How Apple's iPhone X Could Make Big Telecom Companies Squirm

Prior to today's SIM-free iPhone X launch, customers previously had to go through a pre-activation process with a wireless carrier to complete a purchase - even when paying full MSRP for a device (although this wasn't necessarily a requirement for those that bought T-Mobile models at MSRP direct from Apple).

The new option, available from Apple's online store in the United States, allows customers to buy an iPhone X without having to commit to or otherwise have an account with one of the nation's top carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile).

According to Apple's website: "SIM-free" means your iPhone doesn't ship with a carrier SIM card.

If you selected an iPhone for T-Mobile, it will come with the appropriate nano-SIM, but you'll need to contact T-Mobile or visit an Apple Store to activate your iPhone.

The iPhone X, which Apple officially pronounces as "iPhone 10", includes an all-new 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina display, a new A11 Bionic processor, Face ID facial recognition, wireless charging capabilities and an improved main rear TrueDepth camera.

The unlocked SIM-free iPhone X still starts at $999 with 64GB.

The addition of this new iPhone X purchase option suggests that Apple has more supply of the iPhone X than earlier feared. The option also exists to pick up the phone from your local Apple Store, assuming there is one nearby. That tightening up of the delivery window also means that Apple has now made available a SIM-free version of the iPhone X. Interested customers who place an order for the iPhone X now should get it in a week, on December 12.

Vanessa Coleman