Apple has released information about a new iPhone 3G Gift Card, which can be used to give an iPhone gift this year:
"Give someone an iPhone 3G Gift Card and when the lucky recipient comes in to redeem it, an Apple Retail Store Specialist will take care of every detail. The Specialist will get your recipient's iPhone 3G up and calling, set up email, and help customize the Home screen, choose some great iPhone applications, personalize ringtones, and find favorite songs. "
These gift cards can be purchased online or at local Apple retail stores. The program is currently only available via Apple retail and there is no indication as to whether the program may be expanded to include AT&T or other cellular vendor outlets. It also notes the following in the fine print in case you are trying to avoid activation or looking to start another grey market:
"Receipt of an iPhone gift card does not automatically guarantee purchase. Purchase price of iPhone and required AT&T rate plan may be more than the value on the card. The iPhone Gift Card is good toward the purchase of an iPhone or any other eligible item in the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store."
The program is apparently only available in the United States.