AT&T to offer limited iPhone 3G sales without contract

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T will begin offering "no commitment" pricing on the iPhone 3G beginning on March 26, without any service contract requirement, according to a report leaking an internal company training memo.



The report, posted by Boy Genius, says that AT&T will only offer the iPhone 3G at its "no commit" price of $599 for the 8GB version or $699 for the 16GB model to existing customers, and limit them to one unit each at that price.



However, the document also notes that AT&T has no way of tracking if the user has already bought a unit at the no commit price within the company's billing system, although AT&T retail stores "can see the transaction through OPUS [AT&T's point of sale system] if the device was purchased through AT&T COR [a company-operated retail store]."



The document says "AT&T is restricting the No-Commit price to existing customers who wish to add a line, purchase as a gift, or perform and [sic] upgrade and are not eligible for the Qualified or Early upgrade price."



"Qualified pricing" refers to the standard $199/$299 price of the iPhone 3G when obtained with a two year contract commitment. For AT&T users who recently received a contract subsidized phone of any kind, AT&T charges an "Early Upgrade price" that is $200 more than the iPhone 3G's qualified price: $399/$499. It also requires a two year contract extension.



The no-committment iPhone models from AT&T incur a device activation fee when used with AT&T's service, and also require a data plan, although device activation is not required at the point of sale.



The new "no-commit" sales program appears to be an effort to push out remaining iPhone 3G inventory prior to the launch of the next iPhone, due sometime this summer. Last year, Apple similarly allowed the existing inventory of iPhones to dry up to the point where almost no iPhones were left for several weeks prior to the launch of iPhone 3G.



Other iPhone 3G partners are similarly discounting iPhone sales to move inventory, which has resulted in various dire rumors about the iPhone's prospects, not unlike last year when certain pundits jumped all over "falling sales" of the original iPhone during the months when inventory levels dried up completely.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "AT&T is restricting the No-Commit price to existing customers who wish to add a line, purchase as a gift, or perform and [sic] upgrade and are not eligible for the Qualified or Early upgrade price."



    That will be all of 3 people?



    Sounds like ATT trying to make some non-news.....
  • Reply 2 of 38
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Would these phones be fully unlocked at that price? If so, it would be an interesting experiment to see how much people really want to free themselves from the lock/subsidy treadmill and start treating mobile handsets like something they actually own (like their computers).
  • Reply 3 of 38
    I want 3G call quality without 3G data plan pricing.

    I like my current $20/month data plan, but not the lousy call quality of the first gen iPhone.

    I'll wait to see what comes out this summer.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    T-Mobile offered me an unlimited nationwide voice plan for $49.



    Presumably to keep me from going to AT&T.



    The catch? 2-year contract required.



    Mine just expired in January.



    No thanks T-Mobile, I prefer to be free.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Free to use with any provider or locked to AT&T? That is the key difference, not only the lack of contract!
  • Reply 6 of 38
    What we need in the US is pre-pay data packages. Salespeople in the stores seem to think it's laughable that anyone would want that. They sent me packing. No probs in the UK, mainland Europe and even the UAE.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Free to use with any provider or locked to AT&T? That is the key difference, not only the lack of contract!



    Hallelujah. Who knows, but at least for now it's contract-free; making it a similar device to the iPod Touch until the user wants to make it a phone. Perhaps the iPod touch might even get discontinued!
  • Reply 8 of 38
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dommy-D View Post


    What we need in the US is pre-pay data packages. Salespeople in the stores seem to think it's laughable that anyone would want that. They sent me packing. No probs in the UK, mainland Europe and even the UAE.





    I have a pre-paid data plan with AT&T. It's the ONLY way I will do business with that company. Of course it also means I can't use an iPhone, but c'est la vie. I don't need one so badly that I'm willing to compromise my principles.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    I already have that. . . kind of. I've got very limited 3G service -- it's missing quite often and other times it is as slow as EDGE. I'm glad I'll be able to CHOOSE limited 3G service and not have the commitment, because now I am stuck with limited 3G service and have the commitment.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    SAY WHA?
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Hahaha...



    I'm sure AT&T got words from Apple



    Apple would release a killer new gen iphone. With more processor power, better battery life (improvement learned from 17 MBP), probably include video recording, more capacity, iChat AV Mobile (front video camera).



    That's why AT&T must start cleaning inventories, and why not make extra $$$ while doing so.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    ivladivlad Posts: 740member
    this is how apple is gonna clear their inventory of iPhone 3G to make room for the new iPhone in June.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    this is how apple is gonna clear their inventory of iPhone 3G to make room for the new iPhone in June.



    Quote:

    genius



    Oh Apple invented the clearance sale now?
  • Reply 14 of 38
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dualie View Post


    I have a pre-paid data plan with AT&T. It's the ONLY way I will do business with that company. Of course it also means I can't use an iPhone, but c'est la vie. I don't need one so badly that I'm willing to compromise my principles.



    just buy a used iPhone and, *gulp*, jailbreak it.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Personally, I don't get this sentiment. AT&T is the king of trying to get you into contracts. T-Mobile doesn't force you to sign a contract once your initial contract expires.



    I for one love the iPhone. I, however, don't love it enough to pay AT&T that data plan pricing that I wouldn't use and is too expensive considering I wouldn't use it that much. Moreover, AT&T is a horrible company in so many ways.



    I'm currently stuck using my first generation iPhone on T-Mobile. Maybe this deal will let me stick with T-Mobile.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TranceMist View Post


    T-Mobile offered me an unlimited nationwide voice plan for $49.



    Presumably to keep me from going to AT&T.



    The catch? 2-year contract required.



    Mine just expired in January.



    No thanks T-Mobile, I prefer to be free.



  • Reply 16 of 38
    How is this a good deal?



    8GB iPhone: $199 + $14 tax = $214

    Activation: $36

    One month service: $70 + $4 tax = $74

    Cancellation Fee: $175



    Total for work-around "no-contract" iPhone: $499



    Total for AT&T's actual no-contract iPhone: $599 + $41 tax = $641
  • Reply 17 of 38
    krreagankrreagan Posts: 218member
    How long is Apples agreement with ATT? I've heard 2 years and (gulp!) 5 years. If it's two, then we are almost there...



    Is it possible that ATT is going to start this sort of opening up of service in the months before their exclusive contract comes to an end in an effort to lock people into ATT? Boy I can't wait for their to be competition!



    KRR
  • Reply 18 of 38
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Apple and AT&T are in the middle of an exclusive contract. Use your brain for a moment when you ask about unlocked, next time.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    zeromeuszeromeus Posts: 181member
    To get an UNLOCKED iPhone 3G, all I have to do is go out to a local store and pay $500 for an 8GB iPhone or $600 for a 16GB one. They give me an iPhone 3G unlocked and ready to be used with ANY GSM carrier I wish. Why pay $600+tax+activation+data plan for such a device? Yeah! That's what I thought!



    I'll pass!
  • Reply 20 of 38
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by krreagan View Post


    How long is Apples agreement with ATT? I've heard 2 years and (gulp!) 5 years. If it's two, then we are almost there...



    Is it possible that ATT is going to start this sort of opening up of service in the months before their exclusive contract comes to an end in an effort to lock people into ATT? Boy I can't wait for their to be competition!



    KRR



    No one knows how long.



    There is competition, by the way. It's called the G1, the Pre, Verizon and Sprint. Just because the competition doesn't offer a better product/service combination doesn't mean there's no competition.
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