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Apple again sells contract-free, carrier-locked US iPhones

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Like it did in March of last year, Apple this week at its retail stores began selling the iPhone at an unsubsidized price without the standard two-year AT&T contract agreement. Also as before, the phone, which costs as much as $700, remains locked to the exclusive U.S. wireless provider.

Apple stores made the change Monday, selling new iPhones at an unsubsidized, contract-free price. The low-end 8GB iPhone 3G sells for $499, the 16GB iPhone 3GS is $599, and the top-end 32GB iPhone 3GS sells for $699.

Gizmodo obtained a copy of the internal Apple memo detailing the policy change at Apple stores. It was first published for employees of the company on Monday.

"Effective immediately, customers purchasing iPhone as device only at full price are no longer required to have an A&T account or provide a form of ID," the memo to all U.S. employees reads. "Device only full price iPhone sales are limited to one person per day."

The memo notes that while customers are limited to one iPhone per day, they can still purchase up to five handsets in a day if they agree to an AT&T contract. The terms of the deal also dictate that users can only buy 10 iPhones at full-price in their lifetime.



It was about a year ago, in late March of 2009, when Apple began selling the iPhone 3G without a contract. The non-subsidized 8GB version carried a $599 price tag, while the 16GB model cost $699. The sale preceded the launch of the iPhone 3GS.

As was the case a year ago, activation is completed by the customer at home through iTunes. The iPhone can be unlocked through a warranty-voiding technique known as "jailbreaking," but the 3G radio in Apple's handset does not support the high-speed data network of the only other GSM-based carrier in the U.S., T-Mobile. That means that potential unlockers would be restricted to slower EDGE data speeds.

Much like in 2009, Apple is likely looking to sell off inventory to prepare for the coming launch of the new 2010 iPhone. Last June, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS, which added a faster processor and the ability to record video.
post #2 of 43
I owned an original iPhone and it was out of contract, but in order to activate it with AT&T I had to . . . . . that's right sign a 2 year contract. AT&T will only do it this way to the best of my knowledge. So you can buy the phone. It will be locked for use with AT&T and then AT&T will require a 2 year contract. "*Requires purchase of a $30/mo data service. 2 year contract & new activation required. Limit 2 iPhone devices per household when ordering online. "
post #3 of 43
Apple is clearing inventories in preparation for the new iPhone. iPhone OS 4.0 beta in April may be.
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosqueda View Post

I owned an original iPhone and it was out of contract, but in order to activate it with AT&T I had to . . . . . that's right sign a 2 year contract. AT&T will only do it this way to the best of my knowledge. So you can buy the phone. It will be locked for use with AT&T and then AT&T will require a 2 year contract. "*Requires purchase of a $30/mo data service. 2 year contract & new activation required. Limit 2 iPhone devices per household when ordering online. "

That was for the original iPhone (Full price & contract). Now you don't need to signed a 2 year contract but you need to sign up for a data plan.
post #5 of 43
Does it make any sense to get an iPhone with an AT&T contract but still jailbreak it to use with other sim cards when you travel overseas?

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post #6 of 43
Still wish they would clear inventory with unlocked phones. Oh well.

New iPhone in May? "Dads and Grads" time of the year?
post #7 of 43
Wait, so if you were a consistently loyal customer that bought iPhones at full price just before they introduced the new models for the coming year for 10 years, then you wouldn't be eligible to buy any more iPhones unless you had a contract?

A lot of what if cases, I know, but what if this policy remained unchanged 7 years from now?
post #8 of 43
Further explanation into why Apple has been so trigger-happy on suing competitors.

What kind of price point is $700 for a carrier-locked phone, especially with that small screen resolution, versus $530?
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post #9 of 43
They need to move them out for the new ones coming in...
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post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

the 16GB iPhone 3GS is $599, and the top-end 32GB iPhone 3GS sells for $699.

Well there you go.

A hearty 'Lol' @ all the sheepboys that said "awmagad $530 for a Nexus One, that's so expensive". Yeah, well the iPhone is even more.

No wonder Apple wants to sue; it's better AND cheaper.
post #11 of 43
Hillarious...an iPhone 3G, now almost 2 year old technology, AND locked, sells for more than an iPad...priceless...
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Further explanation into why Apple has been so trigger-happy on suing competitors.
What kind of price point is $700 for a carrier-locked phone, especially with that small screen resolution, versus $530?

04gb Nexus = $530
16gb iPhone= $599
32gb iPhone= $699

so where do you get the idea from that the iPhone is more expensive?
add the extra gb with an SD card and the Nexus is more expensive always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Does it make any sense to get an iPhone with an AT&T contract but still jailbreak it to use with other sim cards when you travel overseas?

yes: it's what I did. I live in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post

Hillarious...an iPhone 3G, now almost 2 year old technology, AND locked, sells for more than an iPad...priceless...

ahem, because it has a phone inside?
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by pOps View Post

04gb Nexus = $530
16gb iPhone= $599
32gb iPhone= $699

so where do you get the idea from that the iPhone is more expensive?
add the extra gb with an SD card and the Nexus is more expensive always.

Oh really?

And "Always" eh?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820134912



Effing fail of EPIC proportions.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Now you don't need to signed a 2 year contract but you need to sign up for a data plan.

Who are buying these phones at full price? The subsidized price + the prorated contract cancelation fee looks to be cheaper than the unsubsidized price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Still wish they would clear inventory with unlocked phones.

I don't quite get it since it's not like it can be used in US by other carriers, except for T-Mobile USA's EDGE/GPRS network. I can't wait until legislation requires a paid in full phone to be unlocked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Further explanation into why Apple has been so trigger-happy on suing competitors.

What kind of price point is $700 for a carrier-locked phone, especially with that small screen resolution, versus $530?

1) What does Apple protected its IP have to do with this 2nd year in a row clearance.

2) You've also failed to mention other competitors suing Apple.

3) Note that your price comparison is between a 32GB 3GS and 4.5GB Nexus One. Not exactly even-steven. If you find that the higher resolution display and faster processor suit your needs better despite many aspects of the much newer device feeling considerably slower and less refined than the iPhone then go for it, even promote it (Google and HTC need all the help they can get) but don't purport that the iPhone is some ripoff device.
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post #15 of 43
Funny how this occurred on the same day Google is now un-censoring it's search engine in China, the largest market for un-contracted grey market iPhones, both centered in Hong Kong too.
post #16 of 43
My favorite part is the FAQ.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Well there you go.

A hearty 'Lol' @ all the idiot sheepboys that said "awmagad $530 for a Nexus One, that's so expensive". Yeah, well the iPhone is even more. Idiots.

No wonder Apple wants to sue; it's better AND cheaper.

I predict a ban-hammer in your future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post

Hillarious...an iPhone 3G, now almost 2 year old technology, AND locked, sells for more than an iPad...priceless...

Not if you add in the cost of the 3G radio, but your point is still valid.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Oh really?

And "Always" eh?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820134912

image: http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/2923/microsd.png

Effing fail of EPIC proportions.

We can all play that game. Here is the most expensive microSD card I could fine in 20 seconds. How 'bout them Apples?

http://www.oempcworld.com/Merchant2/...icroSDHC16GB-6 Over $80 for 16GB for Class 6. While it might be the fastest speed for microSD it's still very, very slow for NAND. The TH58NVG7D series NAND used in the 3GS could be as high as 230Mb/s read and 180Mb/s write, but I'm unable to find an exact match to the chip. Regardless, this makes a noticeable difference and affects the usage. You can even test this between the on-board NAND and microSD of the Nexus One.

PS: Try not to use huge images in forums, please.
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post #18 of 43
Does anyone have thoughts on how this will impact resale value on eBay? I was just about to sell my iPhone 3G and now I am worried that the resale value is going to plummet. Does anyone else think it is NOT a coincidence that Apple did this the day before the CTIA show where lots of new phones include the Nexus One on Verizon are going to be announced?
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

We can all play that game. Here is the most expensive microSD card I could fine in 20 seconds. How 'bout them Apples?

http://www.oempcworld.com/Merchant2/...icroSDHC16GB-6

...

Seriously?

Your best counter-argument was to try to find the most expensive microSD card on the market?

Why in the world would anyone purposely buy the most expensive option if we're talking about trying to save money?

That was just sad. Pathetic attempt at a rebuttal.

The Nexus One is cheaper; bottom line. Get over it.
post #20 of 43
I'm wondering, since I don't have 3G where I live and work, can I buy the full-priced phone, and keep the contract that I have now, without having to pay the extra money for 3G, that I can't even use? (Sure, I don't have to go to far to have 3G, but 95% of the time, I'm not in a 3G area.)
Does anyone know?
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post #21 of 43
Hella overpriced, considering an Ipad with much more powerful hardware and same software sells for $499, unlocked and that an iPod touch is half of that $700 for at least doubt the memory.

Don't really see the need for this other then trying to clear inventory and some ebay seller try to make a quick buck by selling it for even more then apple.
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post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

...

Seriously?

Your best counter-argument was to try to find the most expensive microSD card on the market?

Why in the world would anyone purposely buy the most expensive option if we're talking about trying to save money?

That was just sad. Pathetic attempt at a rebuttal.

The Nexus One is cheaper; bottom line. Get over it.

You're not trying to save money or you wouldn't be using the Nexus One as the smartphone of choice when there are plenty of cheaper Android-based smartphones on the market. You're lameduck goal was prove that the iPhone is so overpriced by finding the cheapest Flash you could find.

You've also failed to address all my other point about how microSD is the slowest Flash out there even at it's fastest speed. That 1GHz Nexus One can't help you out there. There is a reason why apps are internal NAND-only and why MS is not allowing SD cards for WinPh7 (or did they change that?).
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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You're not trying to save money or you wouldn't be using the Nexus One as the smartphone of choice when there are plenty of cheaper Android-based smartphones on the market. You're lameduck goal was prove that the iPhone is so overpriced by finding the cheapest Flash you could find.

People who buy N1s are buying it because they like the product, not because it's expensive.

And that actually wasn't the cheapest one I could find. The most inexpensive one is $41:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820157041

The one I linked previously is the highest reviewed one on Newegg, meaning I chose quality over anything else.

Quote:
You've also failed to address all my other point about how microSD is the slowest Flash out there even at it's fastest speed. That 1GHz Nexus One can't help you out there. There is a reason why apps are internal NAND-only and why MS is not allowing SD cards for WinPh7 (or did they change that?).

The reason for the limitation is actually a security issue for paid apps, not speed. They don't want people buying apps, and moving them to other phones.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

That was for the original iPhone (Full price & contract). Now you don't need to signed a 2 year contract but you need to sign up for a data plan.

Actually, this was less than 2 months ago. That iPhone had become a toy for my 6 year old until my teen pestered me to let him have it as a phone. So, AT&T informed me that if I wanted to use it with them, I had to do a 2 year contract. Period.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Well there you go.

A hearty 'Lol' @ all the sheepboys that said "awmagad $530 for a Nexus One, that's so expensive". Yeah, well the iPhone is even more.

No wonder Apple wants to sue; it's better AND cheaper.

From the reviews and reports the Nexus One is worth about 1/3 of what people pay for it. If that much actually, and enjoy the inferior screen, touch points, half baked multi-touch and copy / paste that only works between a couple of the apps oh and customer support you get with it.. *cough*
post #26 of 43
Boy am I excited. I've been holding out since January with hope to get the iPhone in June, then I hear rumours that they might delay the launch until next year to coincide with the launch of the 4G network.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosqueda View Post

Actually, this was less than 2 months ago. That iPhone had become a toy for my 6 year old until my teen pestered me to let him have it as a phone. So, AT&T informed me that if I wanted to use it with them, I had to do a 2 year contract. Period.

Yes. That's why I said the original iPhone required a contract. I don't now if it is possible with the original iPhone but with iPhone 3G and 3GS you can use any AT&T SIM card (even prepaid ones). However, AT&T will enroll you in a data plan if they catch you using an iPhone without one. As long as you have a data plan for your iPhone (3G or 3GS) they can't force you to sign a contract.
post #28 of 43
Lets see $530+$50=$580

Then you gotta pay some for shipping.

You must be very poor if twenty bucks is "epic", what you gettin' three bucks an hour to flip burgers or something?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Oh really?

And "Always" eh?

Effing fail of EPIC proportions.
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post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

From the reviews and reports the Nexus One is worth about 1/3 of what people pay for it. If that much actually, and enjoy the inferior screen, touch points, half baked multi-touch and copy / paste that only works between a couple of the apps oh and customer support you get with it.. *cough*

The screen is VASTLY superior, as every single person who has ever reviewed / seen the device has said. (Obviously you have never seen one in person.)

The multi-touch works perfectly fine for me, and the copy/paste this is just 100% wrong.

Copy/paste works anywhere that you can type. I'm not sure where you heard this misinformation from about only a few apps. Can you link it?

Also, copy/paste was included from Day 1. *COUGH*
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Lets see $530+$50=$580

Then you gotta pay some for shipping.

You must be very poor if twenty bucks is "epic", what you gettin' three bucks an hour to flip burgers or something?

Free overnight shipping for the N1.

Free shipping for the microSD card I linked.

Fail.

Also, when someone makes a claim and includes the word "ALWAYS", you better be darn well sure you've got your facts right. In this case, he very much wasn't. This is the problem with the sheep; everyone goes off of rumors and emotions without any facts at all.
post #31 of 43
Meh...

Maybe if the iPhone had memory expansion, an actual widescreen display at 480x800 (or better), freedom from iTunes, and greater codec support, this might be more appealing, but as it stands - this is just too much money for far too old technology.
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post #32 of 43
"contract-free, carrier-locked" = oxymoron

Hm, I wonder what AT&T will ask you to sign 20 minutes later when you try to activate the iPhone? What's that? A 2 year contract? Mandatory voice+data plan starting at how much?

Hell, AT&T is still forcing people who buy old iPhones which have the subsidy for them completely paid off, to sign new 2-year contracts at the same rates as those of you 'buying' new iPhones...
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

The screen is VASTLY superior, as every single person who has ever reviewed / seen the device has said. (Obviously you have never seen one in person.)

The multi-touch works perfectly fine for me, and the copy/paste this is just 100% wrong.

Copy/paste works anywhere that you can type. I'm not sure where you heard this misinformation from about only a few apps. Can you link it?

Also, copy/paste was included from Day 1. *COUGH*

Exhibit A: http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/09/iph...n-performance/

Exhibit B: http://www.displaymate.com/Nexus_One_ShootOut.htm

Exhibit C: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?p=29549105

Exhibit D: http://www.google.com/support/forum/...4909ac47&hl=en

Exhibit E: http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-feat...-fps-drag-race


PS: If it's such a great product at such a great price why has sold it less units than a child's lemonade stand?
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post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Free overnight shipping for the N1.

Free shipping for the microSD card I linked.

Fail.

Also, when someone makes a claim and includes the word "ALWAYS", you better be darn well sure you've got your facts right. In this case, he very much wasn't. This is the problem with the sheep; everyone goes off of rumors and emotions without any facts at all.

And again, where are the mods? This is an Apple-centric site (at least I thought it was, maybe those days are past?) so routinely yelling about "sheep" is simply a trolling provocation.

If people want less reflexive Apple support and more nuanced conversation, then they would support banning this kind of nonsense, because all it does it tend to drive threads into reaction.

Show me the Android discussion board where you get to call people "Freetards" a lot without getting your ass booted.
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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

"contract-free, carrier-locked" = oxymoron

Imagine buying a car that's locked to one gas station, one highway, and one way to get to and from work. Would any sane person put up with that?

(Couldn't resist throwing a car analogy into the mix. As bad as it is.)

post #36 of 43
They do this simply to clear inventory? How about send some of these goodies to places like here where has very limited 3GS since launch?
post #37 of 43
This is just a tease. Why sell something without contract and then lock it to a 3-party that is not even part of the contract of sale between you and Apple?

In my part of the woods when you buy a iPhone from Apple there is no carrier lock. That is as it should be.

Apple and AT&T clearly have an agreement which provides for this which places their priorities ahead of their customers.
post #38 of 43
I've never understood the gripe about AT&T. I've had them since they bought Cingular, waaay before I had an iPhone and they've been great. I've had no service problems, no problems with dropped calls, and no problems with slow data speeds. Granted, I don't live in a big city, so that probably helps...

IF the iPhone was unlocked, and I had a choice...I'd still go to AT&T...maybe that's why Apple has stuck with them...just my 2 cents.
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

The screen is VASTLY superior, as every single person who has ever reviewed / seen the device has said. (Obviously you have never seen one in person.)

I doubt many people have seen a Nexus One in person. Google just haven't sold enough of them...
post #40 of 43
So, to sum it all up:
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

What kind of price point is $700 for a carrier-locked phone, especially with that small screen resolution, versus $530?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

A hearty 'Lol' @ all the sheepboys that said "awmagad $530 for a Nexus One, that's so expensive". Yeah, well the iPhone is even more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The low-end 8GB iPhone 3G sells for $499

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRockets View Post

Fail.
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