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, through direct mail and direct phone offers from Cingular, as well as through Apple stores and 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.