Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembering when the iPhone cost less

Our iPhone-bearing family is going through complex gyrations to claw some money back from AT&T.

Things were simpler, and less costly, there years ago. I came across this 2008 TidBITS article while researching whether it makes sense to get a 4S with a child-contract then transfer various phones around the family (emphases mine) ....
TidBITS iPhone iPad iPod: iPhone 3G Actually $160 More Expensive (2008):

... So buying an iPhone 3G may cost $200 less than before, but paying the monthly bill will set you back $240 more over your 2-year contract with AT&T, for a total of $1,680 in subscription fees instead of $1,440 (previously, the lowest monthly voice+data plan cost $59.99 per month). How exactly is that cheaper?

Wait, it gets worse! Om Malik, in an interview with Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility, learned that SMS messages are no longer included in the data plan either, so you'll have to pay extra for them. Previously, the data plan included 200 SMS messages per month. AT&T's Messaging 200 plan, which includes 200 SMS messages, costs $5 per month, so it would seem likely that the iPhone 3G's SMS plan would be similar...
The original iPhone looked expensive, but that was only because most of us, including most journalists, can't do grade school arithmetic -- and because the modern corporation has made an art form of misleading marketing.

I suspect Steve Jobs was disappointed that we couldn't do the math back in 2007. The iPhone became a contract-phone with a higher cost of ownership -- and then AT&T's obligatory data plans and unending carrier lock dramatically reduced the resale value of old phones...

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