US Apple Stores Now Selling Unsubsidized, Contract-Free iPhones?

Apple Insider is reporting that some US-based Apple Stores are, following a similar to move by AT&T, starting to sell unsubsidized and off-contract iPhones. Pricing is $599 for the 8GB model and $699 for the 16GB, but in this case there seems to be no restriction on the quantities purchased.

While Apple Insider suggests these units could be unlocked, we're not aware of any official policy or method in place to do so -- unless they're referring to Jailbreaking and running the yellowsn0w software.

Speculation as to why Apple and AT&T are now more fully embracing the off-contract model, of course, centers around their desire to clear inventory prior to an anticipated (by the Internet) hardware revision sometime this summer, perhaps introduced at WWDC in June as the iPhone 3G was last year.

Anyone rushing out to get their off-contract iPhone 3G while supplies last?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

OmariJames says:

Well it makes sense that are trying to clear out iPhone 3G inventory.
I wonder if at&t is going to let current iPhone owners upgrade even if their contact is not over.
I have four lines on my att line and last fall I upgraded on some elsew line. My actually line ends this May so yeah :) iPhone HD here I come.

taroliw says:

I wonder if this means they will soon also just offer unlock codes, etc for existing devices that have been on contract for some time. After all, it's not like we have a lot of domestic alternatives to AT&T... that also support iphone. So the only logical rationale for unlocking (or purchasing an unlocked iphone) is travel.

redconfetti says:

This quite possibly could be due to demand for using the phones with AT&T prepaid.

james says:

AT&T claims that there's no way to unlock a phone in the US, and they will not do so.