iPhone 3G must be activated in-store (and other followup questions answered)

Yesterday we went over a few of the more confusing bits of the iPhone 3G launch -- and let's be honest, the details of this launch are confusing as hell compared to the original go-round. Of course, there were a lot of burning questions to be answered from the audience, so we got an AT&T spokesperson to weigh in on what's on your mind. The most surprising answer? Contrary to reports implying otherwise, AT&T pretty much categorically claims that no matter where you buy your iPhone 3G, be it from AT&T or Apple, you have to walk out of the store an activated customer. That means no in-home activation, and definitely no buying an iPhone for your friends or family. Check it out below, more questions after the break.

Chris asks: Can these devices be purchased and given as gifts?

No. You will need to walk out of the AT&T or Apple store with the device activated.

Greekjgg asks: What if I want to buy one for work which already uses AT&T for company account? I can't activate in store, obviously, so will it be possible to to buy without a contract?

We don't have details yet but iPhones for business use will likely be provisioned through your company's IT department.

Tons of people ask: If I purchase an original iPhone from a friend will I be able to get the old data plan pricing? Or will I need to sign up at the new, more expensive rate?

Yes. You can get the old data plan price if someone gives you a device and you establish service for yourself.

Chris and SeditioN VII ask: What's the no-commitment price?

We have not yet announced the unsubsidized price.

We follow up: So you WILL be able to buy it without the two year commitment?

We haven't announced whether or not that will be offered.

Vic asks: Will long-time customers who are otherwise eligible for a free or reduced-price handset upgrades be able to lower the price when buying the iPhone 3G?

No one will pay less than $199 for the 8GB or $299 for the 16GB models. As you know, those are subsidized prices.

Matt asks: Say I just recently signed up with AT&T, standard contract. Now I want to get an iPhone 3G -- will I have to pay more than $199 for the phone because it's subsidized? For example, if I were to upgrade to a Blackberry now, I can't get the advertised $99 price (because I am a new, existing subscriber); my price is $374.

It depends on whether or not you are eligible for an upgrade.

We ask: What is the penalty for not activating the phone in 30 days? How will that be enforced?

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