updated 07:45 am EDT, Fri June 6, 2008
Carrier iPhone Dates Soon
Cellular carriers will set their individual iPhone launch dates "immediately" after Apple's expected 3G iPhone announcement on Monday, says Reuters' Italian division. A claimed source from Telecom Italia (TIM) says the provider will make a more detailed announcement of its iPhone plans no later than Monday night or Tuesday morning local time, with the go-ahead hinging largely on Apple's official announcement. Pricing and most other details are still unavailable.
Certain aspects of the launch are dictated by Italian practices, according to the report. While American GSM phones can be locked to one carrier for as many as two years, Italian regulations limit that period to nine months and so would make Apple's past preference for long-term contracts impossible. Most also note that Italian culture skews towards prepaid SIM cards and unlocked phones rather than service plans, creating a potential conflict for the frequently contract-bound iPhone.
AT&T's prepaid options have largely been limited to customers who fail a credit check when signing up for subscription (postpaid) service.
The report cites a Vodafone source that in May claimed there would be 3G iPhones available in 8GB and 16GB models as well as in multiple colors, though the alleged insider hinted that one or more colors may not ship to Italy in June.