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Apple Once Again Selling Contract-Free iPhones in U.S. Without Proof of AT&T Service

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Gizmodo shares an internal Apple document revealing that the company's U.S. retail stores will now sell unsubsidized iPhone 3G and 3GS models without requiring proof of an existing AT&T service plan.
Effectively immediately, customers purchasing iPhone as device only at full price are no longer required to have an AT&T account or provide a form of ID. Device only full price iPhone sales are limited to one per person per day.
The contract-free iPhones, which reportedly will be sold locked to AT&T's network but can easily be unlocked for use on other GSM networks, are being offered at $499 (8 GB iPhone 3G), $599 (16 GB iPhone 3GS), and $699 (32 GB iPhone 3GS). Such unsubsidized, "device only" iPhone sales have been available for some time, but until this change customers were required to provide evidence of existing AT&T service.

Apple and AT&T offered similar deals for contract-free iPhones in the U.S. around this time last year as Apple presumably sought to unload excess inventory ahead of a refresh later in the year.

Article Link: Apple Once Again Selling Contract-Free iPhones in U.S. Without Proof of AT&T Service Required
 

seedster2

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
686
0
NYC
How generous:rolleyes:

They should really offer this service all the time. Instead of when they are trying to get rid of inventory before an impending release
 
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WeegieMac

Guest
Jan 29, 2008
3,274
1
Glasgow, UK
That's actually not too bad when people like myself from the UK see those SIM free prices.

I paid £342 for my iPhone 3G on Pay As You Go, and the quoted $499 for American customers buying an iPhone outright works out at £332.28 going by todays exchange rate.

I wonder if they'll be so generous with the exchange rate on the iPad when it reaches the UK.
 
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pcguru83

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2006
583
0
Charlotte, NC
While I agree that unlocking is not difficult, it's not exactly trivial for the average user. Not to mention, software unlocks are finicky. You have to be careful of when and how to upgrade.

These should be factory unlocked.
 
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OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,113
6,499
The Black Country, England
That's actually not too bad when people like myself from the UK see those SIM free prices.

I paid £342 for my iPhone 3G on Pay As You Go, and the quoted $499 for American customers buying an iPhone outright works out at £332.28 going by todays exchange rate.

I wonder if they'll be so generous with the exchange rate on the iPad when it reaches the UK.

You've forgot to add on the VAT, sales tax is added at point of sale in the USA.

The 8GB 3G actually works out at £390 including VAT at today's exchange rate. O2 sells it on PAYG for £349 ($446).
 
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diamond.g

macrumors 604
Mar 20, 2007
6,793
634
Virginia
Apple and AT&T offered similar deals for contract-free iPhones in the U.S. around this time last year as Apple presumably sought to unload excess inventory ahead of a refresh later in the year.
I don't see a bunch of phones (well at least the 32GB model) moving at that price.
These should be factory unlocked.
Especially since they are not unlocked phones.
 
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thatisme

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2010
485
106
United States
Price?

it is interesting to me that the un-contracted iPhone 3GS as 1 year old tech is still priced higher than a comparable iPad with 3G. From what I can tell, the major difference between the devices (sans mic and earpiece) is the physical size of the handset and the plastic build of the back cover vs. the aluminum enclosure on the iPad.

I would have expected to see the iPad priced higher (not significantly, tho) than the iPhone, or see carrier discounts from ATT on the handset with a new contract.
 
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Airforcekid

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/7E18)

Just sell them at this price all the time but unlocked.
 
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Viantay

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2010
28
1
Price drop eventually?

you would think the price on the iphone would drop since I can get an iPad for that same price.
 
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diamond.g

macrumors 604
Mar 20, 2007
6,793
634
Virginia
it is interesting to me that the un-contracted iPhone 3GS as 1 year old tech is still priced higher than a comparable iPad with 3G. From what I can tell, the major difference between the devices (sans mic and earpiece) is the physical size of the handset and the plastic build of the back cover vs. the aluminum enclosure on the iPad.

I would have expected to see the iPad priced higher (not significantly, tho) than the iPhone, or see carrier discounts from ATT on the handset with a new contract.

No, the iPad is still more expensive (by only 20 dollars).
 
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WeegieMac

Guest
Jan 29, 2008
3,274
1
Glasgow, UK
You've forgot to add on the VAT, sales tax is added at point of sale in the USA.

The 8GB 3G actually works out at £390 including VAT at today's exchange rate. O2 sells it on PAYG for £349 ($446).

Yeah, I always forget about VAT ... oops. :D

Apple also sell the iPhone 3G for £349 now, but since I got mine during the lower VAT period, it cost £342. That was £7 I got to spend extra in the pub. :p
 
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FaustsHausUK

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2010
411
817
Chicago, IL
It's a shame they're not offering them unlocked and ready to run on T-Mobile. I don't really understand the different radio bands, but I don't know why it's so hard for...

a) US networks to agree on a single standard so phones can be easily ported.
b) Phone manufacturers to make phones that work with both AT&T and T-Mobile's flavours of 3G.
 
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ChrisD34

macrumors newbie
Mar 23, 2010
2
0
Camera and GPS Question

With these non-contract phones would the camera and the GPS work without having to sign up for AT&T service? I am looking for an iPhone top perform development on (and I need to work with the camera and GPS or the iPod Touch would work for me).

Thanks!
 
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Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,752
744
Seattle, WA
While I agree that unlocking is not difficult, it's not exactly trivial for the average user. Not to mention, software unlocks are finicky. You have to be careful of when and how to upgrade.

These should be factory unlocked.

I agree. I bought mine unlocked in Europe. This way I can use it there when traveling, or anywhere else. All that's needed is a SIM card that comes with any of the prepaid services.
 
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chris975d

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2008
1,795
54
Georgia, USA
Can someone explain to me why this is even done each year? I don't see the logic behind it. These phones are still locked to AT&T, yet Apple states that no proof of a contract with AT&T is necessary for purchase. Realistically, no one BUT AT&T customers can use them anyway, so why does it matter, and how is it any different than just buying them at no contract pricing with AT&T service? Yes, a few of them might be able to be unlocked (maybe a few 3.1.2's in the lot), but since these are new, in box from Apple, I'd assume they all have 3.1.3 installed with the new baseband, so who can unlock them? And since they more than likely won't activate through iTunes without a valid SIM installed (just as the process has always been), who would be able to take advantage of these EXCEPT AT&T customers? Am I missing something?
 
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