When the iPhone 3G launched last year AT&T mentioned the possibility of a no-contract option for the device, though the company never actually pulled the trigger nor did it offer a timeframe for such a move. That may soon change, according to a supposed AT&T presentation obtained by Boy Genius Report, which suggest the carrier will begin offering both models sans commitments as soon as next week.
The contract free iPhones will sell at a premium price, of course – it'll be $599 for the 8GB and $699 for the 16GB model. The price is somewhat in line with the cost of other nonsubsidized high-end smartphones and just a bit higher than the original iPhone with a 2-year contract when it launched in 2007. This isn’t a deal everyone will want to jump at, however, since the offer will reportedly be available to existing AT&T customers only and it is likely that the phones will still be locked to the carrier.
The timing would appear to indicate that AT&T is expecting an iPhone upgrade and wants to clear out as much of the stock they've got now as they can. Apple itself didn't allude to any new hardware during its iPhone 3.0 event on Tuesday, but there have been a few signs of this possibility in the past.