ATT only offered that upgrade if you had purchased within the last X days of the 3G arrival. (Was it 30 or 60?).
Being that most people are only half way thru their contract there is a real dilemma coming for ATT.
If the new phone has enough new features that everyone wants to upgrade (I've not seen any compelling reason yet, but it could happen) then how does ATT+Apple handle this?
ATT hasn't finished paying off the old 3G phones yet, so they can't afford to subsidize a new phone. So you can bet they are going to charge an Early Termination fee of some kind. This will make a lot of people miffed. (With no valid reason I might add).
How many users are going to be willing to pay full price and then just throw the old 3G in the desk drawer after moving the Sim?
Can you even buy a new iPhone without a plan (with the intent to use it on your existing plan). If not this is going to really **** off a lot of current users.
Will ATT+Apple take the old phone in trade? Do they want that many iPhones showing up on Ebay? Would Apple want that many Refurbs?
This time around its a radically different situation than when the 3G first came out. The sheer size of the problem is vastly greater with 14 million iPhones sold.
I can see that Apple does not want to get flat footed and let the Pre steal a march, so they have to release a now phone sometime this year.
But sooner or later, people will become reluctant to sign lock-in contracts for two years when they know there will be a new phone in one year that will be bigger, faster, better.