Carriers in the US have seen their stranglehold on subscribers locked-in to two-year contracts wane in recent years, as more and more users are lured away from the temptation of subsidies and elect to buy their phones outright, enjoying the freedom of service options that choice affords them. But even as the popularity of these sorts of arrangements grows, getting set up with them isn’t always the most graceful experience: you buy your SIM-less phone from one retailer and are then left to your own devices so far as tracking down a SIM and getting things activated go – for us smartphone-obsessive types, that’s not usually a big deal, but it can be just the stumbling block that keeps less confident users away. That’s why we’re so excited to hear that Apple may be about to really embrace sales of the iPhone for off-contract users.

It’s not yet confirmed, but Apple is rumored to begin offering both pre-paid and month-to-month plans directly in its retail stores for shoppers buying off-contract iPhones. Both T-Mobile and AT&T would be involved, with SIM cards on-hand in stores to get users set up just as if they were buying their new iPhones with a contract.

That would be a huge step towards encouraging customers to consider these lower-commitment service options, and even if it wouldn’t be a perfect solution (some of T-Mobile’s best pre-paid plans are online-only, or exclusive to other retailers), it sounds a hell of a lot better than the much more hands-off approach we see now.

Reportedly, sales of these plans would begin later this month.

Source: 9to5 Mac

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