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Summary:

After reading some of posts around the ‘Net about iPhone 3G pricing, I started to get worried. As a current iPhone owner and AT&T customer, I was really excited about the price drop. Then I heard from multiple sources that current AT&T customers who are not […]

After reading some of posts around the ‘Net about iPhone 3G pricing, I started to get worried. As a current iPhone owner and AT&T customer, I was really excited about the price drop. Then I heard from multiple sources that current AT&T customers who are not qualified for an upgrade would have to pay $399 or $499 respectively for the 8 or 16 GB models (or worse yet, full price).

What?!?!

Well, I just got off the phone with AT&T customer service and asked what qualifies you for an upgrade. Being a current iPhone owner with an account in good standing does. I definitely qualify for the $199/$299 iPhone 3G price, and will be upgrading on Friday morning.

People that do not qualify for upgrade pricing would be someone who just bought a different subsidized phone from AT&T less than a year ago and are still under contract, or someone whose account is not in good standing. Since the previous iPhone was unsubsidized, AT&T has no reason not to give current iPhone customers the full discount off an upgrade.

However, if a customer just got a phone 2 months ago, then AT&T has not recouped their money from the subsidized phone yet. If you are a current AT&T customer and do not qualify for the upgrade discount (i.e. you switched a couple of months ago and got a LG or Treo) you can still get the iPhone at the “early upgrade” price of $399/$499 ($200 off retail) if you get one soon.

That’s still a better deal than the 1st generation 4GB/8GB iPhones that I bought a little over a year ago which were $499/$599 (at half the capacity, mind you).

  1. That’s such helpful news! Based on what I’d been reading on various blogs, I thought I was going to get stuck with the higher price…which didn’t make any sense at all. Now I feel like I’ve got useful, accurate info.

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  2. According to my account page on AT&T i will not be eligible for the discount price until I have had my phone (SE W300i) for at least two years (the length of my contract). Does this sound right? I wonder if there is “wiggle” room.

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  3. Hmm.. I wonder what happens if you get an iPhone as a gift, but currently are under contract with AT&T for another phone you got about a year ago?

    hopefully you can just change your plan and it doesn’t cost anything more.

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  4. Yeah,

    MacBlogz pretty much figured this out yesterday. Could’ve checked here too:

    http://www.macblogz.com/2008/07/07/leaked-information-current-iphone-owners-automatically-eligible-for-subsidized-prices/

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  5. Jim Wallentine Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    why is this phone only available on ATT? this ticks me off. I guess if the phone was a typical phone, I would care less. Darn the luck…..

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  6. Doug Petrosky Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    It amazes me how confused people have been about this. The iPhone is exactly like any other subsidized phone except that AT&T is offering the subsidized price to more people, not fewer. Technically all current iPhone owners still have a year on their contract before they are eligible for a subsidized price. Further, it appears that people with less than a year left on their contract who are in good standing may also qualify.

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  7. So to qualify for the “upgrade” discount do we need to purchase it directly from a Cingular Corporate store? What if we buy it from an Apple Store? Do we pay full price and are later reimbursed from Cingular when we activate?

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  8. Jason, you can’t receive an iPhone 3G as a gift (not easily anyway). You will be required to activate the device INSIDE the AT&T or Apple stores, and will have to sign a 2-year agreement on the spot, before you get out the door with your phone.

    If you’ve been given a 1st generation iPhone, you can definitely just activate it and change your plan. I switched to Cingular in February of 2007 (shortly after the Keynote) and was under contract for the Treo I got when I bought my first iPhone in June, 2007.

    I think your phone has to be 1 year old to upgrade with discount, or at least that’s what it was for me. My 1 year on the Treo (that I don’t even have anymore) was up this February.

    Chris, the AT&T representative told me I could buy it at any Apple Store or AT&T store. They will both honor the “upgrade discount” and be able to activate the new iPhone 3G.

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