There will never be a SIM free version of the CDMA device released.
At some point it is very likely Apple will release an unlocked iPhone 5 in the US, but that will be the AT&T version. There would be no point in releasing an unlocked CDMA device in the US, none of the CDMA carriers will activate a device on their network that was not sold for use on their network. Some of the smaller pre-paid carriers may, but they are really irrelevant due to the numbers.
I actually read that the Current Verizon CDMA Phone is unlocked for AT&T, but I believe that it only will support AT&T's GSM frequency & not LTE (see Apple's link below)
There currently are 3 iPhone 5 models that Apple manufacturers (http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/). All current LTE phones require a SIM card to work, whether it be on a CDMA voice network or a GSM voice network. LTE currently is not available for voice in the US but only for Data.
Not sure if the Verizon/Sprint/KDDI (Japan) "Model A1429 (CDMA model)" iPhone 5 will work on the exact same LTE band as the "Model A1429 (GSM model)" that the Apple LTE chart refers to or not. It should be noted that the AT&T model only shares the same LTE band as Canada's:
- Bell (including Virgin)
- Rogers (including Fido)
- Telus (including Koodo)
According to Apple's iphone website (subject to change) here are the current iPhone 5 Wireless Specs:
- GSM model A1428*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
- CDMA model A1429*: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)
- GSM model A1429*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5)
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
- Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Hope this helps a little.
In your response to Carl, your right, the CDMA iPhone 5 works on GSM networks because it also has a GSM chip inside.
After re-reading, my post may be a little confusing too. When I stated that the Verizon iPhone will not Support LTE, it was in reference to Bands 4 & 17 of LTE that AT&T use. I should have clarified it better in the beginning. The Verizon iPhone 5 does not support the AT&T LTE Bands 4 & 17.
The Verizon iPhone 5 does use LTE bands 1,3,5,13, & 25
For GSM, all the iPhones should work, but for LTE, the A1429 model works with more carriers than the A1428. The A1428, however, works with the Canadian LTE Carriers where the A1429 does not.
I am trying to use an Verizon iPhone5, and it is crippled. (Most likely by Rogers, with apples support)
Fido Nano Sim
Screen says Rogers
Connects to 3G only
HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA (where avaliable) should connect.
HSPA+ is avaliable in Vancouver where I am, because the nano sim (via adapter) shows HSPA+ when in my S3.
i bought an iphone 5 verizon hearing its unlocked but reading all these post made me worry while im waiting for my phone to arrive .... but i can confirm !!!! yes i activated my verizon without verizon sim i did it with simple mobile card .... to clear things up if u restore your iphone 5 verizon ... u dont need verizon sim to activate it ... so International sims would be easier to activate ..unlocked verizon iphone 4s even when unlocked u only can use International gsm but the iphone 5 even usa gsm unlocked ... hope this helps