While Apple spent years going from carrier-to-carrier, all around the world, the new phones will also launch with nearly all the world's carriers simultaneously. The prices quoted are first-day retail prices. It's nearly certain that by Christmas you'll be able to get one of these phones from a carrier "free." But a "free" phone from a carrier is not a free phone. As my daughter Robin and I learned on a recent trip to Europe, you can't buy a third-party SIM card for a locked phone and just put it in. There are ways to unlock the phone with technical knowledge, but that breaks the warranty. When the average consumer asks about unlocking their phone, the answer is just no. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.