Want An Unlocked iPhone 6? Pick Up The T-Mobile Version Contract-Free

There seems to be a bit of confusion over how to buy one of Apple's iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus handsets in unlocked form. In the past, Apple has let consumers buy unlocked and contract-free iPhone models direct from its website, but this time around, there doesn't appear to an option to do that -- only the "contract-free" option is listed for those who don't want to go the subsidized route. What gives?

Let's first look at the options. Apple offers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray color options. Once you choose a color, you then pick a wireless carrier -- available options include AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, each of which requires a 2-year service agreement or carrier financing. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 and the iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299.

iPhone 6 Order Page

Below those three options is a fourth -- it states "Contract-free" through T-Mobile starting at $649 for the iPhone 6 and $749 for the iPhone 6 Plus. This is where the confusion comes into play. If you look back at the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c product pages, you'll see that the T-Mobile option is listed as "Unlocked and contract-free."

For whatever reason, Apple dropped the "unlocked" nomenclature from its contract-free offering through T-Mobile, though according to a report in USA Today, Apple users who've purchased these devices say they work with other carriers as well, such as AT&T and Straight Talk -- all you have to do is remove the T-Mobile SIM card and use one of your choosing.

"This is verified, the iPhone 6 purchased from the Apple Store for T-Mobile is unlocked. I have just used my AT&T and T-Mobile chip in the same phone and get LTE on both without issue," an iPhone 6 owner writes.

So there you have it -- if you're looking for an unlocked and contract-free version of the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, pick up the T-Mobile version through Apple's website or at Amazon.