AT&T iPhone 3G $199/$299 Pricing Policy

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After our story about the AT&T subsidy for the Apple iPhone, it appears there remains an enormous amount of confusion about AT&T's iPhone 3G upgrade policy. We had previously posted a guide based on circulating rumors describing individual eligibility for the $199/$299 iPhone 3G pricing.

The main area of confusion relates to existing AT&T customers who don't currently own an iPhone. Some interpreted Apple's initial announcement of $199/$299 as an absolute price, not subject to qualification. Adding to the confusion is that AT&T sales representatives are giving conflicting information about whether or not individuals need to meet special eligibility requirements.

A recent InformationWeek story provides some official word from AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. Siegel clarifies once and for all that current AT&T customers using something other than an iPhone will need to qualify to receive the iPhone 3G's subsidized $199/$299 price.

While payment history is one factor, "how long the person has left on the current contract" also weighs into the decision. Siegel refused to provide exact criteria since "there's a whole lot of variables, and [he] would hate to give specific criteria." AT&T's standard upgrade criteria, however, are published online and depends on a combination of how much your monthly bill is and how much time is left on your contract.

Siegel states that an "unsubsidized" price for the iPhone has not yet been determined and AT&T will announce that price sometime before the iPhone 3G goes on sale.

To Summarize:

- iPhone 3G will launch in the U.S. on July 11th
- $199 (8GB), $299 (16GB) represents subsidized iPhone 3G prices
- If you are currently an iPhone AT&T customer or not currently an AT&T customer, you qualify for the subsidized pricing
- If you are currently a non-iPhone AT&T customer, you will be subject to certain qualification criteria. AT&T's "standard" upgrade criteria are posted here but may be subject to change.
- If you don't qualify, there will be a higher unsubsidized price for the iPhone 3G which will be announced before July 11th.
- Speculation: While rumors have pegged AT&T's subsidy at $325, it seems very unlikely that the unsubsidized price will be this high ($199+$325). Historically, canceling your existing mobile phone contract for the typical $175 early-termination fee would automatically qualify you for any future subsidized phones. As a result, we suspect the unsubsidized pricing will be about the same as the early-termination fee (about $199+$175 for 8GB).




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supmango

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2008
413
0
Seriously, no one really knows what is going to happen until it is announced. Just leave it alone already. Yes, it is likely that AT&T is going to screw over its current customers like they have done for a very long time. That is business and if AT&T can make more money by doing it, they will and there is really very little we can do about it if it happens.
 

know-it-all5

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2006
275
0
USA
You mean to tell me that if buy one at an apple store, some apple rep is gonna tell you that you arent due for an upgrade on att. I find this increasingly complex... Arn, I know you will be the first one to let us know when we have official details of how the "buying/pricing/sales" process will actually work on July 11th. Until then, I can say that we have a demographic of likely Iphone buyers, who are very angry with the speculation, so att and apple need to get off their A** and give us consumers the answers we deserve. The right answers, that is.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,920
1,209
Washington DC
Last week I was sad that I couldn't afford to pay for AT&T's data plan.

But now I realize this means I don't have to try and understand this article.

Granted, I tried anyway, but since it doesn't apply to me I can give up before it gives me a headache!

So I guess there's a silver lining to every cloud.
 

Ja Di ksw

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,308
6
Wait, so current AT&T customers who have been with AT&T for less than 2 years get treated worse than people who have never been with AT&T?

That's some bulls***.
 

zschiffman

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2008
36
0
Norwalk, CT
You mean to tell me that if buy one at an apple store, some apple rep is gonna tell you that you arent due for an upgrade on att. I find this increasingly complex...
great point. would they would need to install AT&T databases in all apple retail stores to double check?

too bad i'm stuck in a family plan on verizon....blackberry thunder for me in september...:apple:

Wait, so current AT&T customers who have been with AT&T for less than 2 years get treated worse than people who have never been with AT&T?

That's some bulls***.
but if you bought an iphone in the last month you can upgrade for free AND get the difference back...that makes a lot of sense for all the good folk here who knew about the 3g iphone (and are current AT&T customers) and decided to wait..
 

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
Wait, so current AT&T customers who have been with AT&T for less than 2 years get treated worse than people who have never been with AT&T?

That's some bulls***.
a company is giving incentives to new customers that are not available to current customers? inconceivable!
 

synergy55

macrumors newbie
Jun 19, 2008
1
0
Huge Bummer

I switched to ATT for the Iphone, now that I have I really really regret it, dangit I should have never switched....
 

dotcomlarry

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
188
0
Akron, PA
This sort of speculation and information *before* things are finalized only serve to further confuse both existing and future customers. Seriously, just wait until the day it's released -- by then everything will be hammered out.
 

HumblePieEater

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2008
2
0
Foolish Things

This is one more reason why there should be no lock-out from a carrier a user wishes to use for any particular phone.

I should be able to purchase, straight-out an iPhone and use it on a carrier of my choice, even if that carrier can't support every feature of the phone.

Someday, I hope an American customer can do this without a hassle.
 

noverflow

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2002
188
0
But what about my situation?

I have an iPhone. BUT I bought it only a few months after getting a different phone that was subsidized.

According to this, I have an iphone, so I can upgrade. Or do I need to wait until my upgrade cycle is up?
 

tirerim

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2006
204
0
Wait, so current AT&T customers who have been with AT&T for less than 2 years get treated worse than people who have never been with AT&T?

That's some bulls***.
Sure. New people need an incentive to switch carriers. Existing customers who are locked into a contract (and it's only customers under contract that this applies to) are stuck, unless they feel like paying the early termination fee, so AT&T has no reason to offer them a good deal. This is exactly the same way that every other carrier in the U.S. operates, so switching away isn't going to improve anything.
 

Catalyx

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2008
27
1
they are going to lose a lot of customers over this. me, for example.
Not sure what your reasoning is that AT&T will lose "a lot" of customers since the only ones who would care are those who want an iPhone but can't quality for the subsidy.

Why would they pay a fee to leave the official carrier of the product they want? Even if they get an old iPhone to use on T-Mobile I think the cost of that plus AT&T termination would be close to an unsubsidized 3G model which is better anyways...
 

zync

macrumors 68000
Sep 8, 2003
1,802
24
Tampa, FL
You mean to tell me that if buy one at an apple store, some apple rep is gonna tell you that you arent due for an upgrade on att. I find this increasingly complex... Arn, I know you will be the first one to let us know when we have official details of how the "buying/pricing/sales" process will actually work on July 11th. Until then, I can say that we have a demographic of likely Iphone buyers, who are very angry with the speculation, so att and apple need to get off their A** and give us consumers the answers we deserve. The right answers, that is.
I was thinking that as well. That's why my plan, thus far, is to definitely buy one at an Apple store. I only upgraded my phone to hold out for v2. Granted, I wasn't expecting a subsidy, but I am a little annoyed that it would be granted for people who bought an iPhone last year even if they are still technically ineligible. That's a little unfair.

I am also annoyed that Jobs gets up there and says it's a lower price at 199 and 299 with no qualifications and AT&T thinks it's going to charge for that subsidy. I've been an AT&T customer for over a decade. Give me a break.

Note that this is not a complaint. I'm not saying that I'm not buying it. I'm just interested in how they're going to get the Apple Store to charge money.
 

thedave3000

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2007
23
0
Arlington
I do not recall during the WWDC keynote address any mention of a subsidy relating to the pricing of the 3G iPhone. The $199 and $299 was presented as the price for the device as I recall with no qualifications mentioned- maybe I missed it. But this could be a pretty serious customer relations nightmare for Apple because I know of a lot of people who are eagerly looking forward to their first iPhone purchase and they are banking on that $199 or $299 price point. I can only imagine the anger and frustration if people find out that that is not the case at the point of sale. I cannot believe AT&T would not greatly simplify this and make it as easy as possible to sell as many iPhones as possible.
 

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
I do not recall during the WWDC keynote address any mention of a subsidy relating to the pricing of the 3G iPhone. The $199 and $299 was presented as the price for the device as I recall with no qualifications mentioned- maybe I missed it. But this could be a pretty serious customer relations nightmare for Apple because I know of a lot of people who are eagerly looking forward to their first iPhone purchase and they are banking on that $199 or $299 price point. I can only imagine the anger and frustration if people find out that that is not the case at the point of sale. I cannot believe AT&T would not greatly simplify this and make it as easy as possible to sell as many iPhones as possible.
im sure AT&T would love to make it easy but they cant because if they allowed people to just buy iphones they would lose money. you have unlockers to thank for this. https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/105/ why dont you pop by the macrumors sub forum and thank them for making everyones lives more difficult?
 

Aperture

macrumors 68000
Mar 19, 2006
1,876
0
PA
I do not recall during the WWDC keynote address any mention of a subsidy relating to the pricing of the 3G iPhone. The $199 and $299 was presented as the price for the device as I recall with no qualifications mentioned- maybe I missed it.
I'm a bit confused as to when the subsidy came about, also. After I saw the keynote I assumed it was going to be the same sale method as iPhone 1, just cheaper.
 

know-it-all5

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2006
275
0
USA
I was thinking that as well. That's why my plan, thus far, is to definitely buy one at an Apple store. I only upgraded my phone to hold out for v2. Granted, I wasn't expecting a subsidy, but I am a little annoyed that it would be granted for people who bought an iPhone last year even if they are still technically ineligible. That's a little unfair.

I am also annoyed that Jobs gets up there and says it's a lower price at 199 and 299 with no qualifications and AT&T thinks it's going to charge for that subsidy. I've been an AT&T customer for over a decade. Give me a break.

Note that this is not a complaint. I'm not saying that I'm not buying it. I'm just interested in how they're going to get the Apple Store to charge money.
Wow, It's good to see we agree on something. Lol, our last disagreement was on whether the new Iphone would be subsidized. I won that one. For once we agree on something. I find it horrible that such an important demographic of Iphone buyers will be screwed out of the subsidy. I just can't see apple stores selling it for one price to some people, and telling att customers who are not upgradeable at the moment, that they need to pay more. I can see att stores doing that, but not apple... no way.

I do not recall during the WWDC keynote address any mention of a subsidy relating to the pricing of the 3G iPhone. The $199 and $299 was presented as the price for the device as I recall with no qualifications mentioned- maybe I missed it. But this could be a pretty serious customer relations nightmare for Apple because I know of a lot of people who are eagerly looking forward to their first iPhone purchase and they are banking on that $199 or $299 price point. I can only imagine the anger and frustration if people find out that that is not the case at the point of sale. I cannot believe AT&T would not greatly simplify this and make it as easy as possible to sell as many iPhones as possible.
Precisely the problem. Do apple and att really want to alienate a bunch of customers, because of a lousy business model. The iphone is a powerhouse for both companies, so they should do everything in their power to simplify price, and how sales work etc. Giving subsidies to everyone is important, even if it means att loses a few bucks that they will end up getting in the long run.
 

antoneoh

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2007
21
0
I'm on Verizon right now, I think AT&T should pay for my $175.00 termination fee if they want my business.
 
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