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iPhone 3G Finally Available In US Contract-Free 265

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the long-time-coming dept.
Engadget is reporting that the iPhone 3G is finally available contract-free if you are willing to pay a much higher premium. Without a contract consumers are looking at $599 for an 8GB model and $699 for the 16GB. AT&T has the added restriction that you must be an existing AT&T customer, but Apple (retail stores only, sorry) will sell one to anyone willing to pay the premium. This change brings the model much closer to the prevailing European model where phones are sold as hardware and the plans are handled completely separately.
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iPhone 3G Finally Available In US Contract-Free

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  • European Model... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MLopat (848735) * on Friday March 27, 2009 @12:47PM (#27359357) Homepage
    I love how marketers in North America continue to push the idea of "European". We've all seen the infomercials where they state "This is a best selling product in Europe..." or "In Europe this retails for $60 but..."

    The way that it really works in Europe is that you pay for your phone over the course of your contract. For example, if you want a phone that is $600 and you are on a 3 year agreement, you pay $16.67 as a line item on your monthly bill to pay for the cost of the phone. That's much better than the hidden subsidy cost that most (if not all) North American carriers provide.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Feminist-Mom (816033)
      I'm not sure, but there is almost always someone in the US who will sell you something where you make monthly payments. Of course, there usually is an unreasonable interest rate.
    • by Nursie (632944) on Friday March 27, 2009 @12:56PM (#27359487)

      The UK must not be in Europe then.

      In the UK the phone is "free" (or not) and then you get contracts that provide you with minutes/texts that do cover the cost of the phone, but it's still hidden.

      Most phones are available without a contract if you want to pay that much, and you can get contracts without phones that are considerably cheaper. But it's not necessarily the most economical way of doing it.

      No, the UK way is to have the phone covered by the contract but the contract only lasts a single year, after which the companies are obliged to SIM Unlock the phone for a nominal fee.

      Or of course just to use pay as you go, if that's your thing.

      • by digitig (1056110)

        No, the UK way is to have the phone covered by the contract but the contract only lasts a single year, after which the companies are obliged to SIM Unlock the phone for a nominal fee.

        Or of course just to use pay as you go, if that's your thing.

        It ain't necessarily so. Last time I upgraded I had to take an 18-month contract to get the phone I wanted. And being obliged to unlock "for a nominal fee" is news to me -- I have been quoted unlocking fees that were higher than the contract-free price of the handset.

      • by !coward (168942)

        Same here.. In regards to the iPhone itself, I seem to recall Spain's Telefonica offering (through Movistar) several options for contract (usually the same duration, but different SMS/data/voice minutes package -- and obviously different minimum monthly payments) as well as different options for pay-as-you-go cards (operators usually have more than one type of PAYG cards that try to tailor different usage habits). Check it out here (flash page). [movistar.es]

        Now, when I did look into it (before deciding it wasn't really

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The UK must not be in Europe then.

        Ask any British person, and they'll tell you it isn't.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Apaine (1517315)
          I second that. Coming from Continental Europe, visiting Britain - it is more akin to visiting US or Australia than Spain or Poland. Things are done differently, and engineering practices are compatible with continental Europe only when they absolutely have to be. Personal experience about engineering practices - In continental Europe - workmanship/quality comes first - cost/time to manufacture comes second. It is usually the opposite in Britain.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Extensa30 (1150211)
      well, that is not true AT ALL. I've been living in 4 different countries so far, with mobile phones bought in the 4 of them (spain, france, england and germany so far). Pretty much each country does different: in some of them the higher the forfait you agree to pay monthly, the cheaper the phone is, in others there is not such an agreement (well, allways a 5 euros or so), but I've NEVER seen paying money just for the line (and with that I mean money that does not come, or can not be spent in calls) The pa
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rmav (1149097)

      No, it does not work like that, at least not everywhere. There is one provider in Italy that does this, I know of no one in any other country.

      You can either:

      1. Buy a phone, then use the card you want; or

      2. You get a subsidised, locked phone with your contract - the preferred way in Germany, where people end up paying much more for the iPhone than the americans, even.

      In italy route 1 means that the iPhone is factory-unlocked, in Germany it will cost you more than in Italy and still netlocked to T-Mobile. I

      • If you read this, please reply to my email address.

        I have been meaning to do what you were talking about. But it has been told to me that everytime I switch SIM I need to resynchronize with iTunes. Is this true? What are the problems?

        Please email with an answer when you can, ok?

        • I have unlocked an iphone and no, you don't have to resync when you change SIM cards. There aren't any downsides at all if you have unlocked iphone.

    • I love how marketers in North America continue to push the idea of "European". We've all seen the infomercials where they state "This is a best selling product in Europe..." or "In Europe this retails for $60 but..."

      The way that it really works in Europe is that you pay for your phone over the course of your contract. For example, if you want a phone that is $600 and you are on a 3 year agreement, you pay $16.67 as a line item on your monthly bill to pay for the cost of the phone. That's much better than the hidden subsidy cost that most (if not all) North American carriers provide.

      So the same as everywhere else then.

      • if you want a phone that is $600 and you are on a 3 year agreement, you pay $16.67 as a line item on your monthly bill to pay for the cost of the phone.

        So the same as everywhere else then.

        The difference is that the networks in mainland Europe are more likely to itemize this charge, and they don't bill it to people who bring their own phone.

    • by rgviza (1303161) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:34PM (#27360163)

      Well you know that Sham-Wow is made in Germany and Germans always make great stuff!

    • Urm, no. There's lots of business models; for exmple, the one I'm on (in France) accumulates 'points' related to my consumption (monthly fees) then lets me upgrade to a new 'phone. Depending on thetype of phone and the number of points i have, I may have to add some cash.

      Of course the catch is that I have to agree to keep my subscription for the next 12 months. So, really the same as getting a 'free' phone with a new line, (also very cmmon in Europe)

    • I love how marketers in North America continue to push the idea of "European". We've all seen the infomercials where they state "This is a best selling product in Europe..." or "In Europe this retails for $60 but..."

      Infomercials? Your example might as well be a Craigslist add.

      The way that it really works in Europe is that you pay for your phone over the course of your contract. For example, if you want a phone that is $600 and you are on a 3 year agreement, you pay $16.67 as a line item on your monthly bill to pay for the cost of the phone. That's much better than the hidden subsidy cost that most (if not all) North American carriers provide.

      This is what Comcast does for people who don't want to use their credit cards on modems or other equipment. Unless I am missing something I don't see anything different here. Also there are hidden cost in the European plans, they are just put in different places. An example might be subsidizing roaming plans by increasing other charges.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jasonthedce (1412671)
      A line-item for the phone would be a great feature for us in the U.S. Currently, your phone is "subsidized" by the lock-in to the contract. Theoretically, this means that after the initial 2-year lock-in, your monthly price should go down as they aren't subsidizing the phone anymore. In reality, of course, the price stays the same and they keep the difference as added profit. Or, you can take your existing phone into another contract and have your already paid-for phone subsidized again.
    • by linhux (104645)

      The way that it really works in Europe

      Of course, there's no such thing as "how it works in Europe". Yes, in Europe a phone is generally more detached from the subscription than what seems to be the norm in the US, but there are almost 50 different countries in Europes, all with their own little quirks and specialities when it comes to how mobile telephony has been implemented. Some countries have laws requiring GSM phones to be unlocked while allowing 3G phones to be locked. Some countries do not allow lock

  • by BigHungryJoe (737554) on Friday March 27, 2009 @12:49PM (#27359375) Homepage

    The contracts WERE in order to subsidize the cost of the phone... and the whole time I thought it was so they could lock me in and deliver shitty service. But seeing that the phone is $400 more without a contract pretty much proves what the cell phone companies have been saying all along.

    • Re:So it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:02PM (#27359585) Homepage Journal
      I"m wondering when the NEW iPhone will come out? Still rumored to be in June?

      I wonder how much that will be.

      Or, are they maybe trying to sell the current phones they have on stock out now, and this is a ploy to sell them faster?

      • The next 'update' to the iPhone will be software and not hardware.

        • by theJML (911853)

          OS 3.0 has already been announced and will be available for the first and second gen iPhones (Second gen upgrade for free, first gen costs $10 I believe). However, the 3rd Generation iPhone is slated to include support for 7.2Mbit 3G speeds (2x the current one) along with a number of other upgrades (that they haven't officially announced, but there are leaks on url:http://macrumors.com and other such sites.

          So no, it's not completely software. Because if it was, no one would buy a new phone they'd just get t

        • Rumor is there will be hardware to go along with it. The biggest change could be the addition HDSPA to get the 3g data rates up to 7.2Mbps

      • Or, are they maybe trying to sell the current phones they have on stock out now, and this is a ploy to sell them faster?

        Yup. I bought a 2G 8GB'er from AT&T back when they were selling "refurbished" units. Barely a few months later, the 3G came out.

        "Refurbished" goods are a nice little pricing ploy used by a lot of consumer electronics companies. First, they get to sell to a different market- ie people who don't buy new things or have a low 'budget'. Second, they get to clear out old inventory, w

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          "Refurbished" goods are a nice little pricing ploy used by a lot of consumer electronics companies.

          If you look at one of these refurb-heavy sites, e.g. eCost, you will find a lot of heavily overpriced stuff, and a lot of really well-priced stuff. You'll find a lot of cheap crap, and a lot of actually quite-good stuff. The problem is that these two axes overlap somewhat randomly so you have everything from overpriced cheap crap to well-priced quite-good stuff. For the most part you need only read reviews to navigate towards the latter.

      • How is raising the iPhone's price by $400 considered a ploy to sell them faster?

    • Re:So it's true (Score:5, Informative)

      by ausekilis (1513635) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:17PM (#27359869)
      Lets do a little math with AT&T's contract [att.com]
      • $36 activation fee for each new line
      • $175 early termination fee of contract
      • $199 8G iPhone w/2yr contract
      • $411 to get an iPhone via broken contract

      Or I could spend $599 for one without a contract, and still give AT&T a boatload of money.

      How exactly is this a good deal?

      • Re:So it's true (Score:5, Insightful)

        by quangdog (1002624) <quangdog AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:27PM (#27360027)
        See, AT&T (and many other carriers) count on the fact that most of the general public has difficulty doing simple arithmetic. When most people are standing in the store holding the shiny new phone, they just can't (or don't care to) add.

        --Kimball
        http://www.incredicode.com/velocity.html [incredicode.com]
      • by rolfwind (528248)

        I heard you have to give the phone back if you break the contract within so many months of purchase.

        • Even if true, I don't see how they could enforce that.
          • by rob1980 (941751)
            By making you pay the difference on top of the ETF if you don't cough the phone up, perhaps? Is there a clause that allows for that in the contract?

            • By making you pay the difference on top of the ETF if you don't cough the phone up, perhaps? Is there a clause that allows for that in the contract?

              If they do do that, then I hope that they are clear with what the costs are. Then again, given everything else they are hiding, I doubt they will do that.

    • But seeing that the phone is $400 more without a contract pretty much proves what the cell phone companies have been saying all along.

      Not at all! All that the $400 higher price for the unlocked iPhone is proving is that Apple is still charging a premium price for what they feel is a high-demand item without competition for as long as they can get away with it. Look at Apple's profit margins on the bare iPhone and you'll see that they could market it at a far lower price and still make plenty of dosh if t

      • All that the $400 higher price for the unlocked iPhone is proving

        Except this phone is not unlocked; it's just without a contract! You can buy the phone, but you can't use it with any provider other than AT&T (without illegally unlocking the phone yourself) and, if you do activate the phone with AT&T, you still have to get an iPhone contract (i. e. you can't buy the no-contract iPhone and activate it on a regular, voice-only plan).

  • And it will then "just work" with T-Mobile?
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:03PM (#27359595)

      Unfortunately, you pay "full" price, but the phone is still locked to AT&T. Dumb move in my mind, but maybe that is what we will end up seeing in another month.

    • by athakur999 (44340) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:05PM (#27359619) Journal

      T-Mobile and ATT use different frequencies for 3G. T-Mobile uses 1700/2100, ATT uses 850 and 1900. You can connectivity with EDGE but you won't be able to do 3G.

      Anyway, just because it's contract free doesn't mean the phone is unlocked. It probably still has the ATT SIM card restriction in place.

      • by Macrat (638047)

        T-Mobile and ATT use different frequencies for 3G. T-Mobile uses 1700/2100, ATT uses 850 and 1900.

        And yet people are unlocking their iPhones and using them on T-Mobile all the time.

    • Mostly. AT&T had to enhance their network slightly to implement features like Visual Voicemail. I expect most normal features of a cell phone would work. Some of the smart phone features may or may not work.
      • by jandrese (485)
        I have a first gen iPhone that I unlocked and stuck a T-Mobile sim into. The only feature that doesn't work is the Visual Voicemail, but the phone has a non-visual voicemail mode that works perfectly fine (it's not like it locks up or anything, the phone just automatically dials in to your voice mailbox when you hit the voicemail button). The only other caveat is that if you turn the phone off and then back on, you will have to go and listen to the voicemail to clear the "new voicemail" indicator.
  • Okay... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CSHARP123 (904951) on Friday March 27, 2009 @12:56PM (#27359497)
    Does it work with other carriers? They may sell it but they never said it will work with other carriers.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday March 27, 2009 @12:57PM (#27359515)

    To me, this [cellphones.ca] product from Samsung is better in every way compared to the latest iphone.

    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:07PM (#27359665)

      Much lower screen rez, 240x440 versus 320x480. Also, the screen isn't multitouch and I've seen many phones with a Flash UI, and they're all uniformly miserable. No app store...

      Honestly, it looks more like they were trying to rip off the Storm than the iPhone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ByrneArena (848313)
      My daughter has that samsung. That phone isn't in the same ballpark as the iPhone... in fact I am not sure it is in the same sport.
    • by akozakie (633875) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:35PM (#27360177)

      O-kay... Now WHY is parent modded as funny? Fanboy mods probably think that any comment suggesting that some product is better than iPhone must be tongue-in-cheek (with the possible exception of Android).

      Just like iPod never was the perfect MP3 player, iPhone is not and never will be the perfect phone. Sure, for many users, including a couple of my friends, the iPhone is great and nothing comes close, but "many" isn't the same as "all".

      I played a bit with the iPhone. It's fun. It's well designed. It's not for me. I definitely wouldn't exchange my Nokia E61i for it, and that's an old phone now, better ones are available. If I had a choice - get iPhone for free or buy E61, E71, or something like that - I'd reach for my wallet. For me it's far more functional.

      For example - I don't really like touchscreen interfaces, especially with small (<10") screens, multitouch doesn't change this. Typing an SMS or working with SSH is so much faster on a full qwerty keyboard, after you get used to it you can actually touch-type with your thumbs.

      Still, I read articles in newspapers and feel that I'm expected to want an iPhone. Even here on /. it's the same thing - it seems that I should want one. So many interesting designs on the market, but only iPhone and Android seem to get any attention.

      So, the parent was right in both the title and the comment. The iPhone is not for everyone and it is a bit irritating to see it mentioned everywhere and get weird looks from iPhone owners when they show it to you and you say "It's nice, but I prefer something else".

      Unless of course I missed the joke?

  • Do you still have to jail-break the phone yourself to use on another GSM carrier? If the phone is still locked into AT&T, then you aren't really gaining much here.

    If (and this is a big if), on the other hand, it was a fully-unlocked iPhone, that could operate on any GSM carrier straight out of the box, then it might be worth the money. After all, what warranty obligations does Apple have for a hacked iPhone from the current lots? My guess would be none.
    • Re:Jail-breaking (Score:5, Informative)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:10PM (#27359713)

      Lets define our terms:

      • "Jailbreaking" is performing a procedure so that you can run any executable you wish, and not just those permitted by the App store.
      • "unlocking" is performing a procedure so that you can use the phone with a different carrier.

      This story would appear to be an instance of the second thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by akorvemaker (617072)
        In this case it's option three: Still locked, but simply not bound to a contract. You still can only use it on AT&T, but are not locked in to a specific monthly plan.
    • Do you still have to jail-break the phone yourself to use on another GSM carrier?

      In the United States, which other major GSM carriers are there? Do speeds and coverage on T-Mobile come near AT&T's?

  • Pointless... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nweaver (113078) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:04PM (#27359613) Homepage

    Its cheaper to buy the phone and break the contract if you want a "no contract" iPhone, as its only $400 or so that way.

    • by sootman (158191)

      The silver lining here: since a) this is available now and b) the price is so high, if Apple introduces a new model this summer and I decide to upgrade, I know I'll be able to sell my (activated but no longer needed) 3G handset for more than I paid for it. :-)

  • This is only $100 more than the original phone costs. I generally don't agree that Apple has excessive profit margins, but this seems to indicate that Apple was almost selling the original phone at scalper's prices. I can't imagine that production costs have fallen so much the original couldn't have been sold, with contract, at a much lower price point.

    In any case, I hope this will make all the people shut up about having to buy a contract. The iPhone is not the second coming, and if one does not want

    • by Macrat (638047)

      In any case, I hope this will make all the people shut up about having to buy a contract.

      All US cell phone companies require a contract.. The issue is the COST.

      For example you can get unlimited calls on T-Mobile for $49.99. Compare that to ATT's unlimited call plan.

  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:14PM (#27359809)

    Yes, the cost is subsidized over the length of the contract but that's an excuse for a locked phone, not a reason.

    If you sign a contract to pay $40 per month for 2 years and walk away with a free phone, it don't matter if you use it or not, or switch provider or not.....you STILL have to pay the $40 per month you agreed to, with all the usual debt collection / court hassles for defaulting.

    If you switch carriers and set up a separate contract with a separate sim card you need to pay for that in ADDITION to the contract you signed. Not only that, but your $40 per month contract would include free minutes / SMS as part of the deal which you wouldn't use. The propaganda they use would have you believe that if you switched the sim card and started using another carrier the contract you signed would be void and they wouldn't get paid. This is bullshit, and they need to be called on it.

    The only reasons I can think that you'd want to pay for both at the same time is if you either object morally to the contract company (in this case AT&T, or Apple's iPhone partner in the UK O2) or if you don't get a strong enough reception from them. You may have a long term deal through your employer, or even a number you've been using for a long time that all your contacts know....why should you be forced to change? Yes you can often bring your old number to the new phone but it's not the point.

    Locking you in is inexcusable. An unlocked phone would mean they have to actually compete to keep you. The point here is that a locked phone to enforce at least the cost of the phone on a contract is a red herring. It's even more of an insult to have a pre-pay phone locked to a carrier.

    Personally I live in an area where O2 is the only constant strong reception, so my carrier is dictated by signal strength. I refuse to buy any locked phone, even if it is locked to O2.

    Mobile phones should ALL be unlocked, sold as phones on their own at full price, or with a contract with the provider of your choice, with a selection of deals / prices / free stuff on offer, with an optional cheaper rate per month by buying the phone at the start or a subsidy at a higher rate per month. This is not rocket science.

  • by Timberwolf0122 (872207) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:14PM (#27359811) Journal
    Come on apple we all know it's just a freaking HCSD card in there and they do not cost that much.
  • Your only choice is to be with Rogers (nevermind Fido, they got bought by Rogers). Whatever new iPhone comes out and even if it were free, the monthly bill from Rogers is too expensive and too limited.

    I bet the iPod touch outsells the iPhone by a bigger margin than in the USA because of this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kabuthunk (972557)

      Pay as you go, my friend... pay as you go.

      I as well have a cellphone (albeit not an iphone... I hate them, personally) and am on the Rogers network. However, I just bought my phone outright from Wireless Wave (I'm sure anywhere that sells cellphones, you can get it non-contract), popped in my SIM card from my old POS nonworking phone, and off I went. I don't use it much, so I'm putting $15 a month on it tops. Helluva lot cheaper than any plan. Downside is I don't have voicemail and maybe some of the oth

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        I plan on getting a pre-paid Virgin when I can afford it. Comes out at around 8$CAD per month and I'm not even sure I'll use all the minutes for the year.

  • It's a phone. I understand the iPhone is a cool toy. I've used one a lot that a friend has. Games are cool, video player is cool. But he's paying over $2000 for the phone and two years of service.

    Wow.

    My phone is from Net 10. I paid $60. It's decent, does what a phone should and has IM/SMS and can send/recv photos.

    I pay $15/MO. That is $360, after taxes, for 2 years of service and 150 minutes a month. 10c a minute for more minutes, 5c for messages.

    As much as I like gadgets, I just can't imagine p

    • by SydShamino (547793) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:55PM (#27360551)

      It's all relative. My phone was $6.50 refurbished from Virgin. I pay $90 pre-paid each November for a year of service. That's $186.50 for 2 years of service at about 75 minutes a month.

      As much as as I like gadgets, I just can't imagine paying $15/MO for a phone. I'd much rather put that money towards blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the blackjack. Ah, screw the whole thing.

    • It's a phone. I understand the iPhone is a cool toy. I've used one a lot that a friend has. Games are cool, video player is cool. But he's paying over $2000 for the phone and two years of service. . . .As much as I like gadgets, I just can't imagine paying $90/MO for the iPhone. I'd much rather put that money towards my mortgage. Am I alone in this thinking?

      Let's be clear on this: The phone is $199 or $299 with a 2 yr plan. The AT&T voice and 3G data plan will cost you $2000 over the lifetime of the p

    • Well your usage is extremely low. What would you pay if you used between 500-1000 texts/month + 1200 or so minutes and then 500-1000mb of data?

  • I'm still predicting and hoping that the iPhone will become more open as time goes on. I doubt they really wanted to be tied to a single carrier in the first place, but they had to make some deal with someone to get their foot in the door of a pretty closed-off industry. I suspect that some of the closed-off nature of the iPhone's development is a combination of deals that they have with AT&T and a tendency toward wanting to control a new product until it's more clear where things are going.

    Personall

    • by Slugster (635830)

      "... I doubt they really wanted to be tied to a single carrier in the first place, but they had to make some deal with someone to get their foot in the door of a pretty closed-off industry. ..."

      That's bullshit.
      What would have been wrong with Apple just selling an unbranded, quad-band unlocked GSM phone? The only mobile providers that really give you the choice of phone are GSM carriers anyway (of which AT&T is one of the two in the US).

      The problem I see is that Apple wanted to bundle it with a comp

  • by maz2331 (1104901)

    Maybe I need to turn in my geek card, but all I expect from a phone is the ability to communicate by voice and very occasional text messages. I'll stick with an el-cheapo cell.

    • by jandrese (485)
      Yeah, in your case an el-cheapo cell is the right product.

      I, on the other hand, have found the ability to search Google on the fly to be an amazing feature. The built-in Google Maps support has been a lifesaver too. The App Store has been a real treat as well.
    • by Slugster (635830)

      Maybe I need to turn in my geek card, but all I expect from a phone is the ability to communicate by voice and very occasional text messages. I'll stick with an el-cheapo cell.

      I used to think that too, and just had a super-cheap $30 Virgin prepay phone for the last few years. The lousy voice call quality (of all their phones, even newer ones) and their refusal to allow laptop tethering (even to access a dialup ISP account) got me looking elsewhere.

      Upon the advice of a co-worker phone junkie, I spent for an unlocked upper-end "do-everything" phone (HTC tytn-2).... The best way I can say it is that you can end up using more of the features than you expected, if they're present.

  • AT&T's real problem is:

    They can't compete on 3G performance.
    They can't compete on 3G coverage for all users.
    They can't compete on price.

    So they buy off Apple and force people to use a carrier that they wouldn't have chosen otherwise (Apple is scum for going along with this), on a data plan they wouldn't have selected, because AT&T can't win without cheating. So much for capitalism and may the best company win on the prices and performance.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:47PM (#27360417)

    For all those Americans who think that AT&T offers a lousy deal, look to the Great White North:

    Mandatory 3 year contract. There's no option for an unlocked phone or a shorter contract.

    $60 + sales tax for 500 Mb
    $75 + sales tax for 1 Gb

    Pretty lousy, eh? There's not even an option for an unlimited plan. Rogers had a temporary 6 Gb plan for early adopters that's no longer available.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dadragon (177695)

      Give it a little time. SaskTel, Telus, MTS, Bell, Shaw, Yak, and I think a few others are all building GSM networks. Rogers didn't get offered iPhone exclusivity in Canada, so soon there will be several carriers with iPhone plans.

      Yay competition.

  • Google sells the G1 directly without a contract, fully unlocked, and with a root password.

    It is aimed as a developed device, but do what with you you want.

    http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/device.html [android.com]

  • by DECS (891519)

    Engadget didn't "report" this, they blogged Boy Genius, which blogged an original story by AppleInsider.

    Another successful linkjack promoted by slashdot.

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