iPhone Rumors: Apple Could Reintroduce iPhone 3G Home Activation and Release New 32GB iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G

Apple Insider is reporting that based on multiple sources in Apple Retail, Apple and AT&T could start selling a contract free, yes, you read it right, an unlocked iPhone 3G in the US.

They are also reporting that just like last year, we could also see a refresh of the iPhone 3G product line and see the introduction of the 32GB iPhone 3G model.

As per Apple Insider sources, Apple might reintroduce the home activation process which can be done by users themselves using iTunes on their home computer. This was possible with the 1st generation iPhone and worked quite well.

Apple had put this facility on hold after introducing iPhone 3G primarily as it included a subsidy for signing a two-year contract. So a new iPhone 3G purchase currently needs an in-store contract activation.

This is good news for iPhone 3G users as the in-store activation is time consuming and had also resulted in numerous issues at the time of the iPhone 3G launch as a system crash had resulted in many buyers waiting in the line for hours.

Apple Store Retail employees have reported a new option appearing on their EasyPay systems when making an iPhone 3G sale called "Home". The options that were available earlier were:

1.  Upgrade/Swap existing Phone
2.  New to AT&T starting a single line
3.  New to AT&T starting a family line
4.  Add a line to existing account

They have reported that they are now seeing a fifth option for "Home" activation, however it isn’t yet working; clicking it is resulting in an error.

It won’t be surprising for Apple and AT&T to start selling unlocked iPhone 3G in the US as Apple and its exclusive carriers in countries like Italy and HongKong are already selling unlocked iPhone 3Gs for a premium.

They are also reporting that the news of the home activation process and the unlocked iPhone 3G could coincide with the introduction of 32GB iPhone 3G model.

Last year, Apple had dropped the entry level 4GB iPhone model in September along with the $200 price drop and then added a new 16GB model in February. The fact that retail sources are reporting shortages of the entry level 8GB iPhone 3G model also indicates that this could be true.

This would mean that iPhone 3G will finally match with the storage size of iPod Touch which got a 32GB model quite sometime back which I have been expecting for quite sometime.

What do you think? Will you be buying an unlocked iPhone 3G for $1000?

[via Apple Insider]

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