I present you some clarification regarding iPhone plans.
I would like to make a post to clarify a few things about today's new information.
The Family Plan rates listed on the iPhone information page on the At&t website are for 2 lines with both lines using an iPhone 3G. Simply do the math...
I personally have the 2100 minute plan, so that will be my example:
2100 shared minutes = $100
2nd line = $9.99
2 iPhone data plans = $60
Total = $169.99, the same as what is listed on the info page on At&t's site.
This does not mean that $169.99 is the base for a 2100 minute Family Plan just because there is an iPhone 3G on there. It does not mean that Family Plan rates just took a drastic hike. It is simply the cost of the plan for 2 iPhone 3G lines.
What if you want an iPhone 3G on one line and a regular phone on the other?
It would be as follows: (again using the 2100 minute example)
2100 shared minutes = $100
2nd line = $9.99
1 iPhone 3G data plan = $30
Total = $139.99
Got it? Pretty clear now?
The new plan pricing on the "iPhone info" page is just that, info for owning 1 or multiple iPhone 3G devices. The problem is that it is causing some confusion and is making a lot of people think that the family rate plans suddenly took a huge hike. They didn't.
Cost to buy the phone
Ok, so what about the cost to buy the phone?
This is the easiest of any question to answer, but I first have to ask a question.
Do you currently own and use an iPhone on a legitimate iPhone plan?
If the answer is yes, you are automatically upgrade eligible. You can walk in to Apple or At&t on July 11th and get a shiny new iPhone 3G for $199/$299. No problems, no worries.
Just keep in mind that your data plan will need to be changed to the 3G data plan. You can't keep the $20/mo plan just because you are upgrading from the first gen iPhone to the 3G iPhone. The only way to keep your $20/mo data plan is to keep the first gen iPhone.
What about me? I am an At&t customer and I don't own a first get iPhone...
There are two possible answers. First, go to the At&t Wireless site (LINK) and login to your account. Look for the link to "upgrade," and see what it says.
If it says that you are upgrade eligible, you can get a new iPhone 3G for $199/$299.
If it says that you "will be upgrade eligible on XXX date," you can get a new iPhone 3G for $399/$499. (or wait until XXX date and get one for $199/$299)
New customers to At&t get the phone for $199/$299.
What about other fees?
There is an $18 upgrade fee for ALL existing At&t customers. It doesn't matter if you are getting the iPhone 3G for $199/$299 or $399/$499, you have to pay the $18 upgrade fee. It is just a stupid charge that At&t has and it is not iPhone specific. If you upgrade your line at any time to a different phone and it renews your contract, there is this fee. (the only way to get around this fee is to SIM swap from one phone to another, which isn't possible with the iPhone)
It is stupid, but don't hate on the iPhone for it. It is an At&t thing, and it isn't iPhone specific.
New users have a $36 activation fee. This is also an At&t thing that goes for ALL new subscribers, not just new iPhone users. It is a one time fee, and it only applies to brand new customers.
Why is At&t jacking up the data prices on me?
The honest to God answer is because the iPhone has jumped to a new level. At&t splits their data into two "realms." The first is data for "feature" phones like the LG Vue or the LG Shine. The second is data for smartphones/PDAs like BlackBerrys, Windows Mobile devices, and now, the iPhone 3G.
Basically, if a phone is presented as a platform, it is a smartphone. If it is a smartphone, it has a higher data plan.
BlackBerry Personal = $30/mo and doesn't include text messages
BlackBerry Enterprise = $45/mo and doesn't include text messages
PDA Personal = $30/mo and doesn't include text messages
PDA Enterprise = $45/mo and doesn't include text messages
(both PDA plans include all Windows Mobile and Palm devices. Even the EDGE only Centro. The $30 price is not just because of 3G, it is because of phone classification as well. The Centro is proof of this)
iPhone Personal = $30/mo and doesn't include text messages
iPhone Enterprise = $45/mo and doesn't include text messages
All platforms. All smartphones. All have the same data pricing and text package rules.
Yes, this sucks for first gen iPhone users, but nobody is forcing them to upgrade. If they keep their first gen phone, they keep their $20 feature phone data plan price that includes 200 text messages.
They still get firmware 2.0 and they still get Exchange support. If you really don't want improved audio, battery life, 3G, and finally, GPS; stay with the first gen iPhone for the cheaper data plan.
I think that about sums it up. My hope with this thread wasn't to rehash already posted info, but instead to help consolidate it to one place. I am hoping that this thread doesn't get buried, and that it will help ease the redundant questions that could come as new users stumble upon the board. It probably won't, but at least I tried...