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Will You Be Able To Buy An IPhone Without A New Contract? Depends On Which Store You Visit

Posted June 6, 2007 8:00 AM by Tanner Godarzi
Categories: AT&T News 

image It’s been confirmed that in order to purchase an Apple iPhone you’ll need a new 2 year contract alongside the phone. You can’t purchase the device outright and hook your SIM into it. No, that would be far too easy and would cause AT&T to lose some extra dough for every phone sold. However, you may be able to snag an iPhone sans contract but it all depends where you shop.

First off, a previous mentioned story of stores only receiving a couple dozen iPhones at launch is holding some merit and this story confirming iPhones shortages which claims it was due to the overall cost of purchasing it is no longer true, there will be shortages but not due to a lack of customer awareness, in fact it’s the other way around. In short it will be utter hell trying to get an iPhone the very day it arrives.

The bigger problem is all the red tape you have to go through but it all depends on where you go. Still a little freaked out about having to purchase a 2 year plan I decided to get it confirmed once and for all. I called my local AT&T store and talked to a manager. I prompted about the 2 year contract and he confirmed it was true, for now. Most stores are getting very few iPhones and may be sold out so in order to cash in they are requiring a new 2 year plan and refuse to sell it without one for quite a while. He did mention very few stores that are getting increased shipments will sell an iPhone without a contract.

The cheapest way (for now) I can get an iPhone is to add another line to an existing 2 year contract. Then I thought hey, Apple is selling the iPhone along with AT&T for 500-600 dollars, they can’t do a plan in store so I could buy one from Apple and pop in my SIM. I called my local store and a very kind person named Steve who just about had it with people calling in about the iPhone. I was told that all he knew was his store would be selling iPhones June 29th and that’s all the information they got.

So in this hunt for an iPhone it’s best to do some phoning around seeing if your store can get you in contract free and it would be best to camp outside for a few hours.


  1. All the “my store told me this, a customer service rep told me that” talk is crap.

    Anything any store-level or non-executive level employee of AT&T tells you at this point is speculation.

    As a store manager, I know the iPhone is to be released on the 29th. From our internal communications? No. That came after the commercials started airing.

    Do we know how many our (or any store) is getting? No. From our understanding, Apple is handling distribution. The devices may not even pass through our warehouses.

    If you watch any of the ads on Apple’s website for the iPhone, and pause when it gets to the AT&T logo, you’ll see the words “Use requires minimum new 2 year activation plan”.

    We don’t know if we’ll be activating the devices in the store, or if it’ll be an Apple-boxed device that the customer must take home and activate.

    Posted by anonymous on June 6, 2007 8:27 AM
  2. Thanks for clearing that up

    Posted by Cosmo on June 6, 2007 9:51 AM
  3. Well, if purchase requires a two year activation, it seems only logical that you would in fact be activating devices in the store. 

    The iPhone is a breakthrough device, yes, but it’s still a phone and purchasing it is still going to work like, well, a phone.

    I still want to know what the plans are.  Are they going to make the price reasonable to make this mainstream, or make it as expensive as a Blackberry (minimum plan price: about $85 a month).

    If you’re wondering why there are more Windows Mobile phones in the world than Blackberries, even though Blackberries get all the publicity and addicted users, well, now you know why.

    If the iPhone wants to make a big splash it would price the plan at $60 a month - in other words, not much north of the T-Mobile Sidekick.  With no subsidy from the carrier, I think that would be doable.  My worst fear is that we’re stuck with $85 a month plans for it, which makes me grumble a bit ...


    Posted by David H Dennis on June 6, 2007 10:01 AM
  4. “Use” and “purchase” are two different things.  I wonder if I can purchase one without a contract and not “use” it.  I may try that via the Apple store online.

    Posted by bfg on June 6, 2007 11:10 AM
  5. It looks like AT&T will not let current customers under contract buy the iPhone.




    Posted by anonymous on June 6, 2007 11:57 AM
  6. Will current customer, who not in a contract be able to upgrade (renew the 2 year contract) to get this phone ?

    Posted by Louis Nelson on June 6, 2007 9:58 PM
  7. @Louis Nelson, I am not entirely sure but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

    Posted by Tanner Godarzi on June 6, 2007 10:08 PM
  8. And consumers accuse Bill Gates of unscrupilous business practices? Ha! Hopefully, in the very near future, a group of eager corporate and/or comsumer attorneys will hunt Apple down like the dog it is showing itself to be.

    Posted by Anonymous on June 23, 2007 6:48 AM
  9. fplqgvod http://vpwczhlt.com htrstonl gyflozpx txcrqnfq  kxzmytgj

    Posted by flynzcat on January 18, 2008 2:30 AM
  10. It is a good deal but not the best deal

    Posted by gettogogetta on February 12, 2008 7:29 PM

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