The best ways to buy an unlocked iPhone X

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iPhone X
Don't lock yourself to a carrier -- buy your iPhone X from Apple instead.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It might not seem like it at the time, but buying an iPhone for full price upfront is probably the cheapest option. Swallowing the $1,000 purchase price of an unlocked iPhone X isn’t easy. However, you won’t wind up tied to carrier contracts that trap you for a year or two. Plus, you can pick a cheap, $10-per-month prepaid data plan instead.

In the European Union, Apple sells unlocked phones from the get-go. If you buy a new iPhone from Apple on launch day, it will not come tied to a carrier. In the United States, SIM-free iPhones usually go on sale a few weeks after launch.

Today we’ll look at how and where you can buy a SIM-free, unlocked iPhone.

iPhone X repair prices will make your wallet cry

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The iPhone X is water-resistant. Just don't drop it. iPhone X repair costs might drown you in debt.
The iPhone X is water-resistant. Just don't drop it.
Image: Apple

If you are among the millions of Apple fans that just preordered the new iPhone X, here’s one piece of advice: Whatever you do, don’t break it.

Apple updated its webpage for the pricing on out-of-warranty repairs, and the iPhone X shatters the record when it comes to screen repairs and other damage.

Apple extends service for buggy Smart Keyboards

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You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
Photo: Apple

Apple says it will service “functional issues” on Smart Keyboards for the iPad Pro for up to three years, according to internal memos sent to Apple stores and service providers recently.

The company, in the memo sent last week, acknowledged that some Smart Keyboard owners experienced stuck or unresponsive keys as well as non-working Smart Connectors. Apple says it will fix any qualifying keyboards free of charge within three years of the date of purchase. The company will also give a refund to any customer who already paid for service on a Smart Keyboard.

You can now buy AppleCare+ one year after getting an iPhone

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AppleCare
Don't be a fool, protect your tool.
Photo: Apple

If you’ve purchased a new iPhone in the last 12 months but failed to buy AppleCare+ to protect it, Apple is ready to cut you a break.

Apple has decided to extend the period in which iPhone buyers can get AppleCare+ to one full year from the data of purchase, after previously only letting you buy it within 60 days.

10 key takeaways from Apple’s historic earnings call

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money
Apple made a ton of money. What more do you need to know?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple faces class action lawsuit over AppleCare+ refurbs

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Crack! This one's got to go back to Apple.
Crack! Apple's replacement program is facing a lawsuit.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple was hit with a new class action lawsuit today in California by customers who have purchased the company’s AppleCare and AppleCare+ plans to cover damages on iPhones and iPads.

At the heart of the lawsuit is Apple’s long-held policy to replace broken devices with units that the company claims are good as new in performance and reliability, even though they’re second-hand refurbished models.

The cheap ways to protect your tech without AppleCare, this week on The CultCast

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x
It's gonna break... we'll tell you how to protect your tech on the cheap.
Photo: Unbox Therapy

This week on The CultCast: The best ways to get your gadgets the protection you want, but without those high AppleCare prices! Plus: The iPhone 7 might pack more storage than you expected; taking over Tidal could mean CD-quality streaming is coming to Apple Music; hands on with the iOS 10 and macOS Sierra betas; “the Fappening” hacker heads to the slammer; and this year’s iPhone Photography Award winners prove your iPhone is all your need to create captivating images.

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them. Learn why and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.