Quietly, and with not so much as a dedicated press release to mark the occasion, Apple has started selling the iPhone 5 in new markets. As midnight rolled around last night (or this morning, depending on your point of view) online Apple Stores opened up for business.
And boy is this thing expensive.
In the Spanish store, the handsets run at €669, 7669 and €869, which comes out at $865, $995 and — wait for it — $1,124. These are all unlocked prices: unlike in the U.S, the handset is available contract-free from day one. For a rough comparison, the iPhone 4S when bought contract-free in the U.S today, will cost you $549 for the 16GB model.
This is the first time in history that the iPhone has been available in so many countries just a week after launch.
But just like the U.S version, the Spanish store has estimated shipping dates at 3-4 weeks. I'm planning on buying an iPhone 5 off-contract, but I'm going to swing by (literally, as I'm on crutches right now) the physical Apple Store in the next few days to see if I can find one there. In the meantime, I should probably start honing my SIM-trimming skills again, (like I did when I had the first iPad shipped early over to Spain) so I can use the new iPhone with the pre-pay plan of my choice.
Here's the full list of countries where you can now buy the iPhone 5, as lifted from the Apple press release touting five million opening-weekend sales.
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Source: Apple Store (España)"<