Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 9.51.53 AMApple today released an unlocked GSM version of the iPhone 5s on its online store for the United States. This version of the iPhone 5s includes the same exact capabilities of the non-unlocked models, but does not include a SIM card. Users who buy this version of the iPhone will need to supply their own SIM card. The central benefit of an unlocked iPhone is that it can work on many GSM networks across the globe with no contract. For frequent world travelers, this option is worth looking into…

This unlocked model works on AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, and also means that you will not need a contract with those carriers if you buy this specific model. The SIM-free iPhone 5s comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities for $649, $749, and $849, and it comes in the same space gray, silver, and gold color options as the carrier-tied versions. The models ship in 1-2 weeks from Apple’s online store, and should become available in Apple retail stores in the coming weeks.

Since launch, Apple has sold an unlocked variant of the iPhone 5s for T-Mobile. However, that model includes a T-Mobile SIM card and could potentially be tied to a T-Mobile account. Today’s release includes no SIM card. This is also different than an AT&T/GSM model because that device is tied to an AT&T contract even at full price. A customer would need to manually unlock that device to get the same effect as today’s new offering. In essence, today’s SIM-free model works the same way as other unlocked iPhone 5s units, but it comes with no SIM card and is completely unlocked the moment you turn it on.

A SIM-free version of the iPhone 5c has been available since its launch in September. Many international countries have had availability of the fully unlocked iPhone 5s for several weeks.