AT&T to Offer iPhone Without Contract
07/01/08 - 01:11 PM EDT
Updated from 10:20 a.m. EDT
AT&T T announced additional pricing details for Apple's AAPL next-generation iPhone, which the company will begin selling next week, including the disclosure that buyers will have an option to purchase the device without a contract.
AT&T reaffirmed that it will offer the 3G iPhone at a subsidized price to subscribers who are activating a new line with the wireless provider or to current customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount. Those subscribers can buy the iPhone 3G for $199 for the 8-gigabyte model or $299 for the 16-gigabyte version. Those prices require two-year contracts, AT&T said.
Existing AT&T subscribers who don't qualify for an upgrade discount can purchase the iPhone 3G for $399 for the 8-gigabyte model or $499 for the 16-gigabyte device. Both options will require a new two-year service agreement. Current AT&T customers who are upgrading to iPhone 3G will pay an $18 upgrade fee and new AT&T customers will pay the standard $36 activation fee, the company said.
AT&T also divulged the unsubsidized cost of the iPhone 3G, saying it will offer a no-contract-required option for $599 for the 8-gigabyte iPhone or $699 for the 16-gigabyte "in the future." Previously, both Apple and AT&T had not announced plans to sell the iPhone 3G without a service contract.
Shares of AT&T were lately down 1.8% to $33.09. Rival Verizon VZ was losing 0.2% to $35.34. Sprint Nextel S slumped 9.3% to $8.62.
iPhone maker Apple AAPL saw its shares gain 1.9% to $170.68. BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion RIMM was adding 1.5% to $118.73, and Palm PALM gave back 4.1% to $5.17.