Apple to Offer iPhone 3GS Free on Contract?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,662
10,081



While much of the focus surrounding Apple's iPhone plans has been on the iPhone 4S/5 and the possibility of a low-end 8 GB iPhone 4, there have been a few suggestions that Apple could keep its iPhone 3GS around even longer in order to offer a handset available for free on contract. Despite being based on an over two year old design, the iPhone 3GS continues to be the second best-selling smartphone in the United States behind the iPhone 4, demonstrating that upfront device cost continues to be a major factor in customers' purchasing decisions.




RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky today issued a new research note outlining his expectations for Apple's iPhone event tomorrow. While many of his predictions are in line with existing thoughts regarding an HSPA+ iPhone 4S or 5 based on an A5 chip and maintaining existing price points with the possibility of a new 64 GB model also in the mix, he also predicts that Apple will continue offering the iPhone 3GS alongside the new hardware.

Abramsky outlined his rationale for such a move back in late June, and he continues to stand by his predictions of an iPhone 3GS offered for free on contract or $399 off contract in today's report.
We expect Apple to reduce the price of the prior iPhone 4 to $99 subsidized ($499 unsubsidized) and the iPhone 3GS to $0 subsidized ($399 unsubsidized, see 11/06/29 note for more detail and rationale); the prior iPhone 4 may be available only with 8GB memory.
We might have dismissed this report in the chatter leading up to the event, except MacRumors has also heard that Apple may indeed be keeping the iPhone 3GS around. We haven't heard anything on pricing, but it would likely only make sense as a free-with-contract option as outlined by Abramsky.

Article Link: Apple to Offer iPhone 3GS Free on Contract?
 

andylyon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
765
10
London
They should just offer the current 4 with 8GB storage for free. It would make so much more sense. The 3GS (I have one and love it) is old and tired and its form has been around years, they need to move on.
 
Last edited:

Tones2

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,471
0
I so want to be a market analyst churning out stuff like this. Where do I apply? :)

Tony
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
The should just offer the current 4 with 8GB storage for free. Would make so much more sense. The 3GS (I have one and love it) is old and tired and its form has been around years, they need to move on.
The 3GS is still the second-best-selling smartphone in the US (after the iPhone 4 of course):

https://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/22/iphone-4-and-3gs-rank-as-best-selling-u-s-smartphones/

And it’s probably cheaper to make than the iPhone 4 is. I’d be surprised if the 3GS doesn’t go away (Apple happily replaces best-sellers all the time) but at the same time, I can’t say it makes “more sense” to give the iPhone 4 away for free, if it’s a more expensive device.
 

ashoka8350

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2008
80
0
Guess what!

The should just offer the current 4 with 8GB storage for free. Would make so much more sense. The 3GS (I have one and love it) is old and tired and its form has been around years, they need to move on.
Check it out:

$49.00=iPhone4 with 2 yrs contract(8GB)
$399.00=iPhone4 for purchase-Prepaid services(8GB)

$99.00=iPhone4S-16GB-2yrs contract
$199.00=iPhone4S-32GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone4S-64GB-2yrs contract

$199.00=iPhone5-16GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone5-32GB-2yrs contract

Just wait and see!!
 

batchtaster

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2008
1,031
217
I have an iPhone 3GS and I've been very happy with it, but I really don't think they need to be complicating their line. 3 distinct models (3GS, 4, 4S), multiple capacities, some with multiple colors, presumably they'd retain both GSM and CDMA versions of the iPhone 4... Apple's lineup was always simple. Cut loose the model that's 2 generations superseded, find a way to get the outgoing model down to the right price point and be done with it.
 

grapemac

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
107
0
In the UK, the 3GS is already free. You can get a refurb model free for £13.50 per month for 2 years, or a new model free for £18.50 per month for 2 years.
 

Tones2

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,471
0
Check it out:

$49.00=iPhone4 with 2 yrs contract(8GB)
$399.00=iPhone4 for purchase-Prepaid services(8GB)

$99.00=iPhone4S-16GB-2yrs contract
$199.00=iPhone4S-32GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone4S-64GB-2yrs contract

$199.00=iPhone5-16GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone5-32GB-2yrs contract

Just wait and see!!
In this scenario, why wouldn't there be an iPhone 5 with 64 GB at say $399?

Tony
 

Maschil

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2011
566
61
Mississippi
Check it out:

$49.00=iPhone4 with 2 yrs contract(8GB)
$399.00=iPhone4 for purchase-Prepaid services(8GB)

$99.00=iPhone4S-16GB-2yrs contract
$199.00=iPhone4S-32GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone4S-64GB-2yrs contract

$199.00=iPhone5-16GB-2yrs contract
$299.00=iPhone5-32GB-2yrs contract

Just wait and see!!
there going to make a ton of money if they do that.... the iphone 4 in my opnion could go another year strong...
 

andy845

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
47
79
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

The iPhone 4 can be had for free with a contract let alone the 3GS. At least that's the case here in the UK.
 

Tabris82

macrumors member
Nov 4, 2010
45
0
Manchester CT
So let us assume (Please no 'you and me' jokes) that there are three models of the 4S... By the thinking of this article the 4 8gb version will be $99 with contract. Does that mean the 4S 64gb will be priced at $399?
To me that sounds a little steep. I imagine the 4 8gb will go for $49, while the 4S 16gb for $99, 32gb for $199, and 64gb go on sale for $299....

I'm looking forward to see what happens tomorrow.

(No, I don't believe in an iPhone 5 happening this year)
 

Tones2

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,471
0
So let us assume (Please no 'you and me' jokes) that there are three models of the 4S... By the thinking of this article the 4 8gb version will be $99 with contract. Does that mean the 4S 64gb will be priced at $399?
To me that sounds a little steep. I imagine the 4 8gb will go for $49, while the 4S 16gb for $99, 32gb for $199, and 64gb go on sale for $299....

I'm looking forward to see what happens tomorrow.

(No, I don't believe in an iPhone 5 happening this year)
f there is a 64 GB phone, it will be $399. 64 GB chips are still really expensive.

Tony
 

grapemac

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
107
0
Who would pay for a phone that's 3 generations old?
I'm going to get a 3GS sometime between tomorrow and the release date of the new models. Although the price can't come down (it's currently free on all tariffs in the UK), the number of inclusive minutes/texts perhaps will go up.

I had an iPhone 3G for 3 years and it almost did everything I'd want from a phone. The extra power of the 3GS plus the improved camera plus video recording plus iMessage plus iCloud plus further software updates make it a pretty great phone for £13.50 a month.
 

usman93

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2011
13
0
Torrance CA
Compettion

dam, thats cheap for an apple product. Though the plan will prob suck up the ppls money :eek:. w/e the 3gs isnt a bad phone. In fact its pretty bad ass! ;)
 

bnerd

macrumors regular
May 21, 2009
127
0
As a developer this is good and (kinda) bad news..

meaning.. with all the advances of the new iPhones (Ram, CPU) .. I still have to consider the lowest denominator which in this case would be the new surge of 3GS users... that may or may not be a totally BAD thing.. but we shall see.
 

SirChadwick

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2011
30
0
The fact that "upfront device cost continues to be a major factor in customers' purchasing decisions" has always surprised me when the monthly cost of owning an iPhone can run around $100. One can spend $1,200 a year for service, but $200 for the upfront cost is WAY TOO MUCH. Hmmm.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.