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US Apple Stores Now Sell Contract Free iPhones

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News broke late yesterday that US Apple Stores are now selling contract free iPhones, without the requirement of being an existing AT&T customer or provide ID. Previously, customers had to be an existing AT&T customer to buy iPhones without contracts.

Apple could be trying to clear stocks to make way for the next iPhone coming this summer. The iPhones will include the newest baseband so they cannot be unlocked. With the Google Nexus One (it’s now available for Canadians!) sold unlocked for similar pricing, consumers in the USA have some choices to make. This is most likely an attempt to clear out existing stock.

Gizmodo obtained an image that reads:

“Effective immediately, customers purchasing iPhone as device only at full price are no longer required to have an AT&T account or provide a form of ID. Device only full price iPhone sales are limited to one per person per day.”

The prices are as follows: $499 for the iPhone 3G 8GB, $599 for the iPhone 3GS 16GB, and $699 for the 32GB model.

In Canada we have been able to buy iPhones outright, but they are locked to local carriers. What is interesting to note is that our iPhone 3G readers are already being offered early upgrades for the iPhone 3GS by Rogers.

Anyways, if you’re an iPhone 2G user, this could be the perfect time to upgrade as prices are expected to drop for the iPhone 3GS once the new iPhone is released this summer.

[Gizmodo]

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  • djepsilon

    This might be a silly question Gary, but iphones are locked to the carrier you purchased them with for life? Do you know what actually determines what carrier it's locked with (is it just the software or is it something with the hardware)?

    It seems so backwards to me that Apple would lock their phones like that. You would think Apple would only care about iphone sales, period. Think of how many people would get iphones if they could buy it like an ipod and go on whatever carrier they pleased! Maybe these contract free phones in the states are a taste of things to come?

  • Q1: no
    Q2: Software

    Apple has to lock them as per the carrier agreements.

    Contract free iPhones have been in Canada since November 2009.

  • roadcarver

    I wonder how much the early upgrade is for a 3G owner with Robbers….

  • Justin

    My question is, if I have my iPhone 3GS on Rogers, decide to break my contract, pay the huge fee to get out of it, then say move to Bell. Would Apple unlock the phone and let me use the same phone on Bell. I realize they would probably have go re-lock it once the Bell sim card is in. But is it even an option, or would I have to buy a whole new iPhone?

  • No. No one will unlock it unless you do it yourself.

  • djepsilon

    This might be a silly question Gary, but iphones are locked to the carrier you purchased them with for life? Do you know what actually determines what carrier it's locked with (is it just the software or is it something with the hardware)?

    It seems so backwards to me that Apple would lock their phones like that. You would think Apple would only care about iphone sales, period. Think of how many people would get iphones if they could buy it like an ipod and go on whatever carrier they pleased! Maybe these contract free phones in the states are a taste of things to come?

  • Ex

    Q1: no
    Q2: Software

    Apple has to lock them as per the carrier agreements.

    Contract free iPhones have been in Canada since November 2009.

  • roadcarver

    I wonder how much the early upgrade is for a 3G owner with Robbers….

  • Justin

    My question is, if I have my iPhone 3GS on Rogers, decide to break my contract, pay the huge fee to get out of it, then say move to Bell. Would Apple unlock the phone and let me use the same phone on Bell. I realize they would probably have go re-lock it once the Bell sim card is in. But is it even an option, or would I have to buy a whole new iPhone?

  • Ex

    No. No one will unlock it unless you do it yourself.

  • Pingback: iPhone 3GS Still Selling Hot After All These Years [Report] | iPhone in Canada Blog - Canada's #1 iPhone Resource()

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