We spoke with several Apple Store customer service representatives today, who informed us that US customers won't be able to sign up for the unlocked variant of Apple's new flagship phone when pre-orders start early tomorrow morning. The unlocked version also won't be available from either the US online or brick-and-mortar Apple Stores when the iPhone 5 launches on September 21st.
North of the border, Canadian customers will be able to purchase an unlocked device directly from Apple at launch. So if you're close to the border this may be a viable option.
The cost of an unlocked iPhone for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes will be $649, $749, and $849, when the device becomes available in the U.S. The prices in Canada are $699, $799, and $899.
Pre-orders of the iPhone 5 start at 12:01AM Pacific Time tonight!