Print 29 comment(s) - last by bruce24.. on May 11 at 12:52 PM

The iPhone experience may get a little sweeter

As Apple mulls over cuts to its Mac prices, iPhone partner AT&T is also looking to trim the contract prices on the Apple iPhone in the U.S.  The new decrease would reportedly accompany a new version of the handset hardware, that is widely expected to launch in June, along with Apple's new iPhone operating system.

Michael Cote of Cote Collaborative says that his inside connections at both companies reveal that there is a "strong possibility" that the price of the iPhone's introductory plan will be cut from $69 to $59.  He expects the cut to be announced, along with a new iPhone, at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 8.

The iPhone currently retails for $200 which is in line with its smartphone competitors.  However, the total cost of basic ownership -- the price of an 8GB phone and 24 months of the most basic iPhone voice and data plan -- amounts to a whopping total of $1,856.  A cut would sweeten the deal, dropping this slight to around $1,600.

Apple's previous cost cut proved to be very effective.  An early cost cut from $599 to $399 propelled the iPhone to sales of 4 million units in 2007.  A second cut in 2008, with the release of the 3G iPhone, saw even greater success, boosting sales to 17 million units.

Cost cutting is a painful, but growing necessity for companies competing in the smart phone market.  Research in Motion utilized Verizon's "by one, get one" promotion to propel its Blackberry Curve smart phone past the iPhone in total sales for the first quarter of 2009. 

With the much-anticipated Palm Pre set to hit the market, and strong competition from T-Mobile/Google's G1, which recently sold its millionth unit, Apple and AT&T have much at stake.  And analysts believe a price cut could be just what they need to restore growth to the iPhone's momentum.

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Wait a minute...
By quiksilvr on 5/10/2009 12:38:59 AM , Rating: 4
The INTRODUCTORY price to the phone plan is $70?! WHY?!

RE: Wait a minute...
By dagamer34 on 5/10/2009 1:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Despite evidence to the contrary, the phone ain't really $200 pal.

RE: Wait a minute...
By akugami on 5/10/2009 1:23:03 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously, have you checked the plans? The minutes may suck on the introductory plan (450 minutes only) but it has unlimited data. ATT, Verizon and Sprint's unlimited data plans start at $30. That's without voice.

Now, granted the plans aren't really that great but they are not the rip-off you make it seem. At least no worse than the data plans from the other providers.

Part of the reason for the high prices in US data and voice plans is to help subsidize the costs of "free" or "low cost" phones. These high prices aren't just iPhone centric but rather something that's become a way of business for the cell phone providers.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Crotius on 5/10/2009 7:56:17 AM , Rating: 4
At the present prices according to the apple website, I can get an 8gb iphone for 199, 450minutes a month, unlimited data and text for 89.00 a month. Now, actually, I do find that price to be a little high, especially after all of the taxes that get attached to my cell phone bill. I'm presently on T-mobile, and I'm paying 74.98 a month with 300 minutes, myFave, unlimited web and texting. Granted, it's a sidekick, and not an iphone that I'm presently using, but I just couldn't see how accessing the company web page or doing my e-mail was any better on the iphone then it would be on the sidekick. The initial cost of a sidekick is 150, and it has a qwerty, and not a software keyboard, which I prefer

However, with a 10 dollar drop in plan rates, and the fact I can buy a refurb iphone for what, $99, it becomes a lot more attractive.

RE: Wait a minute...
By Crotius on 5/10/2009 7:59:08 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry, I feel i should clarify. I prefer a tactile qwerty over a software replica.

RE: Wait a minute...
By TheMan876 on 5/10/2009 2:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
450 minutes = $39.99
unlimited data = $30
unlimited txts = $20

Total Monthly = $89.99

450 minutes = $69.99
unlimited data = (included)
unlimited txts = (included)

Total Monthly = $69.99

The only way you win with AT&T is if they drop $10 and you don't need unlimited text messages. I find it discouraging that you can't customize your plan as much lately. I currently have a Sprint Mogul and I only pay $15 for unlimited data. I couldn't get this plan if I was a new customer.

RE: Wait a minute...
By AlexWade on 5/11/2009 8:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
You never win if you have Sprint. Sprint has the highest amount of turnover because of abysmal (and rude I might add) customer service and because their phones do not work well. What is the point in paying anything at all if you cannot make or receive calls?

RE: Wait a minute...
By AmbroseAthan on 5/11/2009 9:36:50 AM , Rating: 2
I wish I understood people's troubles with Sprint; I have been with them for 8 years now and never had any trouble with signal or the actual phones, or customer service. Currently I use an HTC Diamond, which Sprint let me add unlimited everything (besides voice, so data, texts, email, etc) for $20 a month ontop of the family plan I am part of, bringing our total to $115/month.

I looked into how much it would cost my family to switch providers (4 people) and it was astronomical to try and do it on anyone else's service at the time.

It all depends on where you live I guess. So far, the entire East Cost I have been perfect with Sprint no matter where I am, and then myself and my father were the only ones to have service when we were in the backwoods of Colorado for a wedding (of the extended family).

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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