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 second
By QueBert on 5/10/2009 5:53:02 AM , Rating: 0
I was with AT&T until recently, all the Smartphones run the same plan wise. So if the new iPhone plan is $10 cheaper, it will actually be cheaper to get one than a Blackberry? As one person already commented, AT&T doesn't currently charge any more for then iPhone than any other Smartphone for the data plan. I inquired about getting a Blackberry and they said I had to get a data plan with it.

So how exactly is the iPhone costing you any more than any other Smartphone? Considering all it does, I think the price is OUTSTANDING. I have a Blackberry Pearl and it pretty much sucks.

RE: wait a second
By AlexWade on 5/10/2009 9:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
Really? I have AT&T and I got a BlackBerry Bold and nobody even hinted that I had to get a data plan. I added the data plan several days after I had the phone, it was never forced upon me. In fact, I know of several people on AT&T with BlackBerries and they do not have the data plan. Why you want a BlackBerry without a data plan is beyond me.

Overall, I find AT&T to be very reasonable. I have a family plan with my mom, my brother, and his wife. My brother lives out of state and we've been on the same family plan for 4 years. I have used my BlackBerry to tether my laptop without a tethering plan. From my personal experience, AT&T forcing you do anything is out of character.

You might be stuck with AT&T's customer service incompetence. I find AT&T's customer service is inept but not rude. In a few incidents, I have had contradictory information from customer service. It was very frustrating. The only training some of these people get is how to read down a list and then they are not empowered to use common sense to make a situation right.

RE: wait a second
By theapparition on 5/10/2009 1:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
As of recently, all major carriers, AFAIK, force you to buy the data plan (coincidentally, all are also $30/mo) with the purchase of any phone that is remotely interesting.

For example, Verizon mandated it in Nov(?), AT&T I believe was in Jan. Sprint and TMobile also mandate it now. So watch when upgrading contracts.

RE: wait a second
By Alexstarfire on 5/10/2009 1:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad I don't buy phones from carriers anymore. They never have any of the good ones anyway.

RE: wait a second
By AlexWade on 5/10/2009 9:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
I got my Blackberry in February and it was a renewed contract. I got in online and there was no requirement for a data plan. In fact, I've been on the exact same plan for 6 years and I have never once been told to change plans or get a data plan or anything extra. I think you are dealing with the incompetent help AT&T has.

(P.S. I stay with AT&T because where I live the cell quality is as good as everyone else, probably because AT&T, er Cingular, er BellSouth was the first carrier to offer digital phones and it was GSM. I also stay with AT&T because I can get by with so much without being charged extra. But I won't recommend AT&T to everyone because they aren't good everywhere.)

RE: wait a second
By theapparition on 5/11/2009 7:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
I got my Blackberry in February and it was a renewed contract.

There's your answer.

If your plan allows, you can upgrade phones without modifying your contract. Try walking in cold to any AT&T store and ask that question. You won't like the answer. Data plans are now mandatory for all "internet" enabled devices.

RE: wait a second
By AlexWade on 5/11/2009 8:11:38 AM , Rating: 2
You got me curious. So I tried to get a Blackberry without a data plan online and I could. You talk about walking into an AT&T store, that is why I say it is the incompetent help AT&T has and not an actual requirement. I know my local AT&T store has new people working in it every time I walk in. So I really think it is the stupidity of the store.

RE: wait a second
By MrSmurf on 5/10/2009 9:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
With any Blackberry on any carrier, you have to have Blackberry service ($30-$50). That is the data plan! If you don't have it, you can't browse the web, receive email or even send MMS messages.

RE: wait a second
By bruce24 on 5/11/2009 12:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
Why would someone want a Blackberry Bold without a data plan?

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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