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.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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