Contrary to rumors that had surfaced online very recently, the Apple iPhone 4 is still available without the two-year service contract. The rumors stated that AT&T and Apple had mutually decided not to offer iPhone 4 without contract. Everything from the possible advent of the iPhone on Verizon to AT&T’s urge to make more money out of the iPhone 4 was blamed for this.
But these rumors should end here because both AT&T and Apple continue to offer the iPhone 4 without a two year contract and basic handset pricing. The only thing is that this deal is only available offline. If you buy the iPhone 4 in person from an AT&T Wireless store or from an Apple store, you can get the iPhone4 without the contract.
However if you choose to have the phone shipped to your doorstep after an online purchase, you will need to accept the two-year contract with AT&T. The company (AT&T) has also clarified that this has always been the policy on the iPhone 4 and they are not sure from where these rumors surfaced.
So, why did people suddenly get an idea that Apple and AT&T have made such a ludicrous policy change? Probably it is the change in the iPhone FAQ page which prompted these ideas where it is written quite clearly that you cannot buy an iPhone without a contract.
But Apple is only referring its policy for the online store and has further clarified that these words have been there always and have not been changed in any way recently.
Pricing? If you buy an iPhone 4 without contract you pay $599 upfront for the 16GB version and $699 for the 32GB version. On the other hand if you opt for the AT&T contract, you can get the 16GB version for $199 and the 32GB version for $299. Of course you also have to pay as you use during the two year contract period.
There is a point of view that this AT&T contract is expensive, but then you don’t have much choice right now. Hopefully the speculation that the Verizon iPhone will be available in early 2011 comes true and you have a second option!