Apple Now Offering No-contract IPhone Option
Looking to get an iPhone without the pesky two-year AT&T contract? You're in luck: Apple Stores are now selling the handset with no commitment upfront.
The privilege of escaping a two-year subscription comes at a price premium, though. The 8GB iPhone 3G will go for $499, the 16GB iPhone 3GS for $599, and the 32GB iPhone 3GS for $699. You'll also be able to buy just one phone per day, so if you're considering a lucrative career in phone re-selling, think again. As of this writing, Apple had not yet updated the Frequently Asked Questions on its online Apple Store to reflect the change, but Macworld has confirmed with brick-and-mortar store employees that the no-contract option is now available.
It's also worth noting that this the no-contract option does not mean that the iPhone is unlocked for use on any carrier. You'll still have to sign up with AT&T if you want 3G service. Otherwise, you'll have to jailbreak and unlock the handset at your own risk.
This isn't the first time that the no-contract iPhone model has surfaced; AT&T started selling a no-contract iPhone 3G model around the same time last year. Some have speculated that the goal of the move could be to help clear inventory in anticipation of a new model iPhone, though one is not likely to arrive until this summer.