Unlocked iPhone 4S now on sale in the U.S. online Apple Store

Apple (s aapl) is selling the iPhone 4S unlocked through its U.S. online store as of Friday. The contract-free devices were promised by Apple for November availability back when the iPhone 4S originally launched. They are available for order now, with expected ship times of 1–2 weeks.

The unlocked iPhone 4S only works with GSM carriers, so it won’t be compatible with the CDMA-based networks of Verizon (s vz) or Sprint (s s) in the U.S. All sizes and colors are available, with the 16 GB version priced at $649, the 32 GB for $749 and the 64 GB for $849.

Apple’s factory-unlocked devices can be used with any GSM provider worldwide, provided you have the necessary micro SIM. They also have the advantage of coming without any contract commitment, and they can be more easily resold on the international market.

Apple’s retail stores have been selling unlocked phones since the launch of the 4S in the U.S. back in October, according to customer reports, but now buyers can get them officially via online ordering instead of just chancing it at Apple’s brick-and-mortar sales locations. The 4S has been available unlocked directly from Apple since day one in many international markets.

Anyone planning on picking up an unlocked device direct from Apple? What are your reasons for doing so?