash!

  • Tony

    yup, Apple’s “official” reason doesn’t make sense. I’m sure it has improved since I bought my iPhone 4, but I was 6th in line at a Rogers store and it took 4 hours to get my phone.

  • iFan03

    Browett has got to go.

  • Tony

    No NHL hockey and now this. Is Canada getting a bit screwed here? ;)

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    :(

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex
  • john

    This is a sh!t idea by Apple. Fuck this bowrett guy, kick him out.

  • mike

    Agreed – spoke to a friend at Apple. This seems sad but true.

  • hey_dude1643

    That really sucks. I’ve got friends who just want an unlocked one on launch day so they don’t have to resign a 3 year contract. Their going to be bummed out…
    Thankfully, I placed my preorder in at 3am this morning =)

  • Pratz

    Stupid scalper.

  • pinky

    that really sucks i wanted one unlocked so i had plans to go to the store but now i can’t get one because i don’t have a credit card and i wanted to pay with debit this blows.

  • Prat

    Yeah i wrote him a nice long email. It ended with “Steve Jobs would spit in your face right now.”

  • Omac

    Absolute bs, I emailed Tim cook, very slimy tactics if this is true

  • mike

    The way to fix the scalper problem is not to massively inconvenience your most loyal customers. I don’t know what the solution is, but it definitely isn’t to tell the die-hard Apple fans that line up overnight that their business isn’t wanted. People who buy a new phone every year usually buy unlocked. Better resale value and no dealing with carrier problems with upgrades and early upgrades. A lot of people on the internet like to say that those who buy phones every year are stupid and waste their money, but how can Apple see these people as anything less than the ideal customer.

  • mike

    This is Apple’s second massive screwup for the iPhone 5 launch. The whole issue where they told people lightning adapters were included when they weren’t is also a huge indication that things have really changed for the worse at post-Jobs Apple.

  • Sinned72

    So I will start with saying I definitely think this stinks…

    However, I was talking to an Apple Store person here at the Eaton Centre about a person who paid people to stand in line buy phones in cash every day (back when Apple was playing catch up to demand with the iPhone 4) and they could not stop him. The phones were going to the Philippines to be scalped for ridiculous amounts. In that light the online makes sense and the delayed announcement of this to prevent the scalper rush online.

  • gamebug

    WTF!!!

  • http://twitter.com/adamjefferson Adam Jefferson

    I’m not sure if things have improved, but when I got my iPhone 3G and 3Gs back on their respective launch days, activating on Rogers was essentially an all day affair as their system was overloaded and unresponsive. And based on what I saw going on when the iPhone 4 launched, they faced the same problem then. Not sure how things went last year with the 4s, but unless the carriers have figured out how to handle the activation loads, combined with the people who will still line up at the store unaware of the inability to purchase unlocked devices, Apple seems to be setting themselves up for a lot of unhappy folks on their retail doorsteps on 9/21. Good luck to those retail staffers – I don’t envy them.

  • mike

    Hahaha yup. I remember lining up since 6PM the night before the iPhone 3G launch and I was #2 in line….I didn’t have a phone until 1PM because Rogers crashed so hard. Didn’t do the 3GS launch but the Phone 4 launch was as bad as the 3G one, and the 4S was a bit better but still had an hour or two of delays for the same problems. The iPad launch was also a total mess – that embedded Rogers page in the cell data settings for buying 3G data was down for the whole day, even for a few days after the launch it was wonky. If I recall, the iPad 2 and 3 launches went a bit smoother, but volumes were much lower. Every major launch is epic fail for Canadian carriers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jean-Fradet/768426317 Jean Fradet

    This is pretty damn appalling really. Especially without ANY warning. Buying the phone on contract has taken about 5-10 times longer in the past since the carriers system can’t handle the extreme load of all those registrations. This policy is going to alienate a TON of people, especially those who show up expecting an unlocked phone as has been policy for YEARS and only then find out they are getting shafted.

    The fact that they are implementing this to make even more than the $700-$900 they charge outright is perhaps the most sickening portion of this.

  • Vince2826

    Get it online!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.burns.984 Kenneth Burns

    This is a good decision. I’m tired of having massive line ups of people who just buy up all of the phones so they can sell them back to the middle east or asia. They want Apple fans to buy these phones not a bunch of phone scalpers.

  • http://twitter.com/vipwoody Woody

    I asked apple and got this reply: http://www.ghsoubi.com/up/f/1347683519.png

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.burns.984 Kenneth Burns

    I witnessed this first hand so I take it as good news too.

  • brianyyz

    Well, I *was* going to stand in line (I am leaving the country on the 24th), but I guess I can save my breath…

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I completely agree this is a way to stop scalpers. I’ve seen what they can do it and it makes me livid. The issue here is Apple not telling people prior…guess that is supposed to put the scalpers off early?! What about their core customers though?

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    With the website updated, your source is clearly epic.

  • DaveMcG

    Why does posting a link to apples site cause my comment to vanish??

    Scroll down and you can find it.

    http://www.apple.com/ca/retail/iphone/

  • BaDOAN

    i have never encountered a company who continuously makes it so hard to give them MORE MONEY.
    the least they could have done was announce this so we could have pre ordered today.

    and Honestly so what if their are scalpers out there. apple still makes the money they intended on.

    talked to apple store. the employee said they arent selling iphone unlocked at store because they want to “keep the flow for contracts”. out of the 80 employees they will have working on launch day. You’d think they could spare one till and one employee dedicated to unlock sales.

  • BaDOAN

    whats the difference between a scalper waiting in line and purchasing the phone then selling it over seas and a scalper at a computer buying the phones then selling them over seas?

    and you know i dont care if scalpers scalp. they paid their dues waiting in the (upto 8 hours) apple line. so in my opinion if your willing to wait that long you deserve to make some money off of it.

  • BaDOAN

    its apple abusing their power. they wiggle their finger and want to see how fast we squarm

  • BaDOAN

    I have never encountered a company that continuously makes it so hard to give them more money. Thanks for the heads up apple.

    Steve jobs passes and shit hits the fan.. phone leak. connector. now unlock iphones.

  • KL

    Does anyone know if they will sell LOCKED, no contract phones (my friend has a lot of fido dollars, which of course can only be used for fido locked phones)

  • iScalper

    You can never be more correct about this. I personally think that Apple screwed themselves over this year. I believe that the high number of sales on their past products were due to the scalpers buying it. So technically, the scalpers are the ones that make Apple products popular (which means they boost up the sales). I’m sure that if people really wanted to get an iPhone, lining up an extra hour or two earlier wouldn’t hurt.

  • swotam

    No, you can only get locked, on-contract phones. Fido will sell you a locked phone at full price and let you use FIdo dollars (I think) towards it.

  • Adam

    I just called Apple and they told me that Canada will be selling the
    unlocked iPhone 5 on the 21st. I expressed to her that I will be very
    upset if I get there at 3am and wait only to hear that they are not
    selling it so please ask someone else to confirm, she came back a minute
    later and said yes they will be selling it in store on the 21st.

  • DaveMcG

    Hard to argue with the text on the website. Call your local apple store Thursday night before you go line up.

  • http://twitter.com/spankdamonky Daniel Abrahamsson

    I saw my CC was already charged for the phone does that mean there just about ready to ship it ? As far as I know they only take the money once its ready to ship ?

  • Anuenue_Honi

    Sorry but that’s just plain retarded. Those who couldn’t pre-order within the hour on Friday, now they are supposed to wait up to two weeks (or more) because Apple decided to not sell unlocked phones at launch day? Simply stupid. Also, there’s something called “purchase limit per customer” that can be implemented at each store. Locked phones should be restricted to Carriers retails only, period.

  • Cristovao

    All of you commenting about scalpers are way off. I’m not defending Apple here, they clearly fucked up by not announcing this BEFORE the online per-sale. But allowing anyone to buy as many unlocked phones as they want takes away from those who legitimately want one. And when you can barely afford the regular price, you’re screwed when Apple is sold out and the only ones available are eBay or kijiji specials for a premium.

  • swotam

    It means it getting ready to ship. You still won’t get it before Friday, UPS will hold it at your local distribution center until the 21st. Next step is the shipping email with the tracking number.

  • swotam

    So, after calling multiple Apple Stores in my area and being told the same thing, here is the deal as it stands right now:

    Staff were informed late yesterday or early today that Apple Stores will not be selling unlocked phones in-store when they launch on Friday. They will only be selling carrier-locked phones. The carrier-locked phones can be subsidized on contract or bought at full price off contract, but the phone will be locked to a carrier at time of purchase. No unlocked phones will be available.

    All stores advised me that customers wishing to purchase an unlocked iPhone 5 should do so online at Apple.ca

    If you were planning to line up at an Apple Store on Thursday night or Friday morning to buy an unlocked iPhone 5, don’t bother. Order online and it’ll get to you eventually.

  • http://twitter.com/spankdamonky Daniel Abrahamsson

    I’m fine with that not like I can really use it till Friday when I can get the new sim card . Good to see progress is being made tho .

  • Mike

    Apple would be stupid to think that this will stop the scalpers. Postings on sites like kijiji, craigslist, and even eBay are spawning every minute for unlocked iPhone 5s.
    Big mistake apple. All you’ve done is pissed off your customers that do not want to purchase on contract.

  • Sly

    Fuck me. This sucks. I just ordered online but obviously delays are now 2-3 weeks. Thanks for the heads up apple….NOT

  • http://twitter.com/shinratdr Ross W

    Right, because a minor product shipping decision like including an adapter and whether or not retail Apple stores will carry a niche product like unlocked cellphones in a minor market like Canada would have fallen to Jobs, and he would have crusaded to right those wrongs!

    The same Jobs who oversaw the removal of 90% of the accessories included with the iPod, which originally came with both charging cables, video out, a dock, a disc with iTunes and a full size power adapter? The one who removed video adapters from the boxes of all Macs? That Steve Jobs? The one who launched iPod minis here years after the US launch? The one who didn’t bring the original iPhone to Canada… ever, and instead picked the UK as the second launch market?

    Yeah I really see him giving a shit about this. His love of shipping accessories in the box and giving Canada the first class treatment is just so obvious, unless of course you’re remotely familiar with the history of Apple.

    Honestly, you people are ridiculous. We are nowhere CLOSE to post-Jobs Apple. I bet you anything all Apple products announced in the year 2012 were personally approved by Steve Jobs long before he passed. Every person I have heard use this “post-Jobs Apple” line has then immediately demonstrated their ignorance, citing some minor decision Jobs never would have been involved with or something he actively campaigned FOR while he was there!

  • DaveMcG

    Southgate mall confirms the above. Carrier locked with new contract or renewals OR full price but still LOCKED phones will be avaiable.

    If you went with Rogers, you could in theory get them to unlock it for $50, but that’s up the carrier, not apple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcbressler Marc Bressler

    Is this still true?

  • DaveMcG

    Well, it was just yesterday that I confirmed it. Seems quite unlikely it will be changed between now and Friday.

  • djepsilon

    Wow. I really lucked out… was this close to deciding to go to the store launch day instead of pre-ordering. This is a pretty dick move by Apple, I’m very surprised. How much you want to bet the Big 3 are somehow apart this decision too?

  • benbar21

    I asked apple and they said the same thing, but then continued to tell me that all iPhones sold in Canada are unlocked.

  • Poochi

    In the past, carriers ran out of phone upgrades for customers… many have to wait for ages to get their hands on a phone locked in a contract. This move will solidify relationship with the big 3 in Canada.
    Second, they have sold out 2MM on launch day from pre-orders alone, taking out unlocked phone from Canadian Apple Stores mean that they can manage scalpers and prolifiation of ridiculously priced phone in Asia and etc. In the past Americans, Asians, and scalpers have depleted Canadian Apple Store iPhones for the purposes of shipping it countries not listed in the initial launch.
    Sucks for people who missed the online pre-order; good for people who ordered; and high profit margin now for people who ordered an extra during the first hour the pre-ordered was available.

  • sadfasf

    or get it in the states!

  • Roland

    Just had a nice chat by phone and via Apple Chat and they both confirmed Apple will sell unlocked iPhones…. see attachment.

  • Mike

    I also did the chat thing and they said the same thing, BUT once I linked him to this page and the apple page, he retracted and said he wasn’t sure, that all the info he had just said they will sell both, but no clarification on how or the limits on how and where they will say. DO NOT RELY ON THIS CHAT, they really don’t know and aren’t in the loop

  • Davemcg

    Call your local apple store. The online chat and main apple number are Americans/call centers. They will not have the latest info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    its to complicated for apple to police unlocked/locked

  • http://twitter.com/fotoboi5 Michael C

    Canada always get screwed ….

  • day03

    I noticed that too. I will drop by the Eaton Center Apple Store tomorrow to make sure…

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Check the update. Apple website wording changed. Unlocked units might in stores? Or not? You be the judge folks.

  • http://twitter.com/Tomy_0315 Tommy ?

    I have no problem with this. If you want the device unlocked, order it online. It is very suspicious why you insist on waiting in line and taking your chances.

  • http://twitter.com/Tomy_0315 Tommy ?

    yes, Jobs would if he was burning in hell. if Jobs was in heaven, he’d agree with doing it this way

  • benbar21

    This latest update on Apple’s site makes me think that they might be selling unlocked phones after all.
    Could you check with your source again?

  • Mark

    Interesting. The change has to be for a reason…I like it.

  • mike

    Do you guys have any sources that can offer some more insight? It would be so awesome if unlocked units are available in store!

  • Todd

    Can you please check with your sources?

    No offence, but your site was the reason this rumour started, it would be appreciated if you could put in the effort to de-bunk it.

    Thanks!!

  • mike

    Because ordering online right now has a 2-3 week delay. Also, some people have to work a full business day and can’t afford to be home when the courier delivers it. I’d much rather line up for a few hours in the morning and still go to work.

    The real controversy is that Apple changed the wording on their page to suggest that unlocked phones will be unavailable in store AFTER pre-orders were open for about a day. If I had known before, obviously I’d have placed a pre-order. Instead, I placed a pre-order as soon as I heard that I wouldn’t be able to line up like I did for the 4 and 4S, but it was too late. My delivery ETA is Oct 16th now.

  • Eric

    Called apple store and they said only locked phones available in store (can buy them outright but locked), too bad I was getting one for my wife and I. They sell 10 unlocked for every 1 locked phone in store because the time it takes to process them is much quicker. It makes no sense not to I guess they will lose a bunch of money doing at then.

    A few of my friends wanted an unlocked phone off contract too because they did not want to renew their plans

    Apple if you are reading this smarten up and take my money or the competition will

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Source says nothing has changed–no unlocked in stores.

  • mike

    10 unlocked for every 1 locked is probably putting it mildly. When the carrier servers crash, and they will just likely every iPhone launch, and they have to process the upgrades manually, it will be more like 100 unlocked for every 1 locked.

  • Echo

    I’m glad I’m not working in the Apple Store anymore and having to explain this to customers.

    There are going to be some unhappy people. And yes, since Browett took over many of my former colleagues have also seeked greener pastures.

  • stiguy

    Called apple retail store and they said it would NOT BE AVAILABLE unlocked.

    Has anyone else called the Apple store about this? Seems so stupid because selling a contract phone takes 10x more time than an unlocked one and my wife and I were planning on buying them at launch but I guess we won’t (I’m not ordering them online) until they have unlocked phones availble in store like they did before.

  • DaveMcG

    The retail info page has changed, but the text from the main iPhone5 buy page still says on contract only:

    “Or buy with a contract at your favourite Apple Retail Storestarting at 8:00 am on 21 September.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    called apple, said different. no idea why

  • Chris Wan

    I personally would like to thank Apple For rewarding all of my years of customer loyalty by reversing a policy they’ve had in place in Canada since beginning to sell the iPhone here. I guess the end-user comes last.

  • Chris Wan

    I guess when you’re on top you can afford to abuse your customer base.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Apple confirmed this news with us. That is not a rumour. We’ll find out tomorrow when you aren’t able to purchase an unlocked unit from Apple.

  • :(

    Very nice! Now people who pre-ordered can gauge others who failed to order within the first hour :(

  • app =freak

    I checked. only locked phones sold.

  • gamebug

    Does anyone know when will be the unlocked iPhone available in Apple retail store?

  • Todd

    If it is anything like the US with the last iPhone, mid October to mid November.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    apple has started its only secondary market, steve jobs just rolled over in his coffin.

  • stiguy

    Yep, they just lost 3 sales from my family, and a handful from friends I know who are finished their contracts, negotiated lower plans with Rogers and dont want to renew their contract anymore. We all planned on lining up on day 1 or reserving and picking up next day like they did with the 4S. They could easily trace who is reserving large amounts of them to prevent scalping (which is a necessary evil for people who want an iPhone that hasnt launched in their country yet).

    My wife is so mad she actually is not planning on getting a iPhone anymore because of having to wait a month or more to get one in the mail and refuses to pay full price for a locked phone.

  • maxwell250

    Oh triple Yes and the info here is correct! I know it had me thinking about if these rumours were true or not from the beginning but had to make a couple of phone calls to the local apple store here in Vancouver just today. They said they won’t be carrying unlocked iphone 5s in retail but you still line up to buy them outright rather on contract and the phone will be carrier locked and you will have pay the carrier $50 to unlock them.

  • http://twitter.com/sumitsekhri Sumit Sekhri

    PS if you buy it as an upgrade the cancellation for a contract is a maximum of the discount you got on the phone. The only difference is the $50 fee to unlock at the end of your contract or midway if necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    apple created this shit storm, its not fair that because i dont have a CC i get the short end of the stick. theres yahoos charging an arm and a leg now because apple

  • mike

    In line at an Apple Store in Ottawa…..the manager just came out and confirmed that unlocked phones will NOT be available. The line was 21 people long and 4 left pretty pissed off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    i seriously apple burns to the ground for this, not fair at all. i am going to purse legal council on this. It just doesnt seem right when the rest of the world gets unlocked phones

  • kickincanada

    just got back from the apple store after waiting in line thinking I can buy an unlucked phone having confirmed this on announcement day and also a few days after. I am soo upet. I would have bought on online on launch day. This has left a bitter taste in my mounth and Im a first time iphone buyer. thanks Apple – not.

  • DaveMcG

    hahahaah.. Legal counsel.. Give me a break. The US cannot get unlocked. Also, you CAN get unlocked, you just have to buy it online.

  • DaveMcG

    If you have the money to “pursue legal council”, you can afford to get a credit card.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Ah, that really sucks after waiting in line.

    We reported it wasn’t going to happen, hopefully enough people know about it.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Oh no you DIDN’T!

  • Phil

    Man was in line and the girl told me there was no unlock phones sadly available sucks bad keeping my android..

  • Phil

    Sorry for my English I’m French :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mitton Kyle Burrows Mitton

    with a CC, which i dont have any more suggestion mr. sarcastic?
    and its called the BBB, familiar with it?

  • smurph

    Ordered two online at presale. Arrived at wife’s office this morning. Hoping they’re unlocked as indicated when I purchased them. A friend waited in line in Edmonton this morning for his iPhones and was told they are only selling ‘locked to carrier’ phones but were offering an unlocking service for $50. Nuts.

  • Pj

    Thanks Apple Store for wasting 5 hours of my time and contradicting your own website
    The post Steve era of failures begins…

  • Senti

    Shame on apple for no communication on this change. Iphone 5 body is too rectptive to scratches. Maps failed. Overall flop show.

  • Senti

    All apple is doing is catching up to the features of S3. Still couldnt have NFC. Begining of a flop show. Apple is on the way of Nokia. After Steve Jobs, this was to happen anyway.

  • bwz

    Apple lost so many costumers today. Apple failed when they choose contracts money over loyal customers. Thank you Apple

  • Xoxo

    They’re not selling unlocked iphones os second day too… WTF?

  • Xoxo

    *on

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Looks like online is the only way to get unlocked right now.

  • steve

    so buy it online and they ship it to you. What’s the big deal?

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Apple didn’t tell anyone about the change of policy until AFTER the pre-order. We had to dig it out and announce it.

  • dem

    are they selling unlocked phone today at the store?

  • mike

    What’s the deal with this? They changed the wording on the website yet again…. It’s now even more vague and says NOTHING about unlocked vs contract on the retail part of the “Buy now” area of the online store or the retail store page for the iPhone 5. Now there’s genuinely no way to know without calling the store.