Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My iPhone purchase strategy looks like a really bad bet ...

About a year ago my wife needed a smartphone to replace the excellent Samsung Palm i500. I figured we'd switch to AT&T so I'd be ready for iPhone 2.0, and get her a BlackBerry Pearl. In the meantime I'd get rid of my hated Motorola RAZR and live with a generic cheap Nokia.

I should have just bought iPhone 1.0, because I'm going to get hit with the unsubsidized price AND the increased monthly data rate:
AT&T's official iPhone 3G pricing/plans: $199 to $499 ... Although AT&T continues to be vague on exactly what it means to be 'eligible' (a spokesperson said that, among other factors, it depends on where a customer is in his or her contract), the company does tell us that if you're not eligible, you can still buy the iPhone 3G for $399 and $499 for the 8GB and 16GB models respectively. Unfortunately, these bumped-up prices still require a two-year service agreement, so this is pretty much the worst end of the stick if you're a prospective iPhone customer...
I'll try to sort this out with the AT&T outlet near my office, but we already know AT&T uses price complexity as a weapon.

I'm in line for a $500+ total charge from AT&T compared to a customer switching today from Spring.

More when I get the full story. I knew I was dealing with Satan when I signed.

Update: This is such a raw deal I might be better off ordering iPhone 1.0 prior to July 11, then maybe transferring it in future.

Update 7/1/08: From Tidbits:
The current 2G iPhone plans will continue to be available for people who want to start up new service plans with someone's old phone. That means that instead of the $30 per month for unlimited 3G data required for the iPhone 3G, plus a minimum of $5 per month for 200 incoming and outgoing text messages, a 2G iPhone buyer or gift recipient can pay $20 per month for unlimited EDGE and 200 text messages. The original GoPhone prepaid option is also available, which costs $20 per month for unlimited EDGE data, but does not include text messages...

...Also today, AT&T clarified who qualifies for a subsidized iPhone, and how much a contract-fee iPhone will cost. If you are in the middle of a contract period with any handset but an iPhone, you don't qualify; that's also true if your account isn't in good standing. Users who meet that bill pay $400 (8 GB) or $500 (16 GB). No-contract iPhone 3Gs won't be available at launch, but when that option comes around, it will cost $600 (8 GB) and $700 (16 GB). (At least one site has pointed out that buying an iPhone 3G, keeping the plan for over 30 days, and then canceling service and paying the early-termination fee is much cheaper. AT&T may offer a wrinkle there to prevent this.)...
So, what about existing AT&T customers who buy a used iPhone 1.0? Do we get the old plan too? Probably not, but I wonder about buying under the old contract with a used iPhone, then buying a new iPhone with their special iPhone upgrade contract deal then selling the used iPhone again. Nahhh..

1 comment:

Daniel said...

"Per AT&T representative Brad Mays, current iPhone customers can of course upgrade to the 3G iPhone and pay $199 for the 8 GB model or $299 for the 16 GB version. They will need a new two-year contract. Customers who purchased a 2.5G iPhone on or after May 27 and want to swap it out for a new iPhone will be able to do so. without incurring an additional handset charge for the new device. (There will be a 10 percent re-stocking fee.) They will of course need to turn in their 2.5G iPhone. For other situations, there will be an unsubsidized price, which we have
not yet announced. We will announce that price in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates."

Sorry, I don't have the citation for this, but I found it by googling: "ting at&t customers iphone 2"