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Summary:

In yet another move designed with the intention of moving as many iPhones as possible this holiday season, AT&T began taking orders online for the iPhone 3G today. The option is open to anyone, and includes both the 8GB and 16GB models. A minimum two-year contract […]

In yet another move designed with the intention of moving as many iPhones as possible this holiday season, AT&T began taking orders online for the iPhone 3G today. The option is open to anyone, and includes both the 8GB and 16GB models. A minimum two-year contract purchase is required when ordering online.

Once you select your model, you can configure you voice and data plans and any other options you want to include in your service bundle. You can also add AppleCare and other iPhone-specific accessories. You are, however, limited to one device per household, so you won’t be able to knock out your whole family shopping list in one go.

AT&T is also offering free overnight shipping for a limited time, in order to ensure that customers get their phones in time for Christmas. They’ve also posted a countdown of how many days are left before you’re no longer guaranteed pre-holidays arrival of your order. Once you receive your iPhone, you’ll have to connect it to iTunes in order to complete the activation process. New customers also have to provide their social security information so that AT&T can run a credit check.

Allowing online purchasing of the iPhone could extend the reach of the popular device to even more markets, and should save AT&T some infrastructure costs on the retail side of its operations. Despite the abundant availability of AT&T stores in urban areas, the new online option could appeal to those in more remote locations. You should note that using AT&T’s method, it’s still not possible to buy an iPhone for people outside your immediate family, since sensitive personal information is required in order to run the credit check.

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  1. Could this also be a flanking maneuver by AT&T to prevent some erosion of their market by WallyWorld? Or, maybe just the way those rumored phones will be activated – without the need of training the sometimes less-than-genius-level employees there.

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