Following rumors last week about AT&T offering contract-free iPhones to customers, Apple Retail Stores have now begun selling the devices without the need for a contract. You can now walk into an Apple store, purchase an 8GB or 16GB iPhone 3G, and take it home with you. What you do afterwards is up to you. You can also buy online, through the Apple website.
Apple are selling the 8GB models for $599 and the 16GB just a hundred dollars more, at $699, and also available in white. Not a bad deal eh? But why have Apple suddenly decided to offer this?
As I said yesterday, this year’s WWDC has been planned for the 8th – 12th June. We expect to see iPhone OS 3.0 emerge, along with more information on Snow Leopard. But turning back to the iPhone, with OS 3.0, rumors suggest a third version of the phone will appear, too. Software firmware 2.0 came out alongside the iPhone 3G, so it makes sense.
So, are Apple trying to lower their stock levels of the iPhone 3G to make way for a new device in the summer? The lengthy contracts offered turned many people away—people who may now be interested in buying the phone. They’re sure to sell, and if they’ve got their numbers right, they’d sell the last few iPhone 3Gs around, 7th June? Just a guess, but it’s a likely option, I’d say.