$199 and $299? Maybe not for you! Read on...

IrishJK09

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The price was announced.

$199 and $299 for an upgrade iPhone.

The applause was wild, but the details were left out.

A quick visit to Apple's site tells you the same info. $199 and $299 for the 8 and 16 gigabyte iPhones, respectively. Look closely and you will notice the small asterisk (the * symbol...). Follow it to the bottom of the page and you will see the following:

"Requires new 2-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately"

Ok, but what does that mean? There are no other prices listed, and it is widely known that you can't activate a 3G iPhone without renewing your existing contract or starting a new one. That means that everyone gets this price, right? One would think, but read on...

The plot thickens as the one and only BoyGenius fields an At&t email. The email can be read in its entirety at the following link:

BoyGenius Report: At&t Email about new iPhone

I will post the important part that you may not want to see, but need to be aware of.

The email says, and I quote:

Upgrade Eligibility and Qualified Upgrade Pricing

Upgrade eligibility will be determined based on standard upgrade eligibility rules. Customers must be upgrade eligible to receive the qualified upgrade pricing. However, not all customers will be qualified upgrades. AT&T has not determined the price of the 3G device for non-qualified upgrades.

All customers will be required to sign a 2-year agreement. There will not be a “no commitment” price for the iPhone 3G.


No, don't rub your eyes, don't check your glasses or contacts, you read it correctly. Not all of us are eligible for the $199/$299 pricing. If you are a current iPhone user, you are set. If you are a new customer, you are set. If you are a current At&t customer and are upgrade eligible, you are set.

What if you are a "middle of your contract" customer and your phone isn't an iPhone, like myself and many others? You are not set. We are the ones being talked about as "non-qualified" for upgrade. We are the ones that the prices haven't been determined for.

What does this mean? Will we have to pay $400 and $500, the existing 8 and 16 gigabyte prices, for our iPhones? Will our iPhones still be cheaper?

Only time will tell, but I think it would be a good idea to cross your fingers and say a little prayer. It also begs to question, would it be worth it to find a cheap, used iPhone on Craigslist to activate and use until the 3G is dropped, just to be certain that you are eligible for upgrade pricing? Until we know what the "non-qualified" pricing will be, that is just another question that will go unanswered.

This day is not turning out as well as I would have liked. First, no release until July 11th. Second, no mention of cut and paste, universal landscape keyboard, or MMS. Third, the only real upgrades are 3G and GPS, the one thing we never thought Apple would do (not offer more upgrades, that is)... I am still highly interested in the new iPhone, and I still have every intention of buying one depending on the "real" price, but today has seriously been very lackluster when compared to the previous hype. Especially after reading this At&t email...
 
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Reaktor5

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Yeah AT&T did that secretly. I really hope they keep those 200 text messages. More money on top of $70 a month is something I can't do.
 

xintelinsanex

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Wow thanks for the very in depth analysis of the iPhone 3G pricing. I already have an iPhone and I am eligible for an upgrade (according to my account online), so I am set, twice over.
 

volsfan0911

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Great - I'm one of those that might be f)^*&^# then. Signed 2 year agreement with ATT 10/2007. Just paid my bill for July so I think I'm eligible for "an equipment upgrade" in October 2008. Now, I'll gladly sign a new 2 year agreement if they'll give me a 3G iPhone for $299(16GB). But if can't upgrade or extend my existing account, I'm going to be seriously miffed. "Put out" as our Brit friends would say across the pond. So far, I've been truly pleased with ATT (was expecting horror, got just the opposite). Hopefully they'll offer something like the above so that folks like me who want to 'upgrade' to the new iPhone and are willing to sign our lives away for an additional 24 months to do so.
 

taylorh

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Well *IF* I can pay the "no commitment" price and *NOT* have to renew my contract then I'm OK with it. I should be able to walk out of the AT&T or Apple store with the same contract I currently have.
But I'll be damned if I have to pay full price and still have to renew the contract. Nothing indicates this will be the case. It appears they've gone back to a normal phone pricing and rules.

Normally a new contract discount is $150 on a subsidy locked phone.
EG: $450 for a PDA. New customers get it for $300. But that same PDA unlocked is normally $550.

Since the iPhone won't be subsidy unlocked, then I don't expect to pay the additional $100 premium above and beyond a the 'standard' $150 more.

Here's a NYT blog that also gives some insight in to the pricing.
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/...ne-10-more-per-month-for-data/#comment-229959

According to a forum post on Howard Forums, an AT&T internal memo says they have not yet determined the 'no commitment pricing.'
 

IrishJK09

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Well *IF* I can pay the "no commitment" price and *NOT* have to renew my contract then I'm OK with it. I should be able to walk out of the AT&T or Apple store with the same contract I currently have.
But I'll be damned if I have to pay full price and still have to renew the contract. Nothing indicates this will be the case. It appears they've gone back to a normal phone pricing and rules.

Normally a new contract discount is $150 on a subsidy locked phone.
EG: $450 for a PDA. New customers get it for $300. But that same PDA unlocked is normally $550.

Since the iPhone won't be subsidy unlocked, then I don't expect to pay the additional $100 premium above and beyond a the 'standard' $150 more.

Here's a NYT blog that also gives some insight in to the pricing.
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/...ne-10-more-per-month-for-data/#comment-229959

According to a forum post on Howard Forums, an AT&T internal memo says they have not yet determined the 'no commitment pricing.'

No, there will not be a "no commitment" deal with the iPhone. No matter what your situation is, you HAVE to renew your contract for 2 more years, or sign a new one if you are a new customer.

With other phones, you can walk in, drop the retail, "no commitment," price and walk out contract free. With the iPhone, this doesn't exist, hence the confusion and irritation about the pricing speculation that has popped up. If you are going to FORCE me to sign a new contract, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to get the phone for the discounted price. There is absolutely NO reason for there to even be a "to be determined" price. None.

Instead of your usual, "no commitment" price that you can pay if you are not upgrade eligible, not new, or just don't want a contract; and a subsidized, upgrade or new contract price there will be two OTHER options for the new iPhone.

1. If you are an EXISTING iPhone user, a new customer, or upgrade eligible; you walk in, sign a new contract, drop $200-$300 bucks and go home happy.

2. If you are NOT an existing iPhone user, NOT a new customer, or NOT upgrade eligible; you walk in and pay the "to be determined price" and you STILL have to sign a new contract, and you go home not so happy.

There is just no option to not sign a new contract, yet the $200/$300 price points are still being reserved for "qualified" customers. It is just a messed up situation.

Read the email I linked to closely and you will see it all spelled out. Keep in mind, this is an actual At&t email, not a 3rd party source making guesses. The only hope is that the "to be determined" price ends up only being a few dollars —$50 or so— more than the announced prices, or that this crap just disappears, which would far and away be the better thing to happen.

Like I have said, I am sure the coming days will bring a real answer to this problem, lets just hope it is the answer we want to see.

EDIT: I read your link. The $30 data plan thing doesn't bother me at all, and it is only partially tied to the situation at hand. The $30 thing was actually kind of expected because ALL of At&t's other smartphones and PDAs have $30 data plans. I have been paying it for a long time, so it is a completely lateral price move for me.

It certainly hurts the existing iPhone users that are upgrading, but it is also sort of understandable if you look at the big picture. Honestly, the $30 data plan will be taken differently by the users depending on what device they used to use.
 
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bripat22

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this sounds a bit like the Blog rumor mill. I'll wait and see. If worse comes to worse, I'm fine with my Blackberry till my next upgrade period. I have a feeling that this will not be true despite all the horror stories one hears about AT&T
 

marcol

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Well the bright side is somehow someone will unlock it and we can all then buy it from Europe. :D
To get an iPhone 3G in the UK at least it looks like you'll need to either:

1) sign a contract in an O2 or Carphone Warehouse store, for which you will probably need a UK address, a UK credit card and to pass UK credit checks (and even if you manage all of that you'll of course be contracted to pay at least ?30 pcm for 18 months), or

2) buy it without contract ('Pay and Go') - no details yet but likely to be quite expensive.
 

IrishJK09

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Well, the front pages on the blogs haven't posted anything about this yet today... I am literally itching to know the final answer on what the pricing will be for anyone that isn't new, doesn't have an iPhone, and isn't eligible for upgrade.
 

eugarps#CB

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Okay... A "What if?" I sold my Refurbished iPhone on eBay about two weeks ago and changed my plan to one more appropriate for my current Treo 750. I wonder if I'll be eligible? OR, will the nice profit I made on the sale of my iPhone have to be plowed back into the purchase of a 3G?

Just musing,

Bill
 

taylorh

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From what I read about the 'leaked' AT&T memo.
http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2008/06/09/iphone-3g-the-details-you-never-wanted-to-know/#more-3885
"Note: When the 3G device launches, all active postpaid customers in good standing with a 2G iPhone will be eligible to receive the qualified upgrade pricing for a 3G device regardless of service tenure. (Customers that would not otherwise be eligible due to tenure will be made eligible at launch)."

So if you CURRENTLY have an iPhone on AT&T, do NOT get rid of it until AFTER you get the 3G iPhone at a discount. I think there will still be plenty of demand on ebay for 1st gen. iPhones for many reasons.
 

eugarps#CB

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Yup! That's the reason I'm looking. You can do a Buy It Now for around $300.00 for a locked iPhone. It might be good to have a spare.....:eek:
 

IrishJK09

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I am not buying a used iPhone until I see the actual pricing come out from At&t. If the used market value skyrockets and I miss my opportunity, so be it. I am not taking the chance at paying more than I have to by buying a 1st gen iPhone just so I am upgrade eligible.

For all we know, the "yet to be determined" price could only be $50-$100 more... At least that is what I keep telling myself.
 

bripat22

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ok, being a little obsessive :) I talked to 5 seperate ATT reps today who all confirmed that there would be NO seperate higher pricing for those ATT Wireless customer (who don't own the old IPHONE) not in their contract renewal period. So ATT wireless customers even if they are not up for contract renewal CAN change to the new IPHONE at the $199 and $299 prices which are considered the regular and non-discounted prices for these phones. I expected att customer service agents to contradict each other :) They didn't on this.
 

eugarps#CB

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Oh well...I guess I just bought a backup iPhone. ;)

I'll re-up with the one I just scored on eBay and be ready for the new 3G, when it comes. I'll be on my way to Ecuador on release day, so I'll just wait to order until I get back.

Happy happy,

Bill
 

CoachFreak

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Well, I thought that that the $199/$299 was firm but guess again.

I would have thought that just like last time ANYONE was free to buy a new iPhone and renew a contract even in your initial contract wasn't up.

I really don't want to renew a contact AGAIN but I am a current iPhone user and 9 months into my "new" contract.
 

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