Iphone Purchase Confusion

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Standard Member
Hey, ive recently been looking to buy an iphone to use with my o2 pay as you go sim card.

My confusion comes from the assumption when you bought the handset you were forced to sign into an expensive monthly contract with o2. If I went into a shop and wanted to buy an iphone, (I know theyre out of stock atm) would I be forced to give my personal and credit card details straight away, or can you just use the handset straight from the shop without signing up to o2's monthly charges?

If this is the case, is my best bet to buy online, and does it make any difference whether i buy a sealed or opened and used iphone.

Thanks for any help in clearing this up : )
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