Apple Selling Unsubsidized iPhones for $500 to $700: Report

Apple is now selling unsubsidized iPhones to consumers without AT&T contracts, according to a reportedly leaked Apple document. The pricing, which begins at $499 for the 8GB iPhone 3G, makes the iPad suddenly seem like a deal.

Apple is now selling iPhones to consumers, without requiring proof of an active AT&T subscription, according to a reportedly leaked internal Apple document.
Posted March 22, the document states that under the new purchase policies, customers can buy one full-price iPhone per day, with a lifetime limit of 10 devices. The revealed full price of the 8GB iPhone 3G is $499, while the 16GB iPhone 3GS is $599 and the 32GB iPhone 3GS is $699.
By contrast, AT&T's subsidized pricing, which includes a two-year contract and data plan, is $99 for the iPhone 3G, $199 for the 16GB iPhone 3GS and $299 for the 32GB iPhone 3GS.
The document does not state, however, that the full-priced iPhones are unlocked, meaning that customers would have to pay to have the devices unlocked elsewhere, or else use the phones on the AT&T network with already existing accounts.
It's been rumored that Apple will lower the prices of its next-generation iPhones. Whether or not that proves true, the document - pointing to a bit of inventory unloading on Apple's part - does reinforce the expectation that new iPhone models will appear in June. The new models are additionally expected to offer Android-style multi-tasking, though some analysts worry that such a capability could hurt the device's speed and battery life.
Commenting on the possibility of, and "need" for, a better multi-tasking iPhone, Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK, "I have enough trouble multitasking in my real life, on my computer and between my computer, phone and other devices. No more tasks, please! One at a time is plenty."
The internal document additionally offers some new perspective on the soon-to-arrive Apple iPad, which unpleasantly surprised some with its pricing, which ranges from $499 for the WiFi only, 16GB version to $829 for a 64GB version with WiFi and 3G connectivity.
With the unsubsidized 32GB iPhone3GS now selling for $699, it seems Apple may have done a better budgeting job with the 9.7-inch iPad than they've perhaps been given credit for.