Staff at Apple’s flagship New York, Fifth Avenue store confirmed on Thursday that customers are now permitted to buy unlimited quantities of iPhones without an AT&T contract.
Play confirmed to gadget website T3 that the Sim-free deal comes backed with a warranty, and is available to use on all networks, rather than being unlocked from a network, unlike the US deal which is still locked to the AT&T network.
US customers can now buy iPhones without a contract at the full non-subsidised price of $599 for the 8G iPhone and $699 for the 16G model, compared with $199 and $299 with a contract.
Speculation is rife that Apple's change in policy is designed to shift a backlog of iPhones as the company preps a new model for a summer release, possibly timed for the recently announced 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference, the annual gathering of Apple's developer community, from 8-12 June.
If this proves true, Apple would be one of the few companies able to clear unwanted stock not at a discount but at a price significantly higher then being offered under contract.
Meanwhile following Play's offer of iPhones without a contract on Monday, other UK suppliers have apparently begun following suit. An iPhone 3G 8GB was spotted in one London newspaper this week for £262.34, brand new, boxed and sealed, although the deal may well prove to good to be true.
MacVideo Focus Group
We are trying to improve the focus of our sister title MacVideo and to understand our readership a little better. We would like to speak to some video professionals, especially the techies among you, to get your views of the industry. We will pay £50 for participation in our focus group. Click here to volunteer to participate.