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On Thursday, 9to5Mac broke the news that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) plans to sell an unlocked iPhone through its online and retail stores. We now have confirmation. U.S. buyers can get the phone and then decide which carrier they'd prefer to do business with.

Mostly, anyway. Both Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) lose, since Apple's unlocked phones are designed to work exclusively with GSM networks. AT&T (NYSE: T  ) is the largest U.S. GSM network operator.

The company that should most benefit from this move is Deutsche Telekom (NASDAQOTH: DTEGY  ) unit T-Mobile. The carrier has struggled to get its network ready for Apple users. Now, that's no longer an issue.

Do investors believe users won't pay as much as $849 just to have carrier portability? History says they're wrong, but there's also more the story. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the details in the following video.

There is absolutely no argument that Apple is at the center of a global technology revolution, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded, with more than 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

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  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2012, at 4:49 PM, applefan1 wrote:

    Apple has three main carriers they want to support first. Those companies are important to Apple and they had to come up to speed on production first. Once they came up to production, THEN they can offer the unlocked iPhones. So people had to wait a couple of months. I don't see a big deal, some things are worth the wait.

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