Rumor: iPhone Without Cingular Contract? It’ll Cost Ya

Will it be possible to buy the iPhone without a Cingular contract? Cingular said no, but a tipster says yes, and it will be crazy expensive:

As a employee of a company I cannot mention but that sells the majority of cingular phones that are sold in this country. I can tell this to you in hopes of you passing it on to all my die hard mac loving brothers. The iPhone will be available without a contract, that is if it comes to us via cingular. We will not have a product with at $$$ price tag that people are willing to outright buy on our shelves just sit on those shelves just because of “contracts”. I’m not saying it won’t be f&#*ing expensive but if it comes here it will be available. If not publicly at least in practice.

What do we want to wager a contract-free Cingular phone to cost? $1600 $700? A pretty penny, but not having the hassle of dealing with Cingular’s crappy network and anti-consumer policies might make up the difference.

Aside: From Cingular’s CSR automated talking point system:


Q. Where can I buy the iPhone? Can I pre-order the iPhone?
A. The iPhone will be available in Cingular stores, at http://www.cingular.com, through direct mail and direct phone offers from Cingular, as well as through Apple stores and http://www.apple.com. We are not taking pre-orders.

Additionally, the Cingular talking point system says the device will be sold to current at customers at the “new” customer pricing rate, but no discounts will be made.

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. gadgetchic says:

    Okay so i already have cingular and will be eligble for upgrade when the iPhone comes out…does that mean i won’t get the discount because its an upgrade?

  2. Poita says:

    Where can i find a download for the Apple Jobbs Keynote speech introducing the iphone???
    I dont wannna see it on the apple site as it wont let me download it and only streams in a small window and keeps freezing and breaking up.
    I don’t mind a huge file size. Can anyone point me at the right url?

  3. mmr says:

    Typically they add $100 bucks for a one year instead of two year contract and $200 for no contract.

    So at the least, on the 4gb model, you would be spending $700 to get it with no contract.

    There is a chance however that it will be more.

  4. James says:

    Poita, there was some good hands on footage on cnbc last night. Check you tube or google video, it might have made it there.

    on topic….
    You might be able to get it w/o a contract, but if you use it with another carrier you can kiss the visual voice mail and features goodbye. Apple picked cingular b/c cingular was willing to work with them on such new things.

  5. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    “As a employee of a company I cannot mention but that sells the majority of cingular phones that are sold in this country.” = some dude in a mall kiosk.

  6. jrubzer says:

    Quick question. If my employer is in Cingular’s premium program, will our corporate discount be in order for the iPhone?

  7. It certainly reads like it was written by a guy working in a mall cell-phone kiosk. (No offense to any unrelated kioskers out there.)

    Egads, was that thing hard to decipher.

  8. Baaaaaa says:
  9. jjbelsky says:

    It has been said before, but it’s worth repeating:

    At least one feature (the random access voicemail) *requires* backend support from the carrier. That means that you’ve got to go with Cingular. I’m assuming there are other features like this as well.

  10. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I thought “a company I cannot mention” referred to Evil Best Buy.

  11. Khamel says:

    doesnt it cost a few hundred to just break a contract? can’t you sign a 2 year deal, and then immediately break it? if i remember that costs 200-250 so if they dont offer the phone with no contract, you just terminate your contract right away. they aren’t going to come to your house and take the phone back.

  12. ki_cz says:

    can’t believe you idiots are buying this …

  13. jcc123 says:

    Sorry but this is impossible since the Visual Voice Mail will only work on Cingular’s network. The other carriers have not made changes in their network software for the Visual Voice Mail to work on their systems.

  14. RumorsDaily says:

    Why is it impossible? Isn’t it just the case that ONE feature won’t work? Why does jcc123 keep treating visual voice mail like the only reason people are buying the phone?

  15. foxfire235 says:

    You guys gotta remember that the phone will need to be unlocked if you want to use it on another network. There was that legislation that was just passed to allow for unlocking, but who knows how easily cingular will respond to you wanting to unlock their brand new iphone…

  16. BlindsidesDork says:

    To those who say $200 without a contract…Motorola Razr was released with service agreement for $500 and I believe $800 with NO contract.

    So it will probably be similar

  17. Inigo Montoya says:

    Cause jcc is the biggest fanboi out there.

    I just wonder whose side he would pick between a PS4 and a AppleGameMachine

  18. jcc123 says:

    Because Ingen! Think about it. There are obviously other wireless network functions that won’t work if you take it to a competing network. The visual voice mail is just the main one. What about the push e-mail?? I’d be willing to bet that that won’t work either. If you use your brain to think hard about it you’ll find others. So, just how many functions ARE you willing to lose before you give it up and just join the largest wireless network? You people bitch and whine about other networks like it’s some kind of religion. It’s not, they’re all pretty crappy.

  19. kadtech says:

    Guess what everyone, all cell carriers suck, they’re all evil. They are lightyears behind the rest of the world, but they don’t care simply because they don’t have to upgrade. So Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon wgatever, you will be screwed

  20. jcc123 if you’re one of us who has a great plan that is no longer available, you ask questions like that. I have an ATTW plan. I use a Cingular 8125 as my phone. I’d never migrate to Cingular. They can’t provide for me the same plan at the same price that attw provides for me. If I was interested in this piece of junk, I’d be asking how I could get it without a contract too.

    Just because YOU wouldn’t use it on another network doesn’t mean it won’t be done.

  21. jcc123 says:

    paulcrist, the only I can say to people like you is DON’T BUY ONE! Believe me, Apple doesn’t need people like you. They will have more demand than supply.

    This phone is made for people who like to be on the cutting edge and that don’t have hang-ups like you.

  22. color_guru says:

    you also need to think about this, the phone probably doesn’t even have the infrastructure to handle normal voice mail.

  23. spinachdip says:

    color_guru,

    I don’t understand – why would you need the “infrastructure to handle normal voice mail”? If you were to take the iPhone to a network without visual voice mail, couldn’t you still access vm by calling the vm number like everybody else (in America, anyway)?

  24. bourgeoisie says:

    jcc123 if you’re one of us who has a great plan that is no longer available, you ask questions like that. I have an ATTW plan. I use a Cingular 8125 as my phone. I’d never migrate to Cingular. They can’t provide for me the same plan at the same price that attw provides for me. If I was interested in this piece of junk, I’d be asking how I could get it without a contract too.

    Newsflash ATTW and Cing are already the same, and will be merging back under the ATTW name so it doesn’t really matter. But good job trying to split hairs to make your point.

  25. meatwad says:

    i vote jcc123 be banned for getting so worked up over speculation.

  26. Aberracus says:

    I live in Southamerica, most of the time, here celluar networks are Crappier, and celluar phones and service is costly,

    Maybe i could wait one or two months for refurbished iPhones, unlocked, and just plug my sim card and start using it here.. thats my hope.

  27. Poita says:

    Im using the k-lite mega codec pac for my video so some apple quicktime vids on certain pages won’t play.

    Also i wanna see the whole, long speech.

  28. spanky says:

    Newsflash: ATTW and Cingular are the same company, but the plans are non-hairsplittingly different. There are customers on off-contract ATTW plans who don’t want to switch to Cingular plans because they’d end up being locked in to a higher-cost, lower service plan.

    It matters.

  29. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    @gadgetchic

    Generally speaking, there really isn’t any special pricing for existing customers. If your current contract is up and you want to upgrade your phone, you can get the promotional pricing BUT with a 2-year contract. You can go with a 1-year contract, but the phone will cost you more.
    .

    Like I’ve said before.. just wait till the iphone is launched in other countries. Then you’ll start seeing unlocked versions popping up on the grey market. And since the iphone is a supported phone on the Cingular network, I’m sure they’ll post set-up instructions on their website. When I bought my unlocked V3i, I went to the Cingular website, entered my mobile number, and my phone was “programmed” over the air. It was too easy! :-)

    As for the visual voicemail? Who cares? If you buy an unlocked iphone and use it with T-Mobile or some other GSM provider, it doesn’t mean you won’t have voicemail at all. You’ll just have to manually call the voicemail number to retrieve your messages, like your current phone does now.

  30. RumorsDaily says:

    jcc123:

    You people bitch and whine about other networks like it’s some kind of religion. It’s not, they’re all pretty crappy.

    Right, but my network is pretty crappy with only a one year contract. I have no interest in locking myself in for two years at another carrier.

  31. jcc123 says:

    Ingen, well, then you can pay full price, meaning $799 and $899 for the phones without subsidies and no 2 year contracts, ok? happy now?

  32. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    It’s just a phone, people. Relax.

  33. nutbastard says:

    cool someone still has the old att rate, they shut off att gophone service about a month after i bought 3 of the same phone off ebay, since i broke them so often, and i’d just switch the sim. cingular raises the bar – right up yer ass. MetroPCS is where it’s at now, $54.52/month w/o contract = Unlimited:
    Texting
    Pic Messaging
    Internet
    Local minutes
    Long dist minutes
    Int’l text messaging
    VM, Call waiting, 3-way etc.

    ALL UNLIMITED!

    Remember when AOL charged by the HOUR? Imagine an ISP trying that NOW. Your kids will tell you how retarded cell service is, same way we laugh at pong. And for those of you who thought pong was the greatest thing ever… you laughed at horses.

  34. nutbastard says:

    Oh yeah:

    only thing that IS limited is the max size of a file to download (400K) but hey, big enuf for low def mp3s

  35. drewheyman says:

    MetroPCS is a Cingular (legacy Orange) network spinoff that was required for Cingular to purchase AT&T Wireless.

    Those unlimited plans will go away in a short period of time, they were just to reel the first batch of customers in.

  36. hoosier45678 says:

    @jcc… If they’re planning to sell these things all over the world, and they are, it seems extremely likely that they’ll be backwards compatible with the world’s voicemail systems (using tones) and pop/imap email for all the people unwilling to use yahoo email.

  37. jcc123 says:

    Sorry but I think they will limit this to only carriers that are the largest in their respective countries that Apple will release the iPhone to. Or at least willing to partner with Apple.

    Remember, Apple is looking for a PARTNER! Not just a dumb carrier. The partner that they choose has to be willing to do whatever Steve Jobs wants in terms of functionality of iPhones. That means if a year from now Apple comes up with some fancy way of doing video iChat on the phones and needs changes done on the carriers end, the carrier has to say yes. It’s impossible to carry this kind of relationship with multiple carriers.

    Also, perhaps CIngular is sharing revenue with Apple?