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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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Obscuring the facts
By tdawg on 5/10/2009 3:32:24 AM , Rating: 2
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.

Can we please finally put this "argument" to rest? If you're starting a contract with AT&T and want a smartphone for $199 with unlimited data and 200 text messages a month, it's the same damn cost. My blackberry and my blackjack cost me the same amount per month that my iphone does now. There's no price premium here! Any new phone subsidized by AT&T is a 2-year contract, there is no cost difference between the iphone and other smartphones on AT&T.

RE: Obscuring the facts
By Alexstarfire on 5/10/2009 6:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
True, but I don't believe you are forced into this unlimited data plan either. You don't even have the option if you get the iPhone. And it's all about your options.

RE: Obscuring the facts
By RDO CA on 5/10/2009 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
When the first I-phone came out it was $20 per month for data and did not go to $30 till the 3G model.

RE: Obscuring the facts
By Natfly on 5/10/2009 6:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong..... why don't you go actually look at the plans?

iPhone requires $30/mo "iPhone" unlimited data plan.
ATT's standard unlimited data plan costs just $15/mo. Or $30/mo for their unlimited data plus unlimited messaging.

ATT is gouging an extra $15/mo simply as an "iPhone tax" on data. Whether or not this goes to Apple as payment for their exclusivity, I don't know.

RE: Obscuring the facts
By QueBert on 5/11/2009 2:01:59 AM , Rating: 1
wrong wrong and wrong. AT&T does not offer a $15 data plan on Smartphones. They may or may not offer one for $15 on regular phones. But seeing how regular phones can't do shit in terms of internet you can't compare. YOU CANNOT get a Smartphone on AT&T with an unlimited data plan for $15. ANY Smartphone on AT&T with a Data plan will cost you exactly the same, weather it's an iPhone or a Tilt. The 1g iPhone had a cheaper Data plan because it was Edge, 3g plans cost more. The iPhone isn't more money, and anyone who got a Blackberry without the Blackberry plan recently got LUCKY, because they require it now, period.

RE: Obscuring the facts
By tdawg on 5/11/2009 2:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'm an AT&T customer, I know the plans available to me, whether on an iphone, blackberry, or windows mobile phone. As has been pointed out by an earlier post, data plans for all smartphones on AT&T's network cost $30 a month, minimum (more for blackberry-specific plans that include tethering and such). And FYI, the $30 data plan does not include text messaging, which sucks. It's a minimum of $5 a month to add 200 incoming/outgoing text messages to any phone on AT&T's network.

The $15 data plans are for medianet access and are (were?) only available on "dumb" phones that can't handle html internet.

Next time, please do 30 seconds of research before you post your "facts". Thanks.

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