US consumers holding out for the official unlocked iPhone 5 release date announcement from Apple have been thrown at least one bone this week to chew on – apparent leaks as to what the off-contract versions will cost. This has of course immediately reignited the unlocked iPhone 5 Vs unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 debate, which has for some time hung upon exactly how the two will compare dollar-wise.
While the unlocked iPhone 5s never actually made it to the Apple Store online, their apparent prices were spotted by a beady-eyed party in a sidebar. According to the capture of the screen purportedly containing the prices, the unlocked 16GB iPhone 5 directly from Apple will hit the shelves for $649, while the 32GB and 64GB versions will be up for grabs for $749 and $849 respectively.
Apple has yet to offer any concrete indication as to when the unlocked iPhone 5 release will take place, though the full range is expected to launch by early December at the latest.
By contrast, third-party vendors are currently offering the cheapest unlocked version of the iPhone 5 for closer to the $850 mark, while the upper-end models have been spotted online for well over $1,100. These are all expected to come down as soon as Apple officially launches its own off-contract iPhone 5.
Meanwhile, the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 has remained one of the most appealing off-contract Smartphones of all, carrying a price-tag closer to $550 – thus $300 lower than the equivalent unlocked iPhone 5 from a third-party vendor. Apple’s launch of the official off-contract iPhone 5 will therefore either see the two competing more closely than ever before, or will perhaps trigger a further price reduction in the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 and give birth to the mother of all Christmas bargains.