Contract-Free iPhones Coming Next Week

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News Posted: Thu, Mar 19 2009 9:42 PM

AT&T LogoIf you’ve been dying to get your hands on an iPhone but don’t want to deal with a pesky contract, you’re in luck. Starting next week (March 26 to be exact), AT&T will offer contract-free iPhones. The 8GB iPhone will run you $599, while the 16GB model will cost $699.

iPhone 3GWe’ve known about a no-contract option since the iPhone 3G was introduced last July, but this is the first time the phone is officially being offered without a commitment. In addition to being free from the usual two-year contract, customers who purchase the contract-free iPhone can also activate it at home using iTunes rather than at the AT&T store.  AT&T is restricting the no-commitment price to existing customers who want to add a line, purchase a gift, or upgrade their phone.

Even though these phones are being offered as contract-free, they aren’t unlocked. In fact, you’ll still be required to activate the phone with AT&T in order to use the cell phone service. (Of course, hacks are available that will let you use the iPhone with a different provider, but they’re not approved by Apple or AT&T.) Without activation, the phone basically operates as a marginally beefed-up iPod Touch. Once activated, the iPhone’s service will be on a month-to-month basis with AT&T.

A contract free option may sound good to some, but let us consider this: AT&T’s early termination fee for the iPhone’s two-year contract is currently $175. For that price, it’s possible a person could sign up for a month’s worth of service and then cancel. Even after activation fees and 30 days of service, you may still be ahead in the long run. Of course, the phone would still be locked to AT&T’s network.

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tanka12345 replied on Thu, Mar 19 2009 11:41 PM

The iPhone looks ridiculously expensive by itself. Here you're still forced to go into a long term contract as Vodafone is the only carrier.

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ice91785 replied on Fri, Mar 20 2009 10:42 AM

I can see a lot of people getting excited initially and then I believe its just going to end up is disappointment. Most are just going to buy it, take it home and be perplexed as to what to do next -- I mean a lot of people don't even know how to load music onto their mp3 players, how are they going to figure out an iPhone and potential hacks etc..

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Mar 20 2009 7:10 PM

Amen brothers. I can't see paying $700 for a device that allows work to bug me 24x7 and is primarily designed to sell me add-ons.

You know... in addition to this computer, that is.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ice91785 replied on Sat, Mar 21 2009 12:24 AM

You know 3vi1, I know you are a Linux junkie but I've never actually known what kinda box you run -- out of curiosity what are your HW specs?

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Mar 21 2009 1:05 AM

My primary desktop/always-alpha-linux-distro (usually Kubuntu) is a Q6600 (clocked at 2.66 or 3Ghz, depending on how lucky I feel about 70c temps) w/4GB RAM, an Asus EN9800GTX+ graphics card, and two 750MB drives RAID1/mirrored drives.

I keep all my long-term important stuff on an NFS network share on my arcade cabinet (http://www.eternaldusk.com/arcadecabinet is ancient specs... now it has a dual core X2 AMD 4400 proc, several gig of drives, and an nv7600GT card), which also acts as my print/web/SMB/gaming server. It also runs some version of Kubuntu 9.04 alpha, but I removed KDM since I boot it directly into x11/wahcade. I don't update it until I've verified that the current kernel is relatively bootable. (though I could always just boot a previous kernel from the boot menu). The arcade cabinet is connected to the rest of the network via a couple of Netgear Powerline HDX101 adapters.

My wife runs a Vista laptop, which gives me entertainment when I get to remove the adware/spyware it occasionnally picks up.

The system I've used for my kids, until now, has been a locked down Kubuntu installation (it proxies through the arcade cabinet, which is running Dan's Guardian through Squid to purify things). But I recently replaced it with the new i7 920, 6GBRAM, 500GB Disk system I mentioned in other forums, which is dual booting Vista and Ubuntu.

For networking equipment, I've got two routers - the main is a netgear, attached to my linksys cable modem, but the other is a linksys WRTP54G that I keep around because it has Vonage built into it. By removing the main routing functions from it, I've made it much more stable than when it was running the whole show.

I also have a 3Com switch connected to the main router, and a DLink DWL1000AP (locked down so that only my kids' Nintendo DS's can talk to it).

And, I have a docking station with my "work" machine, a D620 Dell laptop attached via VPN.

OMG... this just made me realize how cluttered my desk is.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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ice91785 replied on Sun, Mar 22 2009 12:16 AM

you certainly have a LOT of fun toys laying around....you should post up on what you think about your i7 in a related thread :) Thanks for sharin man..

 

/hijack

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