AT&T Makes iPhone Available without Contract

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Apple recently addressed one of the most common complaints associated with the iPhone by releasing a new version finally equipped with 3G networking, and did so without jacking up the price. Looking to sweeten the deal, AT&T now says it will sell the new version without a service contract " sometime in the future ." Sounds great, right?

But there's a worm in the apple making AT&T's latest announcement less appetizing than it could be. While consumers will no longer be forced into a 2-year service agreement in order to own an iPhone, they'll have to pay a hefty $400 premium for the luxury. So even though Apple chose not to introduce a price hike with the new 3G gadget, AT&T will charge $599 and $699 for the 8GB and 16GB models, respectively, for anyone with a fear of commitment. Of course, paying the premium means no longer having to worry about early termination fees, but unless you plan on trying your hand at unlocking the unit and joining up with another service provider, you might still be better off sucking it up and signing on the 2-year dotted line.

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