Apple Begins Selling Contract-Free iPhone 3G at Full Price

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
Category: iPhone

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As of Thursday, Apple retail locations have begun selling unrestricted quantities of the company’s iPhone 3G handset at the non-subsidized price of US$599 for the 8GB version and US$699 for the 16GB version. Once sold, the buyer does not need to have an existing AT&T contract.
According to AppleInsider, activation can completed by the customer at home through iTunes.
Though the handsets are still technically (and legally) locked to AT&T service, it’s possible (but not supported) to unlock the phones for use with other mobile service providers such as T-Moble and Metro PCS, although both GSM providers do not support the 3G network the iPhone 3G needs to connect at faster than EDGE speeds.
Apple’s change in sales policy comes as the company is working to sell off remaining inventory to prepare for the upcoming launch of the new 2009 iPhone, which is expected to be released around the middle of June.
The launch may be expected to take place around this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place yet again in San Francisco, California.
If you’re en route to pick up a contract-free iPhone, please let us know about the experience in the comments or forums.

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iPhone 3G Details, Specifications Emerge on China Mobile Web Site

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Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 12:42
Category: iPhone

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iPhone photos and product specifications have now appeared on the web site of wireless carrier China Unicom, a sign that a deal may have been reached between Apple and the Chinese carrier.
According to AppleInsider, the information provided on the web site does not specifically indicate whether the Apple handset will be available from China Unicom, but joins references to similar handsets like the Android-based G1 that will be supported by the carriers upcoming 3G network.
The site changes emerged one week after China Unicom representatives met in the United States with Apple executives in what has been described as a “breakthrough” negotiation session aimed at bringing the iPhone 3G to China Unicom’s network.
A spokesperson at China Unicom headquarters could not explain why the information had been posted on one of the carrier’s regional websites, though it’s reportedly not uncommon for the company’s branches to operate independently.
A launch was said to hinge largely on China Unicom’s first trial run of its new 3G network this May. In contrast to China Mobile, which is endorsing the government’s TD-SCDMA wireless standard, China Unicom will be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network. Such a standard would let Apple sell its current handset virtually unchanged with full feature support.
Although Apple has long pursued a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider with over 415 million subscribers, talks reportedly stalled over the government-backed carrier’s insistence on controlling the local version of Apple’s App Store, among other demands.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your minds in the comments or forums.

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Canadian iPhone Subscribers Cite Rogers Wireless Overcharges

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Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 08:44
Category: iPhone

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A number of Canadian iPhone subscribers have cited being overcharged for their data usage according to an article on MacNN, Per the notes received the Rogers Wireless initial data plan for the iPhone 3G, which retails for CAN$30 per month, may have been revoked. In one case, a bill for “hundreds of dollars” was received, a result of the original data plan having mysteriously disappeared from his account.
The problem is allegedly widespread amongst Rogers iPhone customers, and believed to be connected to alterations of a person’s account, such as a change in address or phone number. Given that the promotional code for the CAN$30/6GB plan no longer exists, discounts may simply be evaporating as accounts are recreated. Users who signed up for the CAN$30 price were originally promised that it would persist throughout their three-year contract.
Calls to Rogers’ support staff has apparently been unable to fix this problem and representatives may have chose to push iPhone account holders to more expensive plans while compensating with account credit. The 6GB plan itself only came into existence after a large Internet petition highlighted the impracticality of proposed tiers.
If you’re north of the border and have seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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AT&T Officials Slip Details About Next-Gen iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 08:56
Category: iPhone

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One of more AT&T senior officials may have reportedly revealed important details about the next-generation iPhone handset, including a June release and boosted speed specs.
According to Boy Genius Report, an AT&T official was quoted as stating that a formal unveiling for the new handset will occur in mid-June and that the mid-year update is “becoming a tradition” at AT&T.
While it’s not quite known how familiar the management-level source (or sources) might be with what’s contained in the new iPhone, a distinct pattern in the remarks centers on the speed of the handset. According to the remarks, the next model “will be faster” and may well support AT&T’s planned upgrade to 7.2Mbps 3G scheduled for this year.
AT&T is reportedly eager to demonstrate the advantages of a new handset and upgraded network. Per the comment, customers should buy a smartphone from AT&T based on their personal tastes and that “the gap in credibility should be filled” with the new release.
It’s currently unclear as to which specific features will find their way into the next generation and the iPhone OS 3.0 release has left a wide amount of room for speculation. Others have stated that the changes will also apply to older iPhone models.
The statements also echo AT&T’s vision of integration with TV services and claim an iPhone app is in development that would let users steer the video recorders for AT&T’s U-verse digital TV.
The mention of a June schedule also isn’t exclusive to AT&T; UAE provider Etisalat matter-of-factly stated that it would get the next iPhone in June.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple Seems Likely to Add Video Recording Features to Next-Gen iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 07:40
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Apple seems certain to add video recording capabilities in the next iPhone hardware revision per a source close to AppleInsider.
Though the details are currently limited, there is no suggestion of current hardware being able to support video recording. Given this fact, only an upgraded iPhone with a new built-in camera should support the feature. The source stated that the new revision is expected between late spring and early fall this year and could add video support and improved gaming hardware via multi-core PowerVR chips as the headlining features.
Oddly enough, a screen capture from the forthcoming iPhone Software 3.0 on Engadget’s website shows a MobileMe panel for uploading images titled “Upload Video,” thereby adding strength to the rumor.
An additional rumor has speculated that faster iPhone internet speeds are en route, AT&T confirming that the company currently has HSPA 3G peaking at 7.2 megabits per second, twice the current speed of the network. The extra speed would help to handle video transmissions via iPhone handsets.
A final rumor has stated that Apple will release a new iPhone App called “Movies” which will offer rudimentary video editing similar to the new “Voice Memos” iPhone app that Apple recently previewed. The software would allow for sharing video via e-mail and MMS messaging.
Even so, Apple may only offer the video capabilities as a premium feature only on a high-end model when it releases new iPhones this summer. References to four different multi-touch handheld products which were found in the new iPhone 3.0 software beta seem to indicate two distinct model lines, possibly one with video capability and one lacking the feature.
Stay tuned for details as they emerge and please let us know if you’ve heard anything on your end in the comments or forums

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AT&T to Begin Selling Contract-Free iPhones in U.S. Next Week

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:48
Category: iPhone

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Recently, wireless carrier AT&T announced that it would begin selling contract-free iPhones in the United States beginning next week.
According to Boy Genius Report, the price works out to be more expensive than that of buying a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract, paying the subscription for a month, canceling the plan and paying the early termination fee.
The phone, including the activation fee, would retail at US$599 for the 8GB model and US$699 for the 16GB model.
“This is simply another way AT&T customers can experience iPhone 3G on the nation’s fastest 3G network,” AT&T said in a statement.
Existing AT&T customers – the only people who can buy the contract-less phones – are eligible to purchase an iPhone at a subsidized price based on the amount of time left on their contract and their payment history. In many cases, these users fare better by waiting until they become eligible for a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract.
There currently seems to be a “one per customer” limit tied in with the offer.
AT&T’s current cheapest plan retails for US$70 a month, including voice and data access.
iPhones without contracts have been available in some European countries. AT&T has long said that it would sell iPhones without contracts but until now had not said when.
If you’re looking into picking up a contract-free iPhone, let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.

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Your Take on the iPhone OS 3.0 Announcement

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2009, 09:04
Category: iPhone

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We asked for your opinions on Apple’s major iPhone OS 3.0 announcement on Tuesday and we got them.
So, here are your opinions in their pure, raw, unedited form brought to you by the PowerPage Server Hamster:

After having moved to the IPhone from the Blackberry, I’ve been astounded at the short battery life I now have. I can’t finish the day without having to plug the little bugger in. I know all the usual reasons (3G, Wifi etc…). What I’m looking for is a firmware update or something that will prolong the IPhone’s life. All those new bells and whistles, while welcome, will further drain the device and make it even more frustrating for road warriors.
Best, André

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Rumor: AT&T Stores May Begin Selling Refurbished iPhone 3G Units for US$149

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Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 08:18
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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AT&T store locations in the New York and New Jersey region appear to be getting their hands on a stock of refurbished 16GB iPhone 3G units. While this isn’t unusual, the guys over at Boy Genius Report appear to have gotten some screenshots of shipping manifests citing a US$149 price tag.
The deal seems to require a 2-year contract and customers must be opening a new activation, as the refurbished units are not available for upgrades and are limited to one per customer.
If anyone catches wind of this in the tri-state area, please confirm this and let us know in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: O2 May Drop iPhone 3G Prices in May Prior to Release of New Model

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Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 08:27
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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UK phone carrier O2 may drop prices on Apple’s iPhone 3G handset come May according to Mobile, a regional technology-centered magazine. The publication cites exclusive information, pointing to the device becoming free with £35 or £45 per month subscriptions. The 8GB iPhone is currently available for free with £45 and £75 plans, while the 16GB model is free only at the £75 level.
The purpose of such a move is thought to be aimed at clearing inventory space ahead of a new generation of iPhone, which is generally expected to be released in June or July in the same manner as the first and second generations of the handset’s hardware. Mobile sources also claim that Apple is in negotiations with O2 rival Orange, which may finally result in a second official carrier for the UK.
Additional information on a new generation of iPhone hardware is expected on March 17th, when Apple will preview its iPhone OS 3.0 firmware at a press event in Cupertino. Potential features may include true background processesing, vector-based GPS positioning, and possibly tethering or MMS messaging.
Some analysts and sources have speculated that Apple may intend to release a cheaper companion iPhone, serving a role similar to the iPod nano in comparison to the iPod classic.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple, China Mobile May Release iPhone 3G to Chinese Market in May

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:53
Category: Rumor

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Apple’s long-standing negotiation hurdles with Chinese wireless carrier may be at an end according to an article on ChinaTechNews.com.
Per the article, China Unicom has reportedly reached an agreement with Apple on iPhone’s entry into China and the 3G iPhone may appear in the Chinese market in May 2009.
The piece cites representatives from Ovum, a British consultancy, as saying that China Unicom and Apple will achieve cooperation soon and if everything goes smoothly, the iPhone 3G will enter the Chinese market in May 2009 at the earliest.
No further details have been offered and prior to this latest rumor, other rumors cited that both China Mobile and China Unicom intended to introduce Apple’s iPhone into China.
Earlier this month, China Unicom reportedly sent a negotiating team to the United States to talk with Apple about the issue and the two companies even implemented tests on iPhone in some Chinese regions.
Apple’s iPhone 3G can support the WCDMA network, which is the 3G protocol provided by China Unicom. Previous reports stated that China Unicom will start a commercial trial of WCDMA in China from May 17, 2009.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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