Italians may end up paying more for the 3G iPhone, but that’s because they won’t be locked into any phone-subsidizing contract. That, according to reports in today’s Repubblica. It looks like Apple and TIM, the largest wireless provider in Italy, reached a deal last week that gives the provider an exclusive on the 3G iPhone, sorta. While TIM will be the exclusive carrier of the iPhone as far as regular subscriptions go—that is, if you want the phone along with the normal two-year contract or whatever—Italians will also have to option of buying the phone unlocked and contract-free. That way, they’ll be able to go with a pay-as-you-go service, which is apparently quite popular over there.
TIM had no official response to the reports, only saying that they’ll have something “later on.”
Unlike other reports, this one doesn’t say whether or not the 3G iPhone will look any different from the current model.