The day the iPhone 3G was announced, I took some time to talk directly to Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media Relations for AT&T Mobility and ask some questions. The big question on my mind and many others on June 16 was if those who bought the original iPhone early on would be allowed to upgrade to the new iPhone 3G.
The answer was yes, anyone can get the iPhone and Siegel told me directly that it would only require a new 2-year agreement. According to Engadget, that is accurate for AT&T customers who bought the iPhone before July 11 and for new customers. Anyone upgrading to the new iPhone from other AT&T handsets not eligible for upgrades will get hit with much higher prices to upgrade.
Those upgrading from a handset not eligible for discounts will pay $399 for the 8GB iPhone 3G and $499 for the 16GB model with a new 2-year agreement. Engadget also says that a no-commitment version of the iPhone 3G is coming at a gut-wrenching $599 for the 8GB and $699 for the 16GB. New customers signing up for with a two-year contract can get the phones for $199 and $299 respectively.
The individual plans for the phone start at $69.99 and include 450 voice minutes, unlimited data and 5000 night and weekend minutes. No text messages are included in the plan. For $129.99 you can get unlimited minutes anytime for an individual. Text messages for the iPhone will cost an additional $20 for unlimited messaging, $15 for 1500 texts per month and $5 for 200 texts per month.
quote: It's not like AT&T is losing anything by letting all iPhone owners upgrade at the price new iPhone 3G customers get. This is simply a way for AT&T to get more money...
quote: New customers signing up for with a two-year contract can get the phones for $199 and $299 respectively
quote: This is not a reasonable conclusion. AT&T reduced the price of the original iPhone based on the revenue it expected from the two-year contract. If they let you switch to a new iPhone at the fully-subsidized price, even with a new 2-year contract, they've now lost the contract revenue to fully pay for the first iPhone; the contract revenue is now going towards the second iPhone.
quote: Early adopters of the original iPhone will pay $399 for the 8GB iPhone 3G and $499 for the 16GB model and still get stuck with a new 2-year agreement.