Apple begins offering no-contract iPhone deal

Apple confirmed that as of Thursday morning it will allow unlimited quantities of the iPhone 3G to be sold without an AT&T Mobility contract. The move comes one week after AT&T confirmed it was beginning the same practice, and has fueled speculation that Apple is clearing out inventory ahead of a new iPhone launch this summer. 

Apple is selling the no-contract phones for $599 for the 8GB model and $699 for the 16GB version (compared to $199 and $299, respectively, on contract). AT&T's policy is only for existing customers and only allows them one unsubsidized iPhone. Apple does not have those restrictions. The phones will be locked to AT&T's network and will have to be unlocked to work for another carrier. 

Both AT&T and Apple's iPhone moves, along with Apple's release of the iPhone 3.0 software update last week and Apple's announcement that its Worldwide Developer Conference will take place in early June, has led to speculation that Apple is going to unveil the latest iPhone incarnation in the coming months.   

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