Apple No Longer Offering No Contract Pricing for iPhone in the US?

According to the Apple website, it appears like US users no longer have the option to purchase an iPhone at no commitment pricing.  In the US, AT&T is the exclusive carrier.  A lot of users prefer to purchase a phone at no commitment price and unlock it for use on T-Mobile (and some people just don't like contracts).  The AT&T websites still seems to be offering the no commitment price for the iPhone. Apparently you must purchase a no commitment iPhone in store. Doesn't make any sense to us either.

AT&T stated they have not made any policy changes on their end so is this just the new reality for Apple in a post world? You can buy factory unlocked iPhone 4 in most countries outside the US now, so is unlocking still that big of a concern here at home?

I guess we'll have to wait and see if AT&T's website follows suit. Anyone seriously upset by this?


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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Apple No Longer Offering No Contract Pricing for iPhone in the US?


If you read the super fine print at the bottom, it says "For those who are ineligible for a discount, or wish to buy iPhone as a gift, the prices are $499 for 8gb, $599 for 16gb, or $699 for 32gb." There's no way they won't sell the phone to someone for that reason...

This isn't new. It has always said an AT&T contract was required. And they haven't let (as far as I know) any one purchase an iPhone at no commitment online. You've always had to go to the store.

I understand contracts for subsidized handsets but there really should not be any type of limitation if someone doesn't want or require the subsidy. As much as I like some of their products it seems like Apple and AT&T think up another way to keep me from buying on a weekly basis.

This really makes no sense, if it is an Apple decision. Why should Apple care, if they sell the damn phone at a profit? If they are willing to sell them in Canada, Britain, France, etc. without a lock and contact, why not in the U.S.?
On the other hand, most of us always thought this was the way it was in the U.S. anyway. We never knew there was any such "small print."

Well .. i has my cousin ship me a unlocked iPhone 4 from Canada for the same price of a locked phone here in US.
Dont know why att and apple are so eager to screw US iPhone users.

I wish we could buy the iPhone unlocked here in the states, we travel to Europe to visit family every year and have our old phones unlocked so we can just pop in a sim when we land at the airport. We have given some thought to taking a vacation to Montreal and buy our iPhone 4s there...

Not sure of the contract between AT&T, and Apple. If Apple sold unlocked phones in the US would they be in violation of the contract with AT&T?

Interesting. For upgrades, it looks like the policy is different for AT&T and Apple. I have a 3GS. If I check upgrade eligibility on Apple, it requires a new 2-year contract. On AT&T, there's still no commitment. (And I would have to pay the full, non-discounted price, because I've done an early upgrade in the last 18 months.)
If I were getting an early upgrade discount, a new 2-year contract isn't a big deal. But if AT&T changes their policy, too -- meaning the only way I could get an iPhone 4 is to pay full price AND get a new 2-year contract, then yeah, that would suck a little. But it would just mean I'd put off upgrading until at least next summer. I'll probably survive.

Maybe AT&T's trying to lock as many people as possible into two-year contracts before the Verizon iPhone launch...

That's right folks, always read the small print. Today I purchased an iPhone from the Apple Store in Palo Alto without an ATT contract. Yes I had to pay full price, no big deal. I had it unlocked an hour later and I'm using T-Mobile. In store purchases can't do it online.

As long as I can sell my black 32gb and buy a white 32gb when it comes out I'm happy. That is as long as it doesn't cost me extra.

Yes, no-committment pricing is still available - with a 2 year commitment from AT&T.
"You can take advantage of our no commitment pricing. Additional discounts may be available on 02/28/2011"
$699 for a 32GB iPhone 4 plus contract.

I was just treated very badly at AT&T in Manchester NH, Manchester Mall- for trying to get a phone without a contract, they acted like I was trying to commit a crime. I was so angry when I left, AT&T making people unhappy one person at a time.

Sounds twitchy, not bewitching. Ultimately boring. Prefer the original but without the "whiny" intro.