AT&T: Squeezing the life out of iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Shanesan, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Shanesan macrumors 6502


    Jul 29, 2006
    There's nothing worse than when contractual obligations come out at the very LAST minute of the pre-release of the potentially hottest consumer business-oriented person-with-a-lot-of-spare-change selling product of the summer, if not the year.

    So Apple and AT&T, by agreement or not, FINALLY release the most important part of the phone: Contract Requirements.

    Here's the good, the bad, and the downright criminal, in no particular order.

    - You MUST extend your contract if you have one to an additional two years.
    - Rate plans start at $60/month for 450 weekday minutes.
    - Rate plans include unlimited data services.
    - Existing plans can add unlimited data for $20 (with 200 SMS)
    - There is no option to revoke said data services for a less expensive plan.
    - No contract = paperweight.
    - Activation charge is $36, even though it's completely automated.

    Quick math:
    I buy the $499 iPhone, register it ($36) and have the $60/month (all before taxes). In one year...

    The iPhone with service plan for myself ONLY will cost $1255 before taxes.

    This isn't exactly a jump-to decision. Thats the cost of macbook, people.
  2. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    On the other hand, you're saving $480 on cell phone service (assuming a comparable plan previously). For that, you could buy a second iPhone!
  3. Rooskibar03 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    State of Denial
    Would you like some cheese with your wine.

    I have said it before and I say it again, Apple sells A tier products at A tier prices.

    ATT charges 39 a month for BlackBerry service, which sucks compared to the iPlans.

    I you can't(or won't) pay then you can't play.
  4. rSm00th macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2007
    My VZW blackberry plan, which is almost identical to the $60 iPhone plan is something like $15-20 more expensive... and yes, I had to sign a 2-year contract with VZW too.

    The phone is more expensive, sure, but is far superior than my 7250. I dont see any problem with their pricing structure. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised.
  5. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    WRONG. it's not an additional 2 years. it's 2 years starting from the day you activate your iPhone. so if i still have 1 year left on my current contract and activate an iPhone, i don't have 3 years left on my contract, i have 2 starting from that day.
  6. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    By that logic a macbook would be more:

    Macbook $999
    Internet for macbook $500 (45 a month)
    .mac $99


  7. avalys macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2004
    You're being ridiculous. I assume you're already paying for cell phone service? Then the additional cost of upgrading to an iPhone will be significantly less than $1200/year.
  8. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Incendiary and ridiculous. Why is this thread necessary? Why can't you see you are comparing apples and oranges?

    A MacBook is not going to give you cross-country access to call your mom, get texts from your friends, much less will it fit in your pocket.
  9. cmschmidt macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    i hate people saying this crap. you're not taking into account your already sunk costs on current cell phone costs. your acting like you don't already pay a certain amount for the usage of a cell phone. lets assume people pay on average $40/month currently for cell plan (that seems reasonable to me). also, some people may need/want a new phone anyway, but weren't planning on iphone.

    MY quick math

    Total Cost of Iphone/activation/contract for 1 year: ~$1255
    Subtract current call plan costs: ~$480
    the difference comes to $755...

    now lets assume somebody wants/needs a new phone anyway...

    anyone even thinking of buying the iPhone would probably not have gotten the free crap phone, but bought at least a $150-200 phone.

    Subtract $150 from $755 = $625

    so youre looking at a difference of $755 if you didn't plan on changing phones
    or $625 if you were going to sometime in the next year.

    that divided up over a year is barely $50-60 extra a month. If you can't afford that you shouldn't be considering an extravagant item like the iPhone in the first place...
  10. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    THANK YOU! People (kids) here need a basic class in economics to learn the concept of "opportunity cost".
  11. cmschmidt macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    No joke. I can't tell you how many times i've seen iPhone haters using the "you could buy a macbook for the price of an iPhone with contract!!!" idea...ugh. At least come up with a logical excuse if you're gonna bash something.
  12. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007

    Then dont buy one. No body gives two ***** about your tired calculations. :D
  13. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    This all amounts to complaining about:

    1. AT&T's voice rate plans

    As for #1, it's roughly comparable to other providers, though NOT the cheapest NOR the most expensive. Most people need to have a cell phone anyway and are somewhere around the edge of the $40-50 plans all providers offer, on average. If you don't, well, an iPhone doesn't work for you! Don't get a PHONE if you won't ever use the PHONE--it's not iTablet, it's iPhone. The point of the iPhone is not solely the wireless internet.

    In response to #2, well, go find FULL wireless elsewhere for $20/month, EDGE speeds or otherwise. You won't.
  14. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Sure you will. I pay $50 a month for 1250 minutes, unlimited data, unlimited text, and early nights and weekends from Sprint. And it's 3G. That's more than twice what you're getting for $80/mo from AT&T.
  15. Dermot81 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2007
    I was also pleasantly surprised by the pricing. I was expecting at least $20 more based on rates at competitors and AT&T's own blackberry voice&data bundled rates.
  16. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    I love how people keep going on about how it will cost $1,500 or whatever over the two years, discounting the fact you get 2 years worth of service.
  17. hcopp macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2003
    East Lansing, MI
    to the poster above me, thumbs up. people calculating these costs, its so ****ing stupid. if you already have a cell phone, then it is a non issue, because you are already paying for it monthly, so shut the hell up.
  18. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I'd love to pay $20 for unlimited data. ****, I'd love to pay $40 for unlimited data!


    IF they allow me to opt out of the friggin' voice plan!

    All this waiting for nothing. I'm getting a Blackberry.
  19. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    Sorry, I just don't get it.

    I'm a current Cingular/AT&T subscriber, and I'm using a Treo 680 with unlimited data/unlimited text, which is the ONLY plan AT&T will let me have with that device.

    I use lots of data, but don't text much - about 100/month.

    I'm FRICKIN THRILLED with these plans - I'll save $20/month over what I'm spending now, which is $480 (before taxes, fees!) LESS than what I'd pay to keep my current phone. I'll also be able to keep my existing voice plan, which has 2000 minutes shared among 5 phones, and works very well for me.

    I bought my unlocked Treo in December, knowing that I'd be replacing it when the iPhone came out - I figure I'll be able to sell it for about 75% of what I paid for it, which is just right for something with six months out of a 2-year lifespan used.

    Sorry if it doesn't work for you, but I think this is a fine plan for many users - the big problem would be for heavy texters, as the charge to go to unlimited is a bit much, even though it's identical with existing AT&T pricing.
  20. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I'm not sure if you're replying to me or not, but...

    "I'll also be able to keep my existing voice plan, which has 2000 minutes shared among 5 phones, and works very well for me."

    That's the thing, I DON'T want a voice plan.
  21. redmeister macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2007
    i like how people make lots of references to you pay xxxx.xx over a year for service!!!! in this case, your calculation was like $1200 bucks

    say youre using a $65 (taxes included) per month cellphone plan with a FREE phone, you're still paying $780 a year for the phone service... so youre really only paying for the iphone itself which is expensive... and a few bucks extra a month for unlimited data. not THAT big of a stretch IMO. maybe im biased bc these plans for me will cost me 5 bucks extra a month for a TON of different capabilities.

    you're already paying a good amount each year for wireless service... just depends on what each person's current service plan looks like to determine if its worth it or not
  22. Briellz macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
  23. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Sorry you will not get many people to agree that the AT&T pricing plan is expensive.

    In fact pretty much everyone I know who already has a smartphone would SAVE a decent amount of money in monthly charges switching to an iPhone.

    The $60 a month charge you cite also includes ALL phone service.

    Sorry, but I only have to pay $20 a month for unlimited data access to use the iPhone to its fullest. That is cheap for me.

    Someone without a phone being able to get phone service and unlimited data for only $60 a month on a device as good as the iPhone, that is criminally cheap.
  24. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    I understand your desire, but it's an iPhone. It's not an iPod, and it's not an internet tablet. I think any expectation that it would be available with a data-only plan like a wireless modem was unrealistic.

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm unaware of any phone, anywhere that can be bought and used for data only without a voice plan involved. There are wireless modems that have plans like this, but no phones that I know of.

    but maybe I'm wrong...
  25. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    There are certainly phones being sold without forcing voice plans down your throats.

    Blackberries are one example.

    And why couldn't I use the iPhone sans voice? Email, web browsing, YouTube, movies, SMS, Google Maps, pictures, syncing with your Mac seamlessly... etc. I don't plan to use it as a modem. I plan to use it as a communications device. I just can't use voice (being deaf and all).

    Frankly, I could go as far as calling this discrimination...

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