AT&T, O2, Apple & Carphone Warehouse To Offer No-contract iPhones

US-based AT&T has already started to sell unlocked 3G iPhones for $599 for the 8GB model while the 16GB version will cost a rather substantial $699. In comparison, the T-Mobile G1 Android phone costs $400 SIM-free. But, according to a number of sources, iPhone purchases are limited to one handset per customer and the offer is limited to existing AT&T customers.

On the other hand, Apple US retail stores have apparently started to sell unlocked iPhones as well. We have yet to receive similar reports in the UK and other countries (other than France or Germany). Prospective iPhone customers will be able to buy as many phones as they wish and they will not need to be under contract with any mobile phone network.

Apple has also confirmed that customers will be able to activate their iPhones through iTunes from the comfort of their house. One potential glitch for many, at least in the US, is that 3G connectivity is not supported on T-Mobile US which means that the phone will essentially revert back to being a first generation iPhone.

Unfortunately, only US Citizens will be able to purchase unlocked iPhones even at US stores. Customers will be required to show an acceptable ID prior to the purchase. Expect Apple to slash down the cost of the "old" iPhone 3G even after the new version is introduced, should stock levels still remain high.

O2, Apple and Carphone Warehouse are set to unleash more SIM-Free iPhones in the UK as from next Friday (3rd of April) as well as they attempt to clear the remaining stock of iPhone 3G before the new models kick in.

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Another interesting tidbit reported by Mobileburn is that the price of replacing a broken but subsidised iPhone (in the US at least) has now matched the price of the $599 and $699 model, a $400 hike compared to a few weeks ago.

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