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Apple confirms unlimited, contract-free iPhones

updated 10:05 am EDT, Fri March 27, 2009

Apple lifts iPhone limits

Reiterating facts from circulating reports, Apple has confirmed that shoppers can now pick up an unlimited number of contract-free iPhones from Apple Stores. The shift in policy mirrors one announced by AT&T, except that the carrier limits purchases to one contract-free phone per existing subscriber. Both Apple and AT&T prices are set at $599 for an 8GB phone, and $699 for 16GB. A two-year contract reduces costs to $199 and $299.

It is believed that Apple may be attempting to clear out inventory in advance of one or more new phones; shifts in pricing have previously foreshadowed new Apple hardware. An announcement of new products is expected at WWDC in San Francisco, which in past years has been used as a launch point for earlier iPhones. It is uncertain if Apple and AT&T will carry forward contract-free options to a future device.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Undercutting jailbreak

    This may also be to undercut the legal argument that legal jailbreaking is necessary to allow people to take their phones to other carriers.

  1. woodsman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    And ?

    So - does this mean that I can purchase an iPhone - and use it with Verizon as a carrier ?

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Re: Undercutting jailbrea

    Nope cause these phones are still locked to AT&T. If anything, it weakens their argument that jailbreak is unnecessary because now you're paying an unsubsidized price for the phone but it's still locked to AT&T. Absolutely ridiculous.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Not really

    Jailbreaking won't unlock the phone; unlocking will. You can jailbreak the iPhone and it will still be locked to AT&T. Conversely, you don't need to jailbreak it in order to unlock it. The point is, both of these will void your warranty, as well as Apple's support for the phone.

    Many have argued that $600 is too high, since one could, presumably, sign a two-year contract, pay $200, plus $175 early termination fee and get out of that contract, thereby getting a contract-free iPhone for under $400. However, this goes on your credit report and still doesn't unlock the phone (in other words, you still HAVE to use it with AT&T, only you can now use pay-as-you-go plans).

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Not really

    doh I forgot about that!

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    to Woodsman:

    And to answer the Verizon question: even if the phone were to be sold completely unlocked, you still wouldn't be able to use it with Verizon. Unlike the majority of carriers around the world (including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US) that use GSM, Verizon (along with Sprint in the US) uses CDMA. The two technologies are mutually incompatible. GSM uses a SIM card (a tiny smart chip on a plastic card) that carries all relevant subscriber data, while CDMA stores it all in the phone itself. Therefore, if you are on GSM, you can take that SIM card and move it from phone to phone easily (It even contains memory for your contacts). CDMA has to be registered and activated with a carrier. My wife has four phones of different colours and she choses them to match the purse/shoes/outfit she is wearing. They are GSM, so SIM card moves from one to the other.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    contract free

    but what kind of plan can you use with it? Do you still have to get a data plan? Can you use a pay-as-you-go (which is a mis-named plan, as it is more like "Pay us a bunch of money, and use up to that much, or lose it after a period of time" plan)?

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Presumably, nothing

    Without a contract, it stands to reason that you don't even have to use any plan on it (in other words, buy it and not even use it). If it remains locked to AT&T, you can go with that plan that only charges you for the days you use it (plus the minutes). That could still be cheaper than the $70 per month with the subsidy.

  1. esfandb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Sell and replace

    I don't think there is anything driving this other than a new Hardware release coming around the corner.
    This is a simple and common strategy to make money off of the current inventory of a product when it is being replaced by a new one soon.

    ... so said MacDaddy!

  1. esfandb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Sell and replace

    I don't think there is anything driving this other than a new Hardware release coming around the corner.
    This is a simple and common strategy to make money off of the current inventory of a product when it is being replaced by a new one soon.

    ... so said MacDaddy!

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