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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    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. "
  • Reply 2 of 42
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Apple is clearing inventories in preparation for the new iPhone. iPhone OS 4.0 beta in April may be.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 42
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,580member
    Still wish they would clear inventory with unlocked phones. Oh well.



    New iPhone in May? "Dads and Grads" time of the year?
  • Reply 6 of 42
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 42
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 42
    They need to move them out for the new ones coming in...
  • Reply 9 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    Hillarious...an iPhone 3G, now almost 2 year old technology, AND locked, sells for more than an iPad...priceless...
  • Reply 11 of 42
    popspops Posts: 15member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    My favorite part is the FAQ.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    skdyerskdyer Posts: 1member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 42
    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?



    ...



    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.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    imickimick Posts: 351member
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 42
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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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