No Contract, No iPhone for you

Update: Readers, I checked with Walt Mossberg about the SIM card situation, and the mistake is entirely mine in misreading his report.

I never said there wasn’t a SIM slot or that the iPhone couldn’t physically accept SIM cards, even those from non-AT&T carriers. That means the cards won’t work, that they are useless when inserted in the phone, not that they can’t be inserted in the phone.

That said, I still won’t be buying an Apple iPhone, unless I can use my current AT&T SIM Card, and don’t have to sign-up for a draconian two-year-contract. Boy Genius has left a comment saying that it is possible to get the phone without a contract, except the phone company said otherwise. He says that “The iPhone will in fact be available without a contract — only if you fail their credit check.” In other words, if you are like me – with a decent credit, then you are out of luck.

The reason: the phone is not available to those who don’t want to sign up for a two-year-contract with the AT&T service. No No, I am not talking about pre-paid people, who don’t even have a prayer of a chance to get the iPhone. [digg=http://digg.com/apple/No_Contract_No_iPhone_for_you]

If you are an existing AT&T customer – and I am – but have gotten out from under their thumb (aka) contract, Apple’s phone isn’t available to you. Oh, I checked with the AT&T officials and they said that it is true: no contract, no phone. And since it doesn’t have a SIM card, there is no chance of getting one from the gray market.

It only works with AT&T (formerly Cingular), won’t come in models that use Verizon or Sprint and can’t use the digital cards (called SIM cards) that would allow it to run on T-Mobile’s network. (Walt Mossberg’s Review)

It is actually pretty annoying that one-has-to-jump-through so many hoops, and it is almost not worth it. AT&T gets a lot of money with AT&T Wireless. I have been a customer for nearly a decade and to be forced into a contract, that just blows. Ditto for Apple!

Will my dollars are staying where they should stay: in the savings account. Hey maybe someone needs to set up a social network for those who are not buying iPhone!