AT&T Allows Even Earlier Subsidized Pricing for iPhone 3G Owners



I’m already on record saying that I think AT&T’s (s t) upgrade pricing for iPhone 3G owners is not only comparable to the industry, but maybe even a little better.

Despite what could already be considered reasonable terms, AT&T has responded to the complaints by shortening the contract duration for 3G owners to be eligible for the full subsidy:

We’re now pleased to offer our iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September 2009 our best upgrade pricing, beginning Thursday, June 18.

This means you can get a full subsidy having used the iPhone 3G for as little as nine months out of a 24-month contract. There’s a FAQ about the changes, and also a video. Nicely done, AT&T.



This is actually the reason i am going to upgrade tomorrow. I thought the pricing structure was more than fair to begin with, but this is a real bonus from AT&T. I’ll definitely be giving them more of my business.


What does this mean for people originally eligible for a “best” upgrade in October? Do we get the best upgrade in July now? That seems reasonable, but no info available…


You have to wait until tomorrow (Thursday) to see the updated upgraded eligibility price info.


Yeah, just got off the phone with an ATT rep who said 6AM tomorrow is the magic time. Waiting patiently until then to recheck.


I used to work for AT&T and handled customer upgrades all the time.

There seems to be a misconception here. AT&T has different levels of upgrade depending upon where you are in your contract and how much time is remaining.

All they’re doing now is giving people that would be eligible for an “OK” upgrade during July, August, or September the “best” upgrade price instead of the “OK” upgrade price.

This does not mean you could have used your 3G for 9 months out of a 24 month contract and get the “best” upgrade price. This means if you are already eligible for the “OK” upgrade pricing in July, August, or September you are now eligible for the “best” upgrade pricing instead.

You can see when you’re eligible for an upgrade here:


Andy, I understand all of that. I’m just saying in all of the hubub concerning “evil” AT&T and their upgrade schemes, there has been a class of potential 3GS customers completely ignored… the current AT&T/non-iPhone users. And now it seems AT&T has caved a bit to all the 3G whiners who are not at the “Best” upgrade price of their contracts, while totally ignoring folks who are basically in the same situation as those 3Gers, but who own and pay for *much* cheaper plans and want to upgrade (pay more money to AT&T).

Tom Reestman


The article of mine I linked to did in fact mention what you call the “OK” (partial subsidy) and “best” (full subsidy) pricing.

It claimed the partial subsidy at the 12-month mark was “generous”, since some carriers want you to wait more like 18 months before any subsidy.

Today’s news dropped the limit to as little as nine months, and also made it a full subsidy. This is big, and was a nice move by AT&T in my opinion.


This still doesn’t help out current AT&T customers who currently don’t have an iPhone of any sort. :(

I *want* to upgrade to more expansive handsets (iPhones), and *want* to pay AT&T for a much more expensive plan (2x data plan for iPhone), and even though I’m upgrade eligible in September, I cannot get the iPhones (3G or 3GS) at subsidized pricing until then.

Enoch Wu

I upgraded from the original iPhone to my iPhone 3G 11 months ago, yet it still says I have until December before I can get the full subsidy. Unless they haven’t changed my update information yet.

In AT&T’s FAQ it also states that if you spend over $99 you have better chances.


Enoch, I am in the same boat. I would love to know whats going on. I purchased the 3G on the first day it was available, but still says I am upgrade eligable in december. WTF.


From what I’ve been hearing, eligibility for subsidies varies depending on your plan. Those who pay more per month will be eligible for a subsidy earlier than those who pay less, since they’re paying off the previous subsidies faster.

I am also one of the guys who doesn’t get an upgrade until December despite buying the 3G on launch day, but at least I understand now why.


I just got off the phone with an ATT representative. He states that the new eligibility protocol won’t go into effect until 6AM tomorrow. I’m in the same boat as the other people who have replied, so I’m definitely going to check tomorrow.

Just read the remainder of the thread: I agree with Sal below.

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