Apple has begun direct sales of unlocked phones in Italy, the first time the handset has been offered outside of carrier stores in the country. SetteB.IT reports (Translated Link) that the change was just recently confirmed by employees at the Roma Apple Store, who had previously denied any plans to offer the handsets directly. Macity goes on to explain (Translated Link) that while the phones were offered unlocked through TIM and Vodafone previously, neither would sell the phone without forcing the customer to sign a contract. iPhones purchased through Apple, by comparison, are free to be used on any service. Pricing for the iPhone 3GS is €599 for 16GB models and €699 for 32GB units through Apple, and €619 and €719, respectively, through TIM and Vodafone; the iPhone 3GS goes on sale in Italy today.