Which iPhone 5 to Buy in Lebanon?

I told you about this before (here and here) but minister Sehnaoui confirmed it on twitter yesterday.

Nicolas Sehnaoui iPhone 5 tweets

For the many Lebanese who will benefit from the price reductions (the phone is going for $800 max these days for the 16GB capacity) to buy the iPhone 5 either for themselves or for their loved ones this Christmas, there’s one important thing you need to ask the shop from which you’re buying the phone: which country did you get it from?

If they got their iPhone 5 from the United States or Canada, model being A1428, the LTE that will launch later in 2013 won’t work on it as the chips are incompatible.

If the country of origin is anything in Europe or Australia, then it will work. The model should be A1429.

If you can’t but buy it from the United States, here’s a way you can do it: send the person buying it for you to an Apple Store and get them to buy a no-contract Verizon iPhone 5. It will have the sim card slot fully unlocked and its LTE capabilities are compatible with the frequency that’ll be launched in Lebanon soon.

For those of you who have already bought their iPhone 5 without asking about the country of origin, tough luck. Odds are you won’t be able to benefit from LTE once it’s rolled out.

Apple Now Selling Unlocked iPhones in the U.S.

Rejoice iPhone lovers. Apple is now selling unlocked iPhones in the US, which makes buying them a whole lot cheaper and easier. How so? Most of us have family/know someone in the U.S. And most iPhones we use originate from there, previously requiring the user in other countries to “illegally” unlock their iPhone in order to use it. Well, those hurdles no longer exist. And I am very happy about that.

Just launched on the online Apple Store, the iPhone 4 is selling at $649, without taxes. Factor in a maximum of 10% in taxes and you get a device that costs $700, much less than the price Lebanese retailers charge or other countries around the world ask you to pay.

Although the price tag is a little higher that a contract-free US iPhone, it’s definitely worth it. I know where I’m buying the upcoming generation iPhone from.

Now the question that begs itself: will those who bought a contract-free iPhone be allowed to have their phones legally unlocked?