Apple takes unlocked iPhone 3GS online: Resellers' plight uncertain

The electronics giant has followed in the footsteps of its US counterpart selling the iPhone through its online store

Apple Australia has joined its US brethren in selling the iPhone through its online store.

In May, Appleā€™s Australian operations said the vendor was only selling the popular phone through its telco partners and retail stores.

However, since the release of the iPhone 3GS it is selling the device outright and unlocked off its online store. In the US, customers must have an AT&T plan to make the purchase online.

New additions to the family, the 16GB iPhone 3GS and the 32GB iPhone 3GS, are priced at $879 and $1040, respectively. Older brother, the 8BG iPhone 3G can be purchased for $719.

An Apple spokesperson could not disclose the exact date the sales program started but in a written response said the unlocked iPhone will only be sold through the Apple retail chain and the online store, effectively cutting resellers, which are partnered with telco carriers to sell locked iPhones, out of the loop.

Apple has four retail stores around the country: George St, Sydney; Chadstone, Victoria; Chatswood, NSW; and Robina, Queensland.