In a down economy, it could take more than just fancy new hardware to attract new converts to the Apple/AT&T cause. Sucker fanbois like me will be forking over whatever they ask us for to get our hands on the new device, but that doesn’t help telcos expand their subscriber numbers, or Apple (s appl) grow their user base. It’s always nice to keep the customers you already have, but the real money is in growth and expansion, and a new iPhone, even with video recording capabilities, won’t be enough to convince everyone to sign over two years of their life.
A new report by TheStreet.com says industry pricing strategist Michael Cote thinks it likely that AT&T (s t) will go to further lengths to attract new blood. Specifically, he thinks they’ll drop the price of the entry-level iPhone plan by $10, from $69 a month down to $59. Such a drop would appeal to those customers who’ve put off a purchase to date because plan pricing is too expensive, which is a fairly large group, if Cote is to be believed.
Cote believes AT&T is considering the cut in part due to recent rumors that Apple might enter into partnership with Verizon (s vz) in order to gain growth. It makes sense that AT&T would answer with some kind of concession that would allow Apple to continue broadening the reach of their device in order to convince them to stay a one-man girl, so to speak. $10 may not seem like much, but if you’re counting the total cost of the contract as the actual cost of the phone, a $10 decrease ends up saving you $240 over the duration, which is nothing to sneeze at.