Will The iPhone Be Available Without A Contract? - InformationWeek

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5/22/2007
11:52 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Will The iPhone Be Available Without A Contract?

According to The Boy Genius, the answer to that question is yes! It is showing off some internal AT&T screen shots that indicate the iPhone will be available to prepaid customers. The beauty of the prepaid model is that you can enjoy all the positive aspects of the iPhone without being locked into a multiyear contract.

According to The Boy Genius, the answer to that question is yes! It is showing off some internal AT&T screen shots that indicate the iPhone will be available to prepaid customers. The beauty of the prepaid model is that you can enjoy all the positive aspects of the iPhone without being locked into a multiyear contract.The spied screen shots don't say how much any prepaid accounts would cost or what the data-usage fee structure would be like. Right now, AT&T's prepaid accounts are affordable and offer a lot of flexibility. Who knows if AT&T will revise its prepaid offerings before the iPhone launches or if it will hatch new prepaid offerings specifically for the iPhone. Either way, the notion of using an iPhone without a lengthy contract is highly appealing.

Here's what Boy Genius said:

According to some newly surfaced AT&T account codes ... we can infer that the iPhone will be available to Go Phone Pay As You Go subscribers, Go Phone Pick Your Plan subscribers ... and postpaid users.

This is good news for AT&T customers whose accounts are not ready for upgrades. It's also good news for non-AT&T customers who perhaps were on the fence about switching from their current carrier to AT&T.

For people who want the iPhone for its music and other media features, but not necessarily its telephony, this provides them with the justification they need. They'll be able to buy the iPhone and use the phone features at will, all while being able to enjoy the device for its other attributes.

One negative here, however, is that the prepaid accounts may limit the iPhone's true potential as a telephone. There's no word if features such as the visual voice mail would be available to prepaid customers.

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