AT&T’s Web Site Starts Selling iPhones Again

By  |  Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 9:43 am

iphonestampGood news, and just in time for those of you who were planning to dole out one or more iPhones for the holidays, or gift one to yourself: The AT&T Wireless site is now letting you buy iPhone 3Gs online. It’s the first time you’ve been able to do the whole transaction without leaving the house since the original iPhone, which both AT&T and Apple sold online, made way for the 3G.

The 3G’s move to a more traditional carrier subsidy model meant that you needed to get the phone activated in person; AT&T did offer a two-step transaction that involved starting the sale online and then sealing the deal at a store. But now it’s apparently figured out how to do the activation for purely online sales. Which is not surprising considering that it does that for plenty of other phone models.


This isn’t the same unique, exceptionally consumer-friendly situation that existed with the first iPhone, in which you could buy a shrinkwrapped iPhone and then handle the service signup at your leisure (or give the phone to someone else). The phone’s associated with your account as part of the sale process. But hey, it’s a step in the right direction.

As I write, Apple’s Web site is still directing customers to Apple anf AT&T retail outlets to buy an iPhone, but you gotta figure that online sales via the Apple Store are also on their way.


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