Does anyone remember the good old days when you could walk into a Apple store and walk right out with an iPhone that was not opened or activated via an Apple store employee? Well those days are long gone but Apple did make one step in the right direction with their new smart buying process.

This process basically allows you to start the buying process at home instead of doing it all in store. You enter in all of your billing information, review your eligibility and pricing options, and the final step consists of you selecting your AT&T rate plan.

Once you're done, choose your closest Apple Retail Store and let us know when you'd like to come in to complete your purchase.** An Apple Specialist will be ready to help you personalize your new iPhone 3G, make calls, browse the web, receive email, and more.

What is the downside to all of this you ask? Well you still have to go to the store to get your phone... I know... it's a downer. Apple should have made this option available on July 11th, I'm sure it would have cut down on the wait times in all of their stores.

If anyone is in the market for a new iPhone and uses this method on Apple's web site, let us know how it goes!

(Via AppleInsider)