updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu March 19, 2009
Contract-free US iPhones
AT&T has confirmed earlier rumors of a contract-free iPhone, says the Associated Press. Under the new scheme -- set to begin on Thursday, March 26th -- an 8GB iPhone 3G will cost $599, while a 16GB model will cost $699. The prices are a full $400 more than the $199 and $299 options, which should remain available under the limits of a two-year contract.
While pre-paid and other contract-free iPhones are sold in a number of countries, residents of the US have always been forced to accept two-year agreements. The new prices also mirror the costs of the original 4GB and 8GB 2G iPhones, which were set high due to a lack of subsidy payments on AT&T's part. The new contract-free iPhones may retain subsidies, as with other iPhone 3Gs, but AT&T has not disclosed this information.