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China Unicom begins offering contract-free iPhone 3GS

updated 10:20 am EST, Fri December 24, 2010

iPhone 4 still in 'short supply'

China Unicom has begun selling a contract-free version of the iPhone 3GS. An 8GB model -- the only 3GS currently produced by Apple -- is priced at 3,999 yuan, or about $603. Buyers can nevertheless sign up for a two-year service plan with between 33 and 58 yuan in free phone expenses per month, depending on the monthly fee package chosen.

A spokesman has declined to say whether Unicom will offer the iPhone 4 without a contract. The person also mentions, however, that the device remains in short supply. Unicom has in fact been threatening to lock phones and suspend numbers if it discovers the two are being separated, a measure meant to deter the scalping that has hindered regular shoppers' ability to get an iPhone.

by MacNN Staff



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