AT&T: Pay full price for the iPhone 3G; Use it with another mobile carrier


In the WWDC ’08 keynote addressSteve Jobs announced that the iPhone 3G would be available for $199. Naturally this was a cause of excite for many who were looking to purchase the iPhone. The news also caused speculation because many believed that it would be difficult to get an iPhone to use with another carriet. AT&T went out of its way, and rightfully so, to make sure that the iPhone 3G would be extremely difficult to unlock. In-store activationwas a requirement for those looking to purchase the low priced iPhone.

If you’ve been wondering how you can score an unlocked iPhone 3G your worries are over. According to the Washington Post, If you want to use the iPhone with your own mobile provider all you have to do is pay the price of an unsubsidized iPhone. You can purchase the iPhone 3G without a contract. How much will the iPhones cost. The 8GB is available for $599 and the 16GB will be available for $699.

Some consider the price high, but It’s not if you really think about it. Most mobile phone in the U.S. are subsidized phones which cost you less up front. Mobile carriers monthly make up the difference through monthly subscription fees. My LG was free when I signed my two-year contract with Verizon. AT&T users who upgrade to the iPhone 3G can expect to pay a minimum of $70 per month for the life of the two-year contract. You pay less up front, but you end up paying more over the life of the contract. I’d rather pay the full price up front.

I wasn’t happy when Apple decided to use AT&T as the only mobile carrier for the iPhone here within the U.S. Sorry Apple, as much as I like the iPhone I’m not switching to AT&T. I vacation in South Carolina several times each year. The area I vacation is rural, and the connection AT&T offers in this area is poor. I rely on phone calls, and the internet for my business so switching to AT&T is not an option.

The recent announcement changes things considerably although the iPhone 3G is still locked AT&T users who would like to unlock the iPhone to use with their preferred mobile carrier won’t have to go through as many obstacles.

Would you pay full price for an iPhone 3G? Let us know in the comment section.



I have had crappy coverage with T-Mobile. When I was sitting on the stool in the middle of my office building I had nothing. When I went to AT&T I got three bars. I can go drive all the way out through Colorado and many times I will be roaming and end up getting charged with T-Mobile. At&T I roam less and it cost nothing.

Plus I purchased my iPhone 3G refurbished for $50 from AT&T. My Tilt finally hit the dust and I was paying for internet anyways. The refurbished iPhone was a no brainer. Not fully impressed with the iPhone after all the hype but all in all it was worth it.


Hey, iam willing to get an iphone from US through my bro, but my bro is saying that he cant get an iphone without a connection …is there r any ways to get an iphone without a connection…if the piece is locked also no problem as we can unlock it hear.


Where can i buy the unsubscribed iphone for 599$? i’m willing to pay! but i’m in mongolia, so can i buy it online? is it safe?




@lance I am sorry to say that $499 was not the full unsubsidized price for the 16GB 3G iPhone…it was $699. The reason you were able to get the phone for $499 is because you entered into what is know at AT&T as an early upgrade. I don’t work for AT&T so I can’t tell you much more than that.

The iPhone is an awesome piece of Tech but we have to remember that is not cheap. Lots of people get confused on the true value/price when they see advertisements where the price is shown to be $200 or $300 but you must realize that this is only because you are entering into a 2 year contract. This is not the true price of the phone. Take the Nokia N series phones for example…in the states you must buy them out right and pay around $700 dollars. Heck the Palm Pre is $850 outright at Best Buy.

There seems to be alot of confusion about how pricing works with the release of the “3G Speed” iPhone and people with 3G wanting to upgrade. I’ve been listening to a lot of tech podcast and even “expert tech bloggers” are confused and don’t understand how the pricing works. I guess if enough people complain maybe Apple may drop the price down but it will need to come from them not from AT&T and don’t expect a huge drop.

Now here is a possible solution that would satisfy AT&T and its customers I think: AT&T give the “3G Speed” iPhone at the subsidized price to anyone still under agreement as long as it is agreed that an additional 2 years will be added to said agreement. Additional cost would be added for canceling early of course. I believe the current cost to cancel is 2 year agreement is $175 so the new fee to cancel would be above $250. I think my idea is GREAT and FAIR and would work for AT&T and its customers. Somebody with connections at AT&T send this idea to a high level executive or spread my awesome idea î„…


nice comments and they are very informative also, i would like to ask that if a relative of mine buy an iphone 3g contract free that is about 600$ i guess , will i be able to use it in Pakistan?? or i would have to unlock it first ??



Lot and lot of people are cursing themselves not to having that of much amount and missing their desire to have iphone. Seriously price is really high, but recently came to know that Airtel has tied up with banks to provide iphone with easy EMI option. It can be checked at:


Hello Guys ive purchased an iphone 3G from USA , last week and its locked to AT&T , Currently im in india and i cannot use my local Sim card || Vodafone || on it…

Are there are chances where i can use my vodafone india Sim card on this phone ..

please reply ,

Thank you.


ya, u can use it…just go through sme famous mobile service centre or any mobile markets and ask them to unlock it..they will do it…it cost u smething lyk 250-300bucks.


hey kush, i really need ur help now, how did u get this iphone, so u had taken a locked one or the unlocked ?

so how much did it cost u tell me the price for both locked and unlocked…

did u take a connection along with it…cant we just get only this mobile carrier without a connection…


Brand new Mobile phone Plasma tv , Laptop game at cheap price come with complete accessories with one year international warranty.

Email address :

NOKIA N95 8GB….$400USD
iPHONE 8GB……..$300USD
IPOD 32GB………$350USD
NOKIA N96………$500USD
PS3 60GB……….$300USD
SAMSUNG SGH-U900………..$300USD



Apple iPhone (8 GB) Smartphone

Key Features
Type PDA / Cell Phone

Operating System Proprietary

Installed Memory 8 GB
Technical Features
Input Method Touch Screen

Interface Type USB 2.0 . Bluetooth Wireless Technology . Wi-Fi

PDA Special Features Vertical And Horizontal Display . GSM . Cellular Phone . EDGE
Cell Phone
Cell Phone Band GSM 850 . GSM 900 . GSM 1800 . GSM 1900 . EDGE

Talk Time 5 Hours
Screen Size (Diagonal) 3.5 inch

Screen Resolution 320 x 480
Built-in Digital Camera Built-in Digital Camera

Digital Camera Resolution 2 Megapixels
Wireless Capabilities Built-in Wireless . WLAN 802.11b . WLAN 802.11g . Bluetooth
Battery Life 16 Hours
Width 2.4 in.

Depth 0.46 in.

Height 4.5 in.

Weight 4.8 o


Email address :


Stupid question but where would I go about getting that uncontracted iphone even if it is unlocked? Apple stores don’t just give them out (I tried), AT&T stores wants 2 year plan signed…



I’m a student coming to the U.S. next year.
I would like an iPhone but ATT’s prices are really high.
Since I’ll have to pay termination fees after 10 months anyway (or is there a special termination condition for foreign students??), I was wondering if it’s possible to just buy the iphone, keep ATT’s plan for a month, and then pay the 200$ or so termination fees. It’s still 200$ less than full price… and then I can unlock it with a crack.

Another question : is it possible to use Tmobiles’s t-zone plan with the iphone 3G? still compatible with Edge?

Thanks !


hey i want to buy iphone 3g but without an at&t connection. is it possible that a friend of mine with an at%t connection purchases it for me so that i get the iphone and he keeps using the connection with another mobile?

iPhone on T-Mobile

Hey I would love to get my hands on an iphone3G to use with T-mobile in New York. Somebody tell me how I can do that? Apple won’t sell me one in their store without an AT&T account….. Is that Monopoly or what??


Well if you come from asia, you will be very used to paying USD500-600 for unsubsidized high-end phones. Although I hate the fact that Apple made AT&T the “exclusive” service provider, I don’t think is all that expensive for the features you get. In fact, its even cheaper than high end Nokia phones. The problem with US is that everyone is so used to using not-so-good free/cheap phones with contract.

I am planning to get the iPhone 3G to be used with T-Mobile. I am only paying around USD 30 per month for voice only. I don’t plan to use 3G that much as I will always be surrounded by wi-fi. Unlocking the iPhone 3G? I don’t think it is going to be a problem. Personally, as a software engineer, I don’t think it’s impossible.


I would love to buy the new iphone 3g but I really agree w/ #10 Marty. I have a SK (slide) & its cost me $60. maintain my service. It is definately cheaper and that monthly price covers everything including unlmtd web browsing & txt messaging in the U.S. Going w/ t-mobile as a provider for the iphone is cheaper. But the cost and risk of unlocking the 3g iphone is scary because if you fail to unlock phone it turns into a brick phone, braking (no insurace), uploading new data to update phone will brick the phone as well for what I’ve learned. Otherwise it is a good phone, T-mobile if there network supports the iphone 3g would be a good provider to unlock with & if you really like the phone and willing to take the chance of purchasing unlocked… go for it but learn as much about the unlocked version and the pros/cons of the iphone 3g. I will!!100% but that’s just my opinion.

Jim Wallentine

Tomorrow. Full price. And I don’t have a clue what that would be, but I do not care.

nikolaus heger

All this confusion comes from the retarded mobile phone market in the USA. In other countries, everyone understands what subsidized means, what contract-free means, and what unlocked means. Each of these ways of purchasing has a different up-front cost and a different running cost – it’s not that hard, really.

Optus in Australia already said it would sell _unlocked_ iPhones that you can use with any SIM of your choice for about USD 750. In fact, they’ll sell you all three choices – they’ll sell you a very cheap iPhone with a 2 year contract; A pre-paid iPhone for USD 690. And an unlocked one for 750. It’s up to you which one works best for you.

If I was an American, and not traveling much, the AT&T prices are pretty reasonable. The only other option for GSM phones is T-Mobile which has a very similar pricing structure to AT&T so the ability to switch to T-Mobile (USA) is pretty much worthless. Locking is no big deal.

I am, however, traveling a lot, and living in Asia most of the time so the only version that’s useful for me is unlocked. That way, in any country I go to, I can just go to the store, buy a pre-paid card for $10, and have a cell phone with local calling rates. I spend equal amounts of time in Europe, Asia, and the USA and I have a prepaid in each country, and when I am there people can reach me by my local number, and I can make calls at cheap rates, but I retain my phone and address book. I just swap SIMs on the plane.

If we have learned anything from the 1st generation iPhone, it is that no matter what the official pricing and sales policies are, global markets (and grey dealers) ensure that where there’s a demand, it will be filled at reasonable prices. The only thing dealers needs to decide is whether it wants to sell stuff or prevent sales. A pretty simple choice, I think. If AT&T is not selling the iPhone unlocked, others will.


I want an iPhone but there is no way I’ll switch to At&t. Even if they did approve me! Their prices are ridiculous. I’ll just stick to my iPod Touch lol & sidekick. …one day!


For that price and headache, I’ll just carry around my laptop and use SKYPE! LOL.


T-mobile IS significantly less expensive in my experience. I have my wife using an unlocked iphone on t-mobile and her monthly bill is $54 (us). This includes 1500 talk minutes and unlimited data via the 4.99$ t-zones service (now I think it’s 5.99$).

This is ridiculously cheaper then the prices I see published for AT&T iphone users which seem way too expensive to me.

Also this article never mentions that the 3G feature isn’t going to work on T-mobile, because as far as I know t-mobile has no 3G network to speak of in the US.


A subsidized phone doesn’t mean you’re covered any better than with a $600 phone. With a subsidized phone you _DO_ pay the full price for the phone over the subscription time and if you break the phone during the contract, you loose as well. Subsidized phones are all about keeping the customers for 18-24 months and how to arrange the financing, just like buying vs. leasing a car.

iPhone 3G unsubsidized price is in-line with the best phone from e.g. Samsung and Nokia. They are high-end phones with high-end pricing and Steve Jobs’ $199 was just pure marketing without any substance. He could have said $1 if AT&T would subsidize the phone even more, with higher monthly fees.

Selling the iPhone 3G for unsubsidized price but locked to a certain carrier is just plain wrong, almost criminal.

I’ve never had a subsidized phone, I have changed by carrier a few times and I don’t remember that I would have used the same phone for more than 18 months. Almost all the old phones have found a new home, either through a auction site or to friends and family. And yes, I’m interested to buy the iPhone 3G but I won’t be doing the local carrier’s 24-month contract.

Kyle Chowning

i certainly would not buy it at that price. phones of the same type can be purchased for, at most, $400-500.

Purchase prices of $600-700 just isn’t an option. Let’s be real. It’s still a phone. It can be dropped (literally) and dead in an instant.

Moreover, phones are disposable. Apple proves that by offering a new version only a year after they launch the original.

Unless your money bags, dropping 600-700 on a toy that you’ll use and replace in another year isn’t realistic for me…especially in this economy.


I had to reply to this message I live in Florida and gothrough major farm land an rarely lose connection

also I have dropped the phone from high about 20 times the shell is cracked. I have left the iPhone out in the 95 degree florida summer heat for hours and in the rain I know when I seen it I knew it was broken I plugged it in and it came right on a works perfect still

so the iPhone is an extremely well made device

I found this site and am typing on my iPhone and would like to say I am fine with AT&T just wish mms wasn’t not here

Jeff Hall

I live/travel all over South Carolina and the AT&T coverage has never given me any problems. Trust me, I’ve been to the most rural places you can get. You should find someone with AT&T and give it another shot.


The quality of writing keeps going down and down on this site – not just the fact that the article wasn’t proofread, but that the whole article is not researched!

Just about ready to take TAB off my blogroll. I am curious to know whether the author was paid to write this article!


Even if you pay full price, and assuming it is unlocked, you still are limited to T-Mobile in the US (though you can hook up with other PAYG choices around the world). So it’s not like you save $70; you still need to pay a fee for voice and data service and right now, I don’t see T-Mobile’s rates (monthly or PAYG) being much less (if at all).

Thus, I can see only 5 reasons for going unlocked:
1. You use it overseas most of the time.
2. You don’t want to pay for voice (i.e. use data only), though I’m not sure AT&T or T-Mobile allow this.
3. You don’t want to pay for data (i.e. use voice only)
4. You want to use T-Mobile’s service and coverage.
5. You want to use PAYG, instead of a monthly fixed fee.

Opal Tribble

I should have been clearer regarding that yes it is still locked to the AT&T network, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, but it is possible to unlock it to use with other carriers. If the first iPhone is any indication, it will only be a matter of time before the iPhone 3G is unlocked so it can be used with other mobile carriers.

Personally I think I’ll wait until it is open to other mobile carriers before I make the purchase.


I read they are still locked even with PrePay. Exclusive deal for 5 years. 4 to go.

I wouldn’t buy it unsubsidized. Way too much. I’m thinking of asking someone who needs an AT&T contract anyway but has a phone for a favor :P


It amazes me how uninformed supposed writers are. An unsubsidized iphone IS NOT an unlocked iphone. This article is based on completely untrue information.


So what, unlocking can be done in 30 minutes by anyone with access to google!

Omar Qazi

Switching to AT&T is not an option? What would work better? Not T-Mobile, the only other GSM carrier in the USA. Verizon won’t work with the iPhone because there phones are CDMA.

Also the $600 and $700 phones are sold without a contract, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sold unlocked.

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