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Apple Stores in Canada Start Unlocked iPhone 5s Sales at 8AM on Sept. 20

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Will Apple stores in Canada sell unlocked iPhone 5s units at launch September 20? The answer is yes, unlike last year’s iPhone 5 launch, according to our sources close to retail operations speaking on the condition of anonymity. This is the same reliable source that first informed us last year stores in Canada would not be offering unlocked sales at launch.


Sales will start at 8AM in most markets so stores will be ready in the morning. Purchase limits will be enforced but limited to specific models, so that means two iPhone 5s and two iPhone 5c units per person. Some stores previously have limited sales to credit card payments but nothing specific has been noted at this time, so we assume all are accepted.

Stores will eventually funnel customers into two different sales lines: one for unlocked purchases and another for contract sales. The unlocked line is expected to move faster but will be determined by the available staff on hand.

Apple will not offer unlocked iPhone 5s online pre-orders this year, a hint the company does not have ample supply and is expecting shortages of its new premium model. This means customers wanting the phone unlocked and outright at launch will have to wait in line.

Are you going to be waiting in line to buy an unlocked iPhone 5s?

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  • SJism

    Yes! I called the Waterloo/Conestoga Apple Store today and they said they would be selling the 5s unlocked on launch. However, the Square One store said they didn’t know. Glad to see it’s confirmed.

    Does anyone know if unlocked iPhones sell less / are more available on launch day? I’d have to pick up 64 GB and a 32 GB 5s midday on the 20th, so I’d like to know my odds for anyone who’s had experience in past iPhone launches.

  • All iPhones start out unlocked and then get locked at activation to whatever carrier the customer uses, if they aren’t keeping it unlocked.

  • SJism

    Ah, didn’t know. I guess my chances just decreased significantly. 64 GB won’t sell out as fast though, I hope…

  • It all depends on supply of each! Last year for iPhone 5 launch they ran out of 64GB first and I had to get a 32GB…

  • SJism

    That’s the first time I’ve heard that the 64 GB model sold out first. Different for each store, obviously. I may just have to order it online and wait a few days/weeks whilst using my 6-year-old Sony Ericsson “dumbphone.”

  • wstoneman

    Wait im confused… Will I be able to order the iphone 5s online on the 20th?

  • Magrat22

    Yes or you can buy it in store unlocked, you just can’t pre-order it before the 20th like we could in previous years.

  • wstoneman

    Oh… ok. I’m fine with that, I realllllly hate waiting in line. Waiting a few days to receive it is better then waiting in line for hours with alot of annoying fan boys.

  • Magrat22

    Yeah I just don’t get paying $719 for a phone when you most likely have a plan with a carrier and most of them now will unlock after 90 days and only charge $50. I’m going to pay $199 + 50 = $249 for an unlocked phone with a two year plan which I would have anyway as I’m not moving anywhere. Just my two cents though.

  • wstoneman

    I dont have a contract, so it makes sense for me.

  • Magrat22

    Gotcha 🙂

  • Just Me

    How much do you think one can sell the iPhone 5 (unlocked) for now?

  • Sly

    If this is really true then awesome! there’s a new Apple store that’s literally 2 min walking distance from my house lol

    And when you buy unlocked there’s hardly any wait time

  • Nick

    Any word on what stock in Rogers stores will be like on the 20th?

  • Chloe

    Will I be able to buy a 5S on 20th at apple store with contract on Rogers?

  • DaveMcG

    Of course!

  • Yes

  • Don

    I was going to get the iPhone 5S at launch but since there was no pre order option I really don’t feel like going through all the chaos in stores, and I work till 7pm on the 20th so there probably wouldn’t even be any left by then. Not to mention paying $812 online from Apple for a freaking cell Phone lol yeah right. I did however visit the certified pre owned section on Apples website and saw the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro for $600 off, bit the bullet I couldn’t resist. I’ll wait and get the iPhone 5S around boxing day or so when there will be some deals out there and everything calms down. My Galaxy nexus should suffice till then.

  • Iza Rai

    i plan on going 5 hours ahead of opening at 8am. What apple store do you guys think will have the smallest line up*if any at all?

    a)newmarket/Upper canada mall apple store
    b)burlington/mapleview mall apple store

    thanks in advance

  • wuju

    Going to the Upper Canada Mall. I truly hope that the line has less scalpers this time around since China (for the first time) has iPhone on launch day and less reason for scalpers to buy here and sell back in China. Question is is 5S also being sold in China? If not, there go my chances of getting a 5S on launch day.

  • wuju

    We may play tag team since I will be there around 5 hours ahead. We should connect. 🙂

  • Iza Rai

    yes we should, you can email me “oasisofserenity@live.com”
    im coming from brampton.

    since newmarket has nearly half the population of burlington, i dont think lin up should be that long. i hope going at 3am will work out.

  • Jason

    The Apple Store at Upper Canada had more than 300 people in line at 3AM for the iPhone 4s launch — it was much the same for the iPhone 5.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    well i guess ill be going to the apple store to buy for the first time ever

  • Nafizur

    yea, that’s a subsidy cost. When you decide to cancel or upgrade before your contract ends, you’ll have to pay off the balance which comes out to be higher than $719. At the end of the day, it’s all about cashflow. If you have the cash, it’s best option to buy it out right, if not, then take your time and pay it off slowly and pay the subsidy price.

  • Nafizur

    Wait, what? So you’re saying if i already have a rogers sim and i buy an unlocked iPhone and put in that sim, the phone will be locked to rogers? What’s the point of that? unlock to me means i am free to switch between Rogers/Bell/Telus whenever i want. I am going to my country December and i need to use the phone there.

  • No…only if the customer buys it on contract.

  • Iza Rai

    😐 wow! it makes me want it even more!

  • Kenny Dang

    When you sign a contract/when the contract gets processed at the point of sale is when the phone becomes locked. Phones are not made locked to a carrier. This is for the Apple store; if you buy outright from a carrier it is still locked because they make the purchase using your carrier account while Apple just sells it to you.

  • Nafizur

    Just checked with Apple, they said if you buy it out right without any carrier, phone will be unlocked for life.

  • HelloCDN

    On the other hand, all of them Big 3 give you $20 off with BYOD 😉 So, $20X24=$480 of savings. Not to mention a freedom to switch anytime to a better plan if you find one. Something that they don’t really want to tell you 😉 Just try to think about your money in a long run.

  • Tim Aucoin

    Just ordered through my business account and will have them delivered! Let the business team do all the work!! 🙂

  • Tim Aucoin

    Oh yeah… Always unlocked (64GB)!!

  • James

    Was informed by two different Apple employees that the iPhone 5s will only be sold on a contract in store. For those who want an unlocked version, ordering online is the only option.

  • Shane

    I wonder if we’ll get any sort of official word.

  • Peter

    Is it possible to buy a phone on contract that is locked to a carrier, and then unlock it using an online service for the 5s?

  • moose24ca

    Anyone know what time the doors open at Square One on Friday morning?

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