Reader Steve has been chatting with Apple.com CSRs today – he’s already talked to two – and they’ve both confirmed my worst fears: you will not be able to order the IP3G online and it will only be available in stores and it will be activated in-store, provided you wish to purchase it at contract prices (i.e. $199).
What does this mean? It means getting an unlocked iPhone will be incrementally harder and considerably more expensive. Even if you pay for the phone and cancel your contract for a $175 fee, the phone will cost around $500, all told. While this is good news for Apple and AT&T – the unlocking imperative just got quite expensive – it’s bad news for folks who haven’t yet gotten iPhones in their respective countries and/or T-Mobile fans who don’t want to switch to AT&T.
The transcript follows, CSR replies in bold.
Hi, my name is Chris. Welcome to Apple!
Good morning. I have a question about the iPhone
and the Activation process
Will activation be the same as the previous version? Simply by using iTunes?
As previous agents had mentioned, activation will be done in store.