Sorry, iPhone 3G Owners, I’m Not Sympathetic

By  |  Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 1:26 am

iPhone 3GsIf you ask Apple or AT&T how much the iPhone 3G S costs, they’ll emphasize two prices: $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB one, as Apple does here. It’s only in the fine print and disclaimers that they’ll explain that only new customers and those who aren’t on a contract (or nearing the end of one, at least) qualify for those deals. Which means that all of us who bought AT&T iPhone 3Gs upon their release a little under a year ago don’t qualify–we’ll pay $399 for the 16GB model or $499 for the 32GB one, assuming we’re willing to extend our contracts for another two years. Which still represents a discount off the no-commitment pricing: $599 for 16GB and $699 for 32GB.

Some folks are irate at this turn of events, arguing that the pricing punishes loyal AT&T customers. Nope. What it does is prevent customers who got a steep discount on an iPhone a year ago in return for signing up for a two-year contract to get an equally steep discount this year for signing up for another two-year contract. Which strikes me as perfectly reasonable, given that this scenario involves you only being under contract to AT&T for a total of three years. You can still get a discount on a new iPhone–just not one that’s as steep as someone who commits to AT&T for a total of four years.

Come to think of it, the math is perfectly logical: You get a total of $400 in discounts (on one phone) for two years of commitment, $600 in discounts (on two phones) for three years of commitment, and $800 in discounts (on two phones) for four years of commitment. That’s a $200 discount per year of contract you fulfill.

(Why doesn’t AT&T let iPhone 3G owners get a $199 iPhone 3G S today in return for agreeing to fulfill their original two-year contract and extend it for an additional two years? I’m not sure. But I’m wary of long-term commitments to any wireless character, and therefore wouldn’t endorse a scenario which involves agreeing to marry AT&T until at least 2012 in order to get a discount on a phone.)

If there’s a problem here, it’s the way phones are usually sold in America, via subsidies that encourage us to think that phones cost less than they really do, and which tie us up with a carrier and prevent us from moving a phone we’ve bought to another carrier (even temporarily, when we’re overseas). A top-of-the-line iPhone really costs $699, which is not a crazy price given its capabilities; it’s just that very few of us ever pay that price or even realize it exists. We’re conditioned to think of those subsidized prices as the prices, in part because phone manufacturers and carriers stress them above all else.

So no, I’m not that sympathetic towards iPhone 3G owners who want AT&T to sell them the iPhone 3G S at the same sweetheart price as someone who didn’t buy an iPhone 3G last year. You agreed to fulfill a two-year contract with AT&T in return for the discount you got last year. AT&T is willing to renegotiate it and give you a proportionate discount on a 3G in return for another year of commitment. Explain to me again what’s offensive about that?

 
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98 Comments For This Post

  1. Michael Says:

    Harry McCracken…You’re a Douche.

  2. Lynne Says:

    I agree with you Harry. As much as people love to hate big business, AT&T is in it to make money. What they’re doing is not wrong. Like you said, if anything is wrong it’s the subsidization of phones in the U.S.

    Original iPhone users got lucky when AT&T helped them out when the iPhone 3G came out last year. And now they (the 3G owners) expect AT&T to turn around one year into their contract and coddle them again with the 3G S? Get real people! You signed a contract like everybody else with a non iPhone did on AT&T.

    It seems to me the people that are whining and complaining about AT&T across the web have a sense of entitlement. They’re not better than anybody else is even though they like to think they are. Many of them are complaining about being loyal customers. The truth is, they’re loyal to the iPhone and not AT&T. They should have been complaining about Apple and AT&T’s marriage way back when.

    So stop your whining all over the internet. Pull up your big boy (and girl) pants and read the contracts you sign!

  3. Joe Says:

    Cripes! I’m glad I use a $50 burner. Plus it only needs charging every 2 weeks.

  4. John Doe Says:

    Michael’s comment perfectly summarizes the iPhone users sense of entitlement. “Wait, someone disagrees with my whine? Let me attack them.”

    I’m really started to hate the cult of iPhone…

  5. Chris Says:

    I think you’re a little confused about the contract system HM. If, when a year into your contract you decide to re-up and plunk down the $399 for the 16gb 3GS, you start a NEW 2 year contract from the day you buy the phone. You’re not actually having to tack 2 more years onto the year you have left. I get a new phone every year with AT&T and have to pay the early upgrade fee every year, but I still have no more than two years on a contract at any given time (I would have something like 16 years by now if it stacked like you suggest.)

  6. Andy Says:

    Chris, I think you misunderstood. HM correctly stated the contract upgrade – a new 2-year contract, starting the date of the transaction, in return for a REDUCED discount on a new phone. He was speaking hypothetically of a scenario with current contract time + new 2 year contract on top of that.

  7. Sean Says:

    My problem is that Apple is pullin the wool over the fanbois eyes here. Except for the “improved camera” and larger storage, nothin really changed. They say the phone is faster but the iPhone 3G is underclocked, granted not to the point it would increase speeds as much as the 3G S. All the other “improvements” could be added to the exsisting phone. And us US saps on AT&T have to wait for MMS and where is that tetherin = FAIL!! Here’s hoppin the Apple’s iPhone 3G SS (super speed) will have more impressive upgrads and they work out a deal with Verizon :)

  8. Stephen Says:

    Harry, what happened did you put your underwear on backwards this morning. Almost all of the original iPhones sold ended up in the hands of NEW iPhone users when people upgraded to the iPhone 3G last year, giving AT&T more smartphone data using customers!

    AT&T has totally pissed off many iPhone users by blocking SlingPlayer, delaying MMS and Tethering when Apple announced these features were in 3.0 software six months ago. Another hardly publicized issue of NOT having the network ready for iPhone 3GS and its capability of 7.2Mps until 2011 will also anger iPhone buyers when they realize this.

    What this will probably lead to is even more dissatisfaction with AT&T and a mass exodus when the iPhone finally ends up on another US carrier next year or the year after!

    The practice of not allowing upgrades will backfire on AT&T and Apple will surely sell alot less iPhone 3GS’s! Does not sound like good biz to many of us, no matter if YOU are sympathetic or not!

  9. GT3 Says:

    Stephen, you’re forgetting that the original iPhone did not come for the same subsidized price the iPhone 3G came at. The two upgrade scenarios are not directly comparable. In either case, the math works out to be ‘fair’ for everyone at each point in time. The exception being for those who paid premium prices for the first year, or bought an iPhone just before the new pricing came out and missed out on getting either a better device or price.

    Bottom line, AT&T and Apple didn’t have to give away profits to upgrade people last time around, like they would if they did it this time around. Besides, since the upgrades are not as impressive this time, 3G owners aren’t really a suffering group (and I’m one of them).

  10. Mason Says:

    Harry is completely right on this, I think. I got my 3G for 299 a year ago, a subsidy which was given by ATT with the (contractual) understanding that I would be giving them money every month for 2 years.

    Now, not even halfway through that initial contract, people are expecting ATT to drop that second year of revenue and re-subsidize another phone? They are doing that, but with a subsidy adjusted for the loss of the second years contractual revenue.

    If we really wanted this stuff to be FAIR, we could get the phone at “new customer” subsidy, then ADD two years onto the end of our original contract end date. But I wouldn’t want to be under contract with ATT for the next 3 years.

    This is completely unrelated to the fact that ATT is a crap company, with crap service, that can’t even support basic MMS functions for iPhone customers.

  11. Harold Says:

    I bought the 3G on launch. I can upgrade for $399/$499 plus the $18 fee now. Or I can wait until December and upgrade for $199/$299 with a new 2 year contract. AT&T gets $95/month out of me ($1140/year) and I don’t qualify for the full discount??? I’m not paying $500 for a phone that has a compass and can load The Sims 2x faster.

    And why would I sign another 2 year contract to upgrade in December…knowing that Apple will probably release a new phone six months later with OLED…and possibly on another carrier?? I’ll wait and hopefully will have the opportunity to drop AT&T like a bad habit.

  12. Harold Says:

    And one more thing… AT&T is foolish. If they allowed the current 3G owners to upgrade at the discount, everyone one of them would sell their current iPhone…thus flooding the market with more potential AT&T customers. Apple would benefit from the app sales and AT&T would benefit from more people paying the high monthly cell phone bill.

  13. jhgjghjh Says:

    3GS is a very minor upgrade anyway,certainly nowhere near the 1st gen and 2nd gen (iPhone 3G) versions, next year there will be a much more impressive update/better pricing scheme to push people whos 2 year 3G contract is running out to renew it.

    Personally I can live without a digital compass, voice control and phone camera (get a real camera FFS) till then

  14. itsmenyc Says:

    Harry

    While you speak of people wanting to upgrade, you are not speaking about people who broke or lost their phones.

    I bought an original iPhone and I broke it a little over a year after so I had to replace it. I had to buy the 3G at that point with a new 2 year contract! Just for having broken my phone. It now means that I cannot upgrade until 2010. They need to have a better plan for broken phones.

    Plus the service recently in NYC has been downright horrible, constantly getting dropped calls and not being able to pull up data.

    It’s more than your calculations though. It’s important not to lose customers. It would make sense to me for them to want to retain customers because at this point when the exclusivity is up (supposedly next year) many people will be fed up and packing their bags.

  15. berry pickin Says:

    I think some are missing the point here. The problem is not ATT (as much as I hate to say that) but with Apple. They are on track to roll out a “new” phone every year. But, you have to sign a 2 year deal each time, so, you really can only get “every other” phone. Now, from iphone 1 to iphone 3G the changes were dramatic. But now, they are minor. I think people will have a hard time (execpt those that HAVE to have the latest one) justifing the $$$ for the new one, when the 3G will do 90% of what it does. And, now that we have a pattern, people may just wait now for the next one. Apple has started a “why buy this one when the next one will be better” mentality. I am very curious to see how well these phone sell, and who is buying them.

  16. Gloria Says:

    The majority of the people that are going to want to upgrade to the 3GS are existing iPhone users, as is common with apple products. Sure there are a handful of people who will decide they want a 3GS that don’t already have it, but in general current iPhone users are the large market. Pissing off 3G users is not going to help business. I give it a few months before they change the pricing, just as with the original iPhone.

  17. DanDan Says:

    The point that seems to be missed by itsmenyc, Harold and others is that the phone does not cost $199/$299 to make. Every phone AT&T sells at that price is at a loss. AT&T sells phones at those prices, in effect giving people money, because AT&T plans to make that money back over the next two years.

    When they sold phones to you last time, they gave you similar discounts. Because your contract is not done, you did not finish paying them for the discount. It’s pretty straight forward.

    You just have to accept the rate at which things change with all technologies. The difference is, with phones, the true cost of the device is spread out over two years. To compare apples to apples, you have to look at the price of the new, untethered phone.

    And, as a Verizon customer who is waiting for his two year contract to end so he can switch and buy an iPhone, I love how people think another carrier is suddenly going to solve all problems. Yes, Verizon’s service is better, but they have a track record of crippling their devices: with horrible software, disabling OBEX on Bluetooth, etc, etc.

  18. Harold Says:

    Everyone knows that AT&T subsidizes the phone. I don’t think it’s sold at a loss, though. I believe the iPhone 3G cost Apple $178 to manufacture. AT&T subsidizes, thus giving Apple their profit from the sale of the phone. Apple then makes even more money from the sale of the apps and other sales through iTunes. AT&T makes money off their egregious monthly cellphone plans.

    The point I’m trying to make is simple. Allow current 3G users the discounted rate. They will buy the new 3GS. They will flood the market with their old 3G’s… which will in turn be used AT&T’s network… thus giving AT&T and Apple more customers. It’s a win-win for all.

  19. Bill Sanders Says:

    Great post – thanks for bringing some reason to the “water-cooler” conversation!

  20. gm Says:

    LOL, gotta love all the whining… That’s exactly why I am not an Apple customer, I’d hate to be as pissed off as the fanboys every time I am screwed again.

  21. DanDan Says:

    The old 2nd generation (3G) phones are going to be sold for $99. Let’s say that every current 3G user (who bought their phone about one year ago) purchases a new 3G-S and sells their old phone for $50.

    First, AT&T normally gets two years of service for each of those discounts, now they only get one additional year (because they already had you under contract for one). So any scenario would have to have a new user, without any discount, buy service for at least one year, just to break even.

    Now, do you really think someone who is capable of paying the nearly $100 *monthly* AT&T fees is really holding out on a $50 discount??

    You’re envisioning someone who’ll go search on eBay for an iPhone 3G, buy it at $50, and then pay just under $100 a month for a year (because if they stayed for any shorter period of time, or bought a new iPhone with a new discount, it wouldn’t make up for the year of contract time already lost by AT&T when they sold the newest phone at a discount). All that, for AT&T to break even.

    But this same hypothetical person wouldn’t be willing to walk in to an AT&T or Apple store, and buy a brand new, never used, 2nd generation phone for just $50 more? They’re willing to pay nearly $1200 over a year for a used phone, but not $1250 to get a new one?

    I don’t see very many people like that, but maybe you do.

  22. David H Says:

    I think what this really comes down to is service vs. price vs. competition in the “wireless market” or lack thereof. I’ve been with all three of the major carriers — ATT, Verizon, and US Cellular — and while each of them has there merits, I loathe all of them. My gripe being this:

    1) While ATT has continuously let me alter my plan without billing me up the arse for it, the signal quality and advertised data services haven’t even come close to meeting my expectations.

    2) Verizon was by far the worst company I’ve had the displeasure of signing a contract with. Any major alteration I wanted to make with my plan resulted in a cancellation on the original contract — meaning a huge bill — followed by a signing of a new contract. Couple that with bad coverage and phones that had features locked out because Verizon thought they’d make more money by locking you exclusively to their services, and you’ll quickly see why I’ll NEVER go back to them; I don’t care how fast their network will be.

    3) US Cellular, while having by far the best coverage of any of them, seems to implement the same “alter your plan and die” and “you can’t do that with our phones” policies as Verizon. To boot, the text messaging system seems to have some flaws as sometimes I’d have to reboot my phone or receive a call before a text would come through.

    How is it they can all get away with this? It’s called a “2 Year Contract” that’s enforced with a “keep it or die” sort of policy with the cancellation fees they apply. The point being, this sector of business has no competition to keep customers; and as long as these contracts exist, things will stay that way. It doesn’t matter that there are three major carriers because they are all and will all remain monopolies as long as they force you to sign a contract.

    Someone really needs to step in and enforce some new policies. Consumer’s should — and I hope someday will — have the right to switch carriers based on what’s right for them without being penalized up the rear. Only then will true competition ensue and ensure the best level of service for everyone.

  23. DanDan Says:

    David H, I completely agree. But for that to happen, consumers have to be willing to stomach the initial (sometimes) $700 cost of a phone without any subsidy. As long as consumers expect to pay $100 bucks for the latest technology, they’ll be getting tied down by those contracts.

  24. RoC1909 Says:

    @michael

    Waaaaaaa. You disagree with someone and you have to call them a douche? What a tool! Waaaaaa. Quit being such a Apple Fagboy and realize that other people have opinions…just like my opinion of you is that you are a F’in moron!

  25. David Says:

    I agree as well. I am hoping that after the initial rush that AT&T comes up with some incentives to trade in old phones (I have a 3G 16) in exchange for some discount and a new 2 year contract, but at least for now I will wait. I have no idea what percentage of Apple IPhone purchasers actually ARE upset about the pricing. Mostly that I know are upset that AT&T won’t support tethering.

    I would honestly pay more for that.

  26. iPhoneFan Says:

    AT&T has to make their money off of people, that’s their business. I would have been amazed if I were able to just sign a new 2 year contract and get the lowest pricing on the new iPhone. It probably would have increased loyalty for them to do so, but they weren’t under any obligation too. We are not special because we own iPhones and AT&T doesn’t owe us anything for us choosing to be on their network, its ridiculous how some people are acting over this, we all wanted an iPhone, wanted it when we wanted it, and signed a contract saying we’ll pay for 2 years of service.

    It sucks I can’t get the new one right away without shelling out $200 extra dollars, but that’s the way it is and its actually more than fair. AT&T didn’t have to offer any subsidized pricing for those ineligible to upgrade, they could be charging $699 for the phone.

  27. sebastian z Says:

    Now I do not know about the exact cost difference between making an iPhone and an iPod touch, but I know I have got my touch at an identical price to the similar iPhone, no Crappy&T subsidy involved with my touch though. I do not have the 3G chip in the touch, and that is what I miss once in a while when I am on the road. The camera, I can live without, as for the true phone functions I am happy with the “free Samsung device” I have got from Sprint, and the (included) unlimited text messaging. My point is that probably the iPhone price without a contract is inflated and the price with a 2 year commitment is deflated below a “fair price”. You do pay way too much though in the long run by subscribing to voice and data services.
    I think $3-400 for the the iPhone 3GS is actually the “fair market price” of the device and it should come without any strings attached. Unfortunately the US wireless market is not an entirely fair one, as it is crippled by these monopoly attempts in the form of exclusive agreements.
    Of course nobody in the US pays $600 or $700 for an iPhone they could only use… on the same magnificent network that sells it to you for $200 should you agree to give up your “wireless freedom” for 2 years. Price it at $400 and make it work on any compatible network, and things may change. Or price it at $300 with a 2 year Verizon commitment, and you would still get people busting the doors to buy it ;)

  28. iPhoneFan Says:

    Furthermore. We all know, or should know, that Apple has the WWDC every year and will likely update the iPhone every year. The iPod updating schedule is a perfect example of this.

  29. anniegreens Says:

    Seriously people. What is wrong with you? You buy *any* new phone from AT&T and these are the terms you deal with. Subsidized priced with two-year contract; non-subsidized price without. If you’ve not had a phone long enough to satisfy your existing two-year contract, you don’t qualify. End of story. Freakin’ Apple lovers and their persecution complex! (If you want to complain about getting gouged by AT&T, look at what you’re being charged for text-messaging.)

  30. Dale Dietrich Says:

    I’m curious how you verified this statement:

    “A top-of-the-line iPhone really costs $699″

    Because AT&T (or someone else) will sell you a phone at that price, doesn’t mean that that is its cost. Do we/you know what Apple is really charging them at the wholesale level? The manufacturing and wholesale costs are constantly decreasing through a product’s life cycle.

    What is offensive to me is the whole idea of ‘subsidized’ phones. I want real competition among carriers. I want handset manufacturers to make direct sales to consumers at fair prices – including, of course, a reasonable profit. I want a government mandate that precludes carriers from locking phones to specific carriers.

    If we had this world, handset prices would ACTUALLY reflect their underlying cost – not this ‘marketing’ cost that you are quoting. Consumers would be able to move between carriers based on their ability to satisfy customer needs – not based on their ability to lock consumers in with misleading, anti-competitive, consumer-misleading ‘discounts’.

    …Dale

  31. Jeffsters Says:

    Ok, I’m reading this sort of junk all over and I am just amazed so many people it seems have never tried to upgrade a phone before their contract was up! I’ve done it MANY MANY times and have ALWAYS when under such a contract been given a higher price than the deal offered new or no contract customers. Cell phone companies do this, cable companies do this, it’s just the way they market to grow share. We’re already a customer they don’t need to subsidize us to as great of an extent. We’re upgrading not because we need a phone but because we WANT that phone. AT&T is in business to make money. You can argue they make too much maybe but don’t act all surprised when this has been the way the cell business has been run for as long as I’ve had a phone!

  32. David H Says:

    “What is offensive to me is the whole idea of ’subsidized’ phones. I want real competition among carriers. I want handset manufacturers to make direct sales to consumers at fair prices – including, of course, a reasonable profit. I want a government mandate that precludes carriers from locking phones to specific carriers.

    If we had this world, handset prices would ACTUALLY reflect their underlying cost – not this ‘marketing’ cost that you are quoting. Consumers would be able to move between carriers based on their ability to satisfy customer needs – not based on their ability to lock consumers in with misleading, anti-competitive, consumer-misleading ‘discounts’.”

    I think, you sir, have reached a fantastic and quite possibly the best solution. This would create true competition, not only at the carrier level, but also at the handset manufacturer level.

  33. Dave Says:

    Explain to me again what’s offensive about that?

    I’ll be happy to explain. It’s really simple: it’s a bad business move for AT&T. They’re trying to squeeze another $200 out of their existing customers and it generates 10x that amount in negative press, bad pr, and general ‘AT&T sucks’ discussions.

    I have a contract with AT&T, yet, frequently my voice calls drop for no reason at all. Rarely do I even get 3G speeds during peak hours. No tethering. No MMS. Isn’t a contract supposed to benefit the customer and the company?

    Anyway, no worries. I won’t upgrade. And, they won’t lock me into another two years. And the minute their exclusivity with the iPhone disappears, so will I. Then, they’ll be losing around $1200 of revenue a year because the jerked me around.

    You do the math.

  34. Jeff Says:

    WAKE-UP. I am still using the 1st Gen. iphone and barring a few touchscreen problems still delighted with my non-subsidized purchase from over 2 years ago. Every carrier subsidizes phones including AT&T this is nothing new. (don’t believe I have to say this)I, like all you cry babies, have choices when I sign a contract and purchase a phone. My choice is to put up with the crappy AT&T service and sign a new contract for a new subsidized phone at a very favorable price. My contract has been up for a few months and now I can act on my PATIENCE.

  35. Steve Says:

    I commented on this same thing (the link on my name should go there) and completely agree that AT&T isn’t screwing us. There’s a huge illusion about AT&T giving all of the 1st gen iPhone users a ‘break’ when the 3G came out which just didn’t happy at all since the 1st gen iPhone wasn’t subsidized.. But I also agree that this is just a silly move on AT&T’s part because of the problems with their network and the dissatisfaction with a lot of iPhone users (MMS, tethering, slow network, spotty network). I think the smart move on AT&T’s part would have been to take the $200 per sub hit and recover it over time by keeping those who are unhappy with their network from jumping ship the second the iPhone hits another carrier, probably next year.

  36. Greg Andrew Says:

    IPhone users have legitimate beefs with AT&T, but this isn’t one of them.

    Personally, I hate the way the cell phone industry works, including the subsidized phones. But consumers have responded to these subsidized offers far more than anything else, so I don’t foresee any change in the near future.

  37. ecco6t9 Says:

    No company is at any fault here.
    Apple and ATT aren’t point guns at your heads and forcing you to upgrade, hell most i users bought the 1st phone then got a deal and the 2nd one.

    It’s this whole I can wiggle my way out of this contract because they hurt my feelings that screwed up the economy too. Very few people these days have any personal responsibility.

  38. Toby Says:

    The issue really is due to subsidies, but not for the reasons you mention. Let’s be honest, if apple was selling these as standalone devices without any carrier affiliation, they would not be selling for $699 when the comparably featured touch (everything but the GSM module and camera) sells for a fraction of that. The issue is that AT&T is essentially paying Apple a lot money for exclusivity and then immediately recouping the cost. Additionally, why charge $200 to upgrade mid-contract when a user could simply cancel their account and pay a $175 ETF?

    The other issue I have with AT&Ts practices here are that even if you buy a used iPhone (ie one that has already been activated previously) you would still have to sign up for a new contract to activate it without unlocking. The combination of charging people who want to upgrade the extra $200 and requiring a 2 year contract for the person who bought the used iphone seems like they are just collecting double.

  39. DTNick Says:

    @Michael (First comment): Stay classy, buddy… :/

    I have no real opinion on the topic except to say that the pricing scheme–with three prices for each product–is confusing, and that under no circumstances would I buy a phone that costs $600-700 up-front.

  40. Jim M. Says:

    I don’t have a problem with your math, or with ATT making money. However, I bought my Iphone 3g on March 31, 2009. I’ve had it for 69 days, and it’s already obsolete and $100. cheaper!! I haven’t had it for about a year like some others posting here. I have a hard time believing that Apple and ATT didn’t know that a June date was selected, and the salepeople just let me go ahead and get screwed. A couple of years ago, I bought an HP laptop, and they told me that Vista was coming, but to buy the unit and they’d send me the OS when it was released in a couple of months. THAT was good and fair service. They won, and I won. Here, only Apple and ATT win, and I got the shaft. I sent an email to ATT this am, and all they did was tell me that the new operating system would be out this summer and that I could go ahead and spend $399. for extending out another two years. It stinks.

  41. Arild Kraakmo Says:

    Number One: If AT@T wants to keep their customers they should do this. If I have to wait another year before I can get the 3G S I will buy it and swith to T-Mobile just because I was not treated well at AT&T. And so will many other customers that..

    Number Two: The average lifespan of a cell phone is 1 year. Its OK with two year contracts. Meaning that the customer cannot leave the carrier for another carrier during those two years, but because most phones dont last more than one year they should have this option.

    Take European countries as examples, especially Scandinavian countries that are the most developed countries in the world when it comes to technology like this. Contracts longer than 1 year are forbidden by law.

  42. isoluva Says:

    The majority of previous posters had made valid points regarding the validity of existing 3G owners paying a higher cost for the new 3GS iphones. However valid those points may be – there still should be an cheaper upgrade path for users such as previous poster Jim M and myself. In April of last year I bought my wife the original iphone for a cost of $499 – lo and behold 2 months later here comes 3G – faster better – and cheaper. Not one to cry in my soup – I said as long as she’s happy with the phone I’ll get over it. On 5/1/09 when getting out of the car my wife drops her iphone and a car drove over it and cracked the lcd. Being the tech savvy IT guy that I am I had been following all the “iphone rumors” about a new iphone being released in June, so we call ATT explain the situation about the cracked phone and inquired about purchasing one of the refurb units that they were reportedly selling in anticipation of a new iphone but unfortunately there were none to be had. We also asked the cust service rep when the new phones were to be released but of course she could not confirm or deny a new phone was forthcoming but she would gladly sell me a brand new iphone 3G with and upgrade plan for $299. We said no thanks we’ll see whant we can do at our local store. After going to our local store – of course they also had no more refurbs and again no one would confirm or deny the availability of a new iphone so on May 2nd we kick out $299 for another brand new iphone. So for the mathematically challenged among us – that’s $800 for 2 iphones so far. So I called the ATT store today and expressed my frustration at having just put out $299 for a iphone when I could have just had my wife put her sim card in one of the old phones we have laying around the house until the new iphones were released if they had just confirmed the fact that there were going to be new iphone in a few weeks. Since I was on the phone I cannot confirm that she did say this with a straight face, but she actually said ATT had no idea there would be new iphones until they were announced yesterday. I duly informed the kind lady that I found it very hard to believe that everyone else in the world EXCEPT for ATT employees had not heard that Apple might be selling a new iphone. I also said rather than belabor that point – I’m not trying to get a shiny new iphone, it’s about the fact that just over 30 days later the new similarly configured iphone is actually $100 cheaper and maybe I could get my account credited for the difference. The sweet young lady was delighted to tell me that unfortunately those kind of adjustments could only be made for customers who upgraded their iphones between 5/9 and 6/9, and in the words of Maxwell Smart, “we missed it by that much”!! (Ok – so I added the Get smart line in). Is it too much too ask that a longtime Cingular/ATT customer could expect a little service/justic instead of the shaft?? All I can say is I’m really rooting for Verizon to get the iphone so I can tell ATT to kiss my ENTIRE @ss.

  43. mugzy Says:

    Apple is about selling ideas, not quality products. I do like my original iphone when the screen does not die when calls come in.

  44. malcontentist Says:

    What really pisses me off is that I’m an original iPhone owner (6/29/07) and just now, finally, coming up on the end of my initial two year contract. I received no subsidy whatsoever when I shelled out $599 for that 8GB iPhone 2G, and yet was locked into a contract as if I had received a subsidy.

    AT&T seems keen on pulling bullshit moves like this. Here are two others from yesterday:

    http://malcontentist.com/2009/06/i-hate-you-att-hate-you

  45. Oscar Says:

    Just called AT&T and I have to pay $599 for the 3Gs 16 gig. I bought my phone September of 2008 and have a flawless payment record with AT&T. They said I’m not even eligible for the early upgrade of $399 till February of 2010. That would be a year and a half after the 3G purchase.

    Go here: https://buyiphone.apple.com/WebObjects/IPACustomer.woa/

    Fill it out and see what they’re charging you. You might be surprised.

  46. Stephen Says:

    @GT3:
    I totally get that the original iPhone was not subsidized. BUT charging customers more to upgrade and there by EXTEND their contracts TWO MORE YEARS, then to cancel their account and leave is not a great business move. Especially since AT&T service quality being so crappy for many customers. Add this to the fact that they will NOT have MMS or tethering ready at launch even with more than a six month notice!

    Now add on that they blocked SlingPlayer on 3G and probably helped get NetShare axed from the app store! Again, keep the profits now and lose the customers later when Apple most definitely adds another carrier as early as next year, does not make good biz sense for AT&T.

    So my point is be right to keep the money and lose more when the customers run. They will I assure you. I no longer plan to upgrade my iPhone 3G now and will wait to Apple moves to another carrier, I am NOT alone.

    I remind you the Palm Pre will probably be on Verizon Wireless in about 7 months, JUST in time for many iPhone customers on AT&T to switch. Good going AT&T. Apple needs to get another carrier ASAP.

  47. Fabulous Says:

    I am a current iphone customer and quite frankly I do not care to upgrade to the so cslled new iphone. Honestly, when I upgraded from my first gen iphone to the 3g, I realized there is not much difference between the two at all. What a load of bull. All iphones are the same. I don’t see a speed difference either. It is all the same and besides, I jailbroke my iphone 3g a while ago and I have video camera and voice gps and message forwarding among many other things. So what they are claiming are new features, I been had along with many other iphone users.

    Actually, I think that apple is the one losing out on the word of mouth promotion by not offering those rebates. People give apple free promotion with all te hype. The reason I upgraded my iphone was becasue I met many people who had already upgraded and went on and on about their new phone. But like I said, there is really no difference from the 1st generation and the 3g. If you want an iphone, do yourself a favor and get the lowest priced one you find, just get the one with the warranty.

  48. Dave Zatz Says:

    Are you sympathetic towards a gen 1 iPhone owner? Doesn’t matter anyway – I have zero GSM coverage at work and need to make a change.

  49. Elle Says:

    I bought my iPhone 3G last November and feel no remorse. If you know anything about technology you have to expect that the latest greatest phone/camera/computer is going to be surpassed by the next great thing within a few months or at most a year. The new version will have more features and the old version loses value. That is the business cycle in technology. Do your research and wait as long as possible before making a purchase. The release cycles are fairly predictable and there is plenty of chatter in the blogosphere to provide hints about what is coming next. Then when you finally make the purchase accept the fact that it will be obsolete sooner than you think.

    However, I think there is a key difference between the way the cell phone business model has worked to date and what has happened with the iPhone. Previously I had a motorola phone that I used for calls and texting. Now I have a small computer that I use for a zillion other things. It cost more to buy, more to maintain the contract and it is more integrated into my daily routine.

    Before the iPhone when a two-year contract was complete, I had no incentive to stay with a particular carrier if I was unhappy with the service because I could get the same phone functionality with any carrier. But now if I want to maintain my current feature set, I am locked into AT&T for the moment.

    I know of many people who had basic cell phones in the midst of a two-year AT&T contract who were able to get iPhones at the upgrade price because AT&T was then able to keep them as a customer at higher monthly rates and lock you into the only service provider for the device.

    As the only carrier they have no incentive to cut a deal with an existing iPhone user to allow them to upgrade because you can’t leave at the end of your contract anyway if you want to keep using the iPhone. Hopefully that will change soon.

    I don’t think the upgrade cycle for a smart phone is designed to be as short as it was for basic cell phones. Basic cell phones are practically disposable and cheap enough to make people want to upgrade frequently. Remember when the Razor was the phone everyone wanted and it was expensive? Eventually it was ubiquitous and cheap. As more smart phones enter the market and when multiple carriers have the iPhone we will see some major changes in the business strategy and better deals for consumers.

  50. DaveZatz Says:

    I partially retract my comment. Apple Store would have sold me a 3G last week for $200. That was a loop hole and the refurb Blackjack2 I thought was contract free when I picked it up as a plaything last fall extended my contract. :/ The good news is I believe that also bumped me into the new reverse pro-rated cancellation fee. So when I jump to a Pre or Magic, it won’t sting as much. ;)

  51. Oscar Says:

    Well, after an hour and a half on the phone with AT&T I figured out why I have to pay to $599 and other’s only have to pay $399 for the iPhone 3GS upgrade!

    After intense digging, a lady at AT&T said I wasn’t eligible because I had already upgraded my iPhone 3G to ANOTHER iPhone 3G?! I told her NO, no way, I only have one, and why would I want to do that anyway? Ding, Ding, Ding….I did a RETAIL SWAP at the Apple Store on my iPhone 2 days later because my original 3G had a green tinted screen.

    EVERY iPhone 3G that was RETAIL SWAPPED at an Apple Store is appearing as if it was already early upgraded, thus making all of those customer’s ineligible for the lower early upgrade cost! The lady on the phone said that I (and every other person that retail swapped their 3G iPhone at an Apple store) will have to go through a lengthy override the day the 3GS is released!

  52. David Says:

    I still love my 1st gen iPhone. It still works flawlessly (even after being dropped on the sidewalk a few times). As much as people blast AT&T, I have 5 bars where I live and rarely have any coverage issues. I’m holding on to it.

  53. Loyal iPhone Fan 200 Says:

    OH!! 1 More thing… not to mention that us iPhone users are not even given the basic reach around of being able to have insurance on the iPhone. That's right folks, not only do we get priced f'd up the you know what, but if something happens to the phone, we are responsible for buying a new 1 at full retail value.

    That's where the sense of entitlement comes in.

  54. booga Says:

    What about existing AT&T customers who do not have an iphone and are done with their two year contracts? I heard that we are also not able to get the lower pricing for the new 3GS iphones. Can anyone confirm this? What would be their reasoning for not wanting to keep us on their network?

  55. simsurf Says:

    have anyone bitching ever heard of buying a phone outright and not signing a contract? You signed a contract for two years and got a subsidised phone and never thought apple would release a new phone within that 2 year period? you have to be kidding! If you want to keep up with new technology buy your phone outright and sell it on ebay when your ready to upgrade..its not rocket science…

  56. MaulerX Says:

    We paid a non-subsidised price for the original iPhone and yet we STILL

    had to sign a 2 year contract. Even though they allowed us to get the

    subsidised price for the iPhone 3G, technically, we paid full price because they more than profitted during that year.

    (Subsidised contract when we paid non-subsidised prices for the device?)

    Anyone that argues that we are not getting screwed here lacks any type

    of logic of what they really did.

  57. Alchemist Says:

    I am a current iPhone 3G owner, and I was thankful last year for not having to pay a subsidy and be able to upgrade. I’m NOT a “loyal” AT&T customer and don’t care much for it either and I’m positive AT&T feels exactly the same way.

    Since the beginning of mobile carriers and their service contracts -and cancellation fees- this has been a common practice; buy a phone, sign a contract and that was that. Simple business-consumer relationship.

    If we all agree (iPhone users and non-iPhone users) that there isn’t a single mobile device currently available or has ever been available (not comparing performance, or features) that has iPhone like fan base, community, and or consumer hype. Then we must agree that mobile carrier industry must change the way it looks at the upgrade is being looked at. Model doesn’t fit anymore. Innovate, specially if you are an exclusive carrier.

  58. Sean w Says:

    I’ve been debating on if I want to get a new iPhone since I have a 1st gen phone. But after reading reviews I think I’m just going to wait my phone works fine and with the 3.0 upgrade will be the same as the 3g only a little slower and with out MMS witch at&t doesn’t support anyways.

  59. Frank F Says:

    I have an 8GB 3G iPhone.

    I am less upset about subsidies, pricing, forced upgrades, etc. I entered a contract…I'm okay with honoring it.

    However I am bothered by the false promise of the original 3G device. Network speeds are mediocre at best and signal can be intermittent (in the metro NY area no less). To enjoy true 3G speeds, yet another device is needed? Shameful.

  60. Andrew Says:

    are you kidding me. The iphone costs 699 for the features that it offers……why the hell do they sell macbooks for 1k? Macbooks do far more things than the iphone and with more speed. There is no comparison between the iphone and mac. Don’t get me wrong I love both my mac and iphone but there is still no comparison. Even if you take into consideration that fact that the iphone is smaller. If I were to price the iphone based on the macbook price I would say that the iphone should cost about $400 max without a contract of any sort. How is that for logic.

  61. UnHappyATTcustomer Says:

    While the hardware changes on the new 3G S iPhone are not huge, it does have one major feature, for me, that is widely available on other phones, that is th ability to record video. I have no problem if ATT wants to charge me a bit more than a brand new customer, but $200 more I think is too much, especially since they are starting the time clock on the contract again.
    The person that said the AT&T is not the problem, but Apple because they roll out a new phone every year, That makes no sense to me. Are you saying Apple should slow down it’s invocations? I think AT&T needs t be a little kinder to it’s clients if the want to keep them once the exclusivity is over. I am not saying to give old customers the same pricing as new customers, just something more reasonable. Something that says they appreciate the business and want to keep them as customers.

  62. Loyal iPhone Fan 2009 Says:

    Ok wait. I’m not saying that AT&T is not correct in pursuit of requesting that iPhone users honor their contract. HOWEVER, there are those of us who have not only been with AT&T through the whole Cingular transition and back but were also the same service users (such as myself) who got the 1st Gen iPhone….when there was no contract discount.

    That’s right, you heard right. When the iPhone 1st Gen was released, you did not have to sign a 2 year contract with AT&T and there was absolutely NO DISCOUNT on the phone. I personally liked that. Which meant we paid $499 for a 4GB version and $599 for an 8GB version that was not 3G nor did it have a video camera.

    Which is another reason iPhone users have such a sense of “entitlement.” The basic hardware and software of everyday phones surpass that of the iPhone and by that I mean: Video recording, a zoom feature on the camera, MMS messenging, etc. So, when Apple releases these new versions of the iPhone, not only do we want the phone, but we feel that these are features that should have been on the iPhone 1st Gen… YES, WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE BEING SCREWED! And whether or not you guys wanna believe it, it’s true. There’s no reason the 1st iPhone could not have been 3G or had a video camera, or supported MMS messenging.

    So, not only did we buy into the fact that the 1st Gen iPhone was behind the times, we piled up at the door for the iPhone 3G. Still paying on minimum, $200. So let’s figure this out: in a 2year period, a basic loyal iPhone users has spent just about $700 on actual phones, whereas most (and I do say that lightly) phone users, take the $99 or less deal. So even if most users get a new phone every time their contract is up, they are spending still $400 less than an iPhone user. And by the way, I feel the absolute same way for Blackberry users… with the loyalty of certain services and products should come certain privileges, I’m sorry, I really feel that way.

    We should be allowed the technology that all of the bumbling 1st time iPhone users are gonna get way below out investment. It’s BS!

  63. Steve Says:

    Let the buyer decide!

  64. Happier for paying more Says:

    Where I come from we can buy the top line iphone for around US$800. There is no contract requirements and you can switch carriers within a month without any penalties. The funny thing is that we are used to paying up to US$900 for top of the line phones from HTC, Nokia, Blackberry and others. The phones may be expensive but in the long run not being tied to any carrier or any plan works out to be a lot cheaper. An unlimited data plan here is $80 a month and you usually find using an iphone you can live with the $25/month plan. Also because of the intense competition, prices keep coming down and service keeps improving as the consumer is king and is treated that way. I feel sorry for you guys with all these issues on upgrades and being tied down for two years to one carrier. Good Luck!

  65. ajay Says:

    seriously i dont know whats the fuss is about the iphone, Lg arena is a better fone in my option and it can go up to 32 gig in ext memory, so why 2 price tages when you could get that phone i mentioned and enough said

    hated iphones since the 8 gig old style over here in the uk came out, could not take it anywere apart from a lake…

  66. David Jacobs Says:

    I think you’re nuts Harry. $699 is actually reasonable for the phone given what it can do? Give me a break. Have you seen the pricing on Netbooks lately? Give away the razor and sell the blades me friend.

  67. Kira Says:

    Eh… I don’t understand the big deal here. This is standard procedure at any cellphone service provider.

  68. vicreative Says:

    El iphone es lo máximo

  69. Fretter Says:

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

    I shoulda smelled a rat when iPhone dropped their price by $100. But I went for the cheese. For some reason, I thought I coulda gotten a video-cam on my iPhone. Nope. Wait for 3.0. Turns out 3.0 is designed to enable more e-com (surprise) – not about features. Had I trusted my instincts, I woulda waited for another 3-4 months and not gotten involved with AT&T (never good – still not). At least I got out of that poor excuse of an app called Mobile Me before the $ kicked in. What a joke…

    I was thinking of a MacBook for music production – no more. I prefer knowing when I’m getting screwed.

    Hey – it’s just a phone

  70. Terry Says:

    Just because AT&T/Apple charge $699 for a new iPhone does not mean that is the “real” cost. Duh.

  71. James Says:

    The idea that the ‘real’ price of the 16 GB phone is $599 is questionable, given that the 16GB iPod touch with almost the exact same hardware costs $299. No one actually pays $599 for their iphone, so what’s the point of even publishing the price except as a threat to enforce an exclusive relationship with AT&T and snare customers into long-term contracts? I doubt AT&T actually pays apple $300 each time a new 16GB iPhone 3G is sold because $599 represents over a 100 percent margin and AT&T isn’t stupid. This is going to be a marketing debacle for AT&T and Apple as all of the current 3G users pour into the Apple store only to be turned away.

  72. midtoad Says:

    @james, no one pays $599 for their phone? Check the price on the brand-new Nokia N97 phone which is only sold un-subsidized. It’s $700 at Nokia stores. Guess what, that’s the REAL price of this level of technology.

    Cell providers aren’t going to give you a cheaper up-front price unless they can get it all back, and more, over the length of a long contract.

  73. Danny Says:

    People, there’s an easy solution for this:

    DON’T BE CAPRICIOUS AND GET A NEW iPHONE EVERY SINGLE YEAR!! I bought the first gen iPhone, but I SKIPPED the 3G, and will now get the new 3GS…all of this in sync with my contract so I will not have to pay extra.

    It’s really not that hard. All it takes is some humility that for one year you won’t have the latest phone…..ooooh, how horrible.

  74. amindinmotown Says:

    Excellent point, and well made.

  75. dhagelan Says:

    sip…

  76. buddz Says:

    Thanks for voicing your opinion about this. I agree with you completely. It’s like John Doe said, iPhone owners for some reason believe they deserve an upgrade. After all Apple is a cool company that has nothing but the consumers best interest in mind, right?

  77. julian Says:

    hi my mom has the original iphone i have a 3g which i bought like a month after it came out is their a way i can upgrade my moms phone to a 3GS and then put my sim card in it so i have my number in it and then use it as my phone while she gets my regular iphone 3g

  78. Richard Says:

    I’m with Verizon right now, and have time left on my contract. I got a screaming deal on my phone when I signed up, but if I want a different one, I’ll be paying a very hefty price since I have not reached the phone upgrade window near the end of my contract.

    This is the way it has always been as far as I can remember. Why do iPhone owners think they are different?

  79. lenggo Says:

    hi, nice to know u all ^_^

  80. Shyquan Says:

    Well my contract ends in july and I contacted Att to see if i could get discounted pricing and they told me I had to wait that month which made no sense what so ever when I was going to enter a 2 year contract when I bought the new 3GS. I’am a 3G user and I’am not complaing but just say Get real when you are this close to your conract beening up a discount pricing should not be a promblem when u just have a month or less left in your contract.

  81. Loyal iPhone Fan 2009 Says:

    You guys aren’t understanding. When the iPhone initially came to markey, I had no idea that they would be releasing any iPhones after that because of the software upgrades. I thought that everything would be taken care of via software upgrades, except the obvious things here like 3G and video. When the 3G came out at an remarkably lower price than the 1st Gen, I was pissed as were other people. So now they are marketing a 3G phone… that’s twice as fast as the 3G phone I have now? BS! And to Danny, not every single iPhone user got the 3G at the date of launch, I actually didn’t get mine until February of this year…which was well after a year after it’s release.

    Maybe AT&T shouldn’t be responsible for giving us anything but Apple damn well should be. It’s just like when they dropped the price on the 1st Gen by a hundred bucks, they gave us money back because they knew that BS was wrong. They know they’re screwing us and you people out there who don’t realize we’re being screwed are probably the same people against universal health care. LOL. I’m just kidding, I completely understand contracts, I used to work in the Entertainment industry, I’m not an idiot and I’m pissed off. They should make this right.

  82. Shawn H. Says:

    I think that a point that is being glossed over here, is that this is not an AT&T issue, OR an APPLE issue. This is standard practice across the board, for all US wireless companies. It isn’t a special “screw you” for iPhone users. If you go to almost any wireless company and start service, you will get a 2 year contract, and a discount on the phone, then when that contract is up, they offer a discount to buy a new phone, and 2 more years. It doesn’t matter what handset you buy… its cheaper when you start service, and then ANY phone you buy between now and when your contract is up… you pay FULL PRICE. This has been the way for a very long time, but none of you banded together to complain… until the iPhone.
    Did you flip out and cry about your outdated 5 day old Treo 650 when the Treo 700 came out? Do you need the new iPhone for anything other than a STATUS SYMBOL? Wellsir, if you gotta have the newest and best ASAP… pay for it. If you can’t afford the newest and best, quit crying about industry standard pricing plans, and go get a second job. You signed the contract, a contract which states clearly that you will be eligible for a discount on a new phone when your contract is up… don’t like it? switch to a different company… where the contract and discount system are EXACTLY THE SAME.

    You are not pissed because you are being screwed, you are pissed because you want a new toy, but you don’t want to pay for it. I’ve been an APPLE fan for years, but I’ve never been such a fan that I threw out my APPLE products that still work great, just because they came out with a newer version.

    Your sense of entitlement really makes you seem like spoiled douchebags.

  83. John Doe Says:

    apple sells the phones via at&t..complain to apple..at&t is not your enemy here, and all you verizon fans should be mad at verizon because it’s their fault for turning down the iphone in the first place..now that it’s a big hit, EVERYONE wants their carrier to get it..you should be thanking at&t and shut your mouths..plus at&t is doing nothing different than any other carrier and nothing different than they always have..deal with it and stop crying

  84. Joe Says:

    When I found out that the iPhone 3G S was coming out I became livid because the 3G had just come out and I thought it was a huge update. When I found out FROM the APPLE website that you can upgrade everything on the 3G to work just like it would on the 3G S, I grew very relieved. The only think it won’t have is the video messaging, although there may be more that’s not included as well. Go to the Apple website yourself and check it out, its under 3.0 upgrade.

  85. John McElhenney Says:

    Ha ha. Please let me tell you about my year-old MacBook Pro that is now worthless on the marketplace because Apple released BETTER and CHEAPER MacBook Pros. Are you sympathetic yet?

    @jmacofearth

  86. David sanger Says:

    Or, how about those people that purchased the 3G phone a month ago? I ordered my phone online in the 6th recieved it on the 11th of may and called them on the 11th of June after just hearing about the new 3GS cominimg out… Only to be told I am 2 days!! Outside the window for a credit or equal exchange. I think It’s crap they won’t at the minimum give me a credit for the difference in new pricing on the 3G.

  87. juliusa Says:

    Since our 1st gen iphones are still working great…why upgrade? This is exactly the nonsense that got us in economic trouble as well…the need to have the latest, damn the cost! We lived without video (silly on cell phones anyway, never liked it!), the camera is fine for quick shots (GET A REAL CAMERA!), and MMS is something we don;t are about…so the 3.0 upgrade sounds like a HUGE deal for us on the original phone. I WILL BET that someone creates a video camera app for 3.0 (worth the wait…look at all the camera apps so far!)… maybe it will allow it. I for one will wait to see what 3.0 does before rushing to buy an upgrade, even at $199. I hear too many negative things about 3G as it is, and have had NO problems with the 2G phone. Battery life is fine, fast enough processor for a phone, great apps to choose from, 8GB is plenty of room (3 days of music is enough at one time..part of the fun is changing it now and then, and keeping the best..PANDORA does the rest!

    3.0 is supposed to improve rendering in SAFARI to make it faster, and frankly here in NYC I have tested my 2G against the 3G phone several times, and believe it or not my 2G beat the 3G in loading sites on SAFARI every time…go figure!

    So if you’re happy with the 1st gen phone, wait for 3.0 and THEN decide…because the new phones will always be there for sale at that price, there really is NO HURRY!

  88. Just Bob Says:

    I would like to point out a few key things quickly.

    1) Actual manufacturing costs on a phone have generally never exceeded $100 on any pocket sized phone ever made so $699 really means that you’re paying $600 towards R&D and $100 (if that) towards the phone. Thus, $199 is basically still a profitable price in terms of manufacturing cost.

    2) Has anyone noticed the direction that prepaid plans are going in these days? Someone mentioned earlier that they want to pay a bit more for a phone to get away from contracts and I totally agree that would be better. Luckily enough, that’s what’s happening. That’s how it already is in Japan and our US wireless companies are coming to realize that the future lies in a lack of commitment. The biggest problem being that the US is the only country that has 2 different types of cellular service. You could buy a GSM iPhone and even if it was unlocked, it would be worthless on a CDMA network. None-the-less, these days you can get a PDA phone on virgin mobile for $99 which just proves that the whole $699 thing is BS when a pre-paid service can offer a phone that has many of the same features for 1/7th of the price without ANY necessary commitment. Also, the available plans on pre-paid service are getting more and more like those with your standard contract. It is likely that in a few years contracts will entirely be a thing of the past.

    3)Just because you have an iPhone, you have to pay an extra $15 a month in data… is it just me or does that sound a bit ludicrous? I had an AT&T Tilt and only paid $15 for data and could surf the internet just as well and download things and tether. I can almost guarantee that even if the iphone does get released to other companies, we’re still gonna have to deal with the same crap from them. Yes, maybe get better service but still have to pay ridiculous amounts to do so.

  89. piszedoff Says:

    what is the difference between a 30 day and 45 day return policy? AT&T and Apple should have known better…

  90. primedef Says:

    My thing is this apple should have announced there new iphone 3GS when they announced the new software! I think they were screwing the customers by not letting them know! Now people keep talking about subsidized pricing which makes sense for ATT but not to customers! How would ATT loose money buy letting you upgrade your phone it seems like a good strategy to me to let you upgrade and extend your contract? Also if you paid full price for your iphone this year in 2009 you are not getting subsidized pricing anyway so you paid full price and you signed up for another 2 yr contract! I think either way you should be able to up grade and get some kind of discount and especially if you bought your iphone this after hearing about the software upgrade. I paid full price for my iphone 3G why should I not be able to upgrade at a discounted rate to the iphone 3GS?

  91. james braselton Says:

    HI THERE WELL MY CONTRACTS UP SOO I AM BUYING MY THE 32 GB VERSION THEN IN 2011 I WILL UPGRAD AGAIN TOO THE G4 IPHONE 128 GB 5 MP CAMRA AND A 1.2 GHZ CPU SOO THAT I CAN PLAY IHALO ON THE GO IN 2011 I WILL BEABLE TOO PLAY HALO ON MY IPHONE GO APPLE SENCE MICRO SOFT WONT GIVE US A PROTABLE XBOX

  92. yall r dumb Says:

    i payed a total of 215$ for my iphone 3gs and i am a previous owner of a iphone 3g…. i got it from apple website idk what yall are talking about

  93. Van Says:

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    Code: VMG15

  94. John Andersen Says:

    Inferior product with battery issues, software glitches, and missing features. But as loyal ATT customers shouldn’t complain about getting raped on an upgrade? I would completely understand his concept if, as with any new phone, had very few issues, but the previous Iphones were riddled with software problems, battery problems, etc. So the loyal ATT customers who were Guinea pigged should at least be given the opportunity to upgrade with a FAIR price if you’ve had an Iphone for a year!!! Old contracts used to be 12 months. With technology progressing on phones, a year should get you something! I have been an ATT customer for 10 years have 4 phones, and never had an issue upgrading after 12 months. Ive never had a problem with Apple, but I see now how they fell off the map in the 90s to Microsoft. Greed and no respect for their loyal customers.

  95. dan Says:

    Totally off the mark. “$699 for a regular price on the iphone and that sounds about right?” No way. Considering the huge price we pay for data and texting, which has nothing to do with actual voice calls, we should be paying $99 for current Iphone users and $59 for new users. Furthermore, there should only be one year contracts, if any. Consumers, myself included, are paying out money hand over fist for cell phone companies that keep coming out with a new phone every year knowing that our greedy, “gotta have the latest and greatest” attitudes will make us buy these phones. If there’s anyone that has escaped the current recession is the cellphone companies. How about toning down the profits just a bit and get everyone a new iphone that is reasonably priced? No, Harry, I expect I will not stop whining any time soon. Sorry, but I don’t believe in the whole “subsidies” bullcrap.

  96. HMM Says:

    Ugh, get real I just had my purse stolen with my Iphone in it.. which of course I need for work! I bought the Iphone in December of last year..So now I am not able to get an upgrade until 2010!!! There are no comparable devices in that price range available to me… Which means I would have to pay the full price yet again for the Iphone since you can not insure the bugger. SO tell me again how this is fair to loyal long standing customers????! (I and when I mean long standing I mean close to 20 years)…

    Whine, Whine with cheeeessse and crackers…hmm

  97. Nick Says:

    What we’re forgetting here is that tech advances occur every 3-6 months and expecting someone to own a phone for entire 2 years is outrageous. I hate at&t because of this. Why am I expected to hold an ancient phone when I paid 400 plus for it. I was paying at&t a total of 500 a month for all my services. I have it down to 150 a month and by target is to not use at&t for anything.

    As soon as the iPhone is offered elsewhere I am gone like the majority on iPhone owners.

    Plus I’m a developer for iPhone and they expect me to develop on an ancient.

    You don’t build customer loyalty by pissing on them. Forcing them to use you, because your the only choice. Builds anger and fuels a revolt. When the iPhone is no longer a manopoly at&t is screwed with thier crappy network.

    I blame Steve Jobs for letting this happen. Both Steve and at&t are screwing us.

    And People right an article proclaiming that we should have sympathy with a corporation. You are a pathetic lobbyist.

  98. Microsoft CRM Says:

    This is a pretty funny thread. I am surprised that Apple does not have some sort of upgrade policy. I guess they figure that they really don't need to. I wonder if they will put such a plan in place if the Android continues to sell really well and take market share away from Apple. Hmmmm.

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