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Rate plans start at $59.99 plus a one time activation fee of $36

The launch of Apple's iPhone is just days away and people are already starting to camp out for the next "it" device. Close to 400,000 units could be up for grabs on launch day from 162 Apple Store and roughly 1,800 AT&T locations.

In the mean time, Apple has been trickling out little tidbits of information regarding the iPhone to keep interest high. Over the past week, we’ve learned that the iPhone will ship with YouTube integration along with a higher-capacity battery and a 3.5” display screen with “optical-quality glass.”

Today, Apple and AT&T announced three rate plans that will be available for the iPhone.

"We want to make choosing a service plan simple and easy, so every plan includes unlimited data with direct Internet access, along with Visual Voicemail and a host of other goodies," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "We think these three plans give customers the flexibility to experience all of iPhone’s revolutionary features at affordable and competitive prices."

The entry-level $59.99 plan will get you 450 anytime minutes along with 5,000 nights and weekend minutes. Stepping up to the $79.99 plan will get you 900 anytime minutes and unlimited nights and weekends. The top-level $99 plan gets you 1350 anytime minutes and unlimited nights and weekends.

All rate plans allow for unlimited data (email and web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, unlimited mobile-to-mobile and rollover minutes.

Also noted in the press release is that a one-time activation fee of $36 will be charged for the iPhone. Given the extremely high interest level for the iPhone, it's likely that not many will bat an eye at the charge which would usually irritate consumers.

In addition, Apple and AT&T also announced that new iPhone users will be able to activate their phone through iTunes -- there is no need to wait at the store to go through the activation process.

"Users will be able to activate their new iPhone in the comfort and privacy of their own home or office, without having to wait in a store while their phone is activated," said Jobs. "There are tens of millions of people in the US who already know how to sync their iPods with iTunes, and syncing their new iPhone with iTunes works the same way."

"iPhone’s user-driven activation is another example of how AT&T and Apple have partnered to bring innovative new features to our customers," said AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. "iPhone’s innovative activation and sync is just one example of how this is going to be a real industry game-changer."

Apple’s iPhone will be priced at $499 for the 4GB model and at $599 for the 8GB model -- both require a two-year service agreement.



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RE: What I want to know
By Murst on 6/26/2007 12:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty crappy plan...

Currently I have unlimited anytime minutes and free long distance (US) for $52.99. 450 minutes seems extremely low... just 15 minutes per day about.


RE: What I want to know
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/26/2007 1:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the base plan is 450 anytime with rollover, and 5000 night and weekend. This costs me $39.99. While this may seem low, I've never exceeded my minutes, and usually have some rollover at the end of the month. However, it costs me an additional $14.99 for 1500 sms messages and 5MB of internet service. Contrary to most, I'm happy with my service, and the customer service has been outstanding everytime I've had to deal with them. I just want a cheaper unlimited internet access plan. I'm curious if this is an iPhone only package.

Vanilla


RE: What I want to know
By smilingcrow on 6/26/2007 1:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
If you don’t need the data package then it seems expensive; otherwise the rate seems okay. It’s the cost of the phone plus the activation fee that stands out for me. When you add in the three year contact it just start to reek of, ‘how much can we screw out of these people’.


RE: What I want to know
By GreenEnvt on 6/26/2007 1:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, some people must use cell phones a lot.
I probably use about 15 minutes a week


RE: What I want to know
By Oregonian2 on 6/26/2007 2:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
Part of our justification monetarily is that we use it for all long distance calls (wife's sister & mother live a state away, my mother is in yet another state, and add a couple more for sisters) because long distance is "free" using Cingular.


RE: What I want to know
By spwrozek on 6/26/2007 4:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
I use mine a lot. The last statement had me down for 4165 min. Almost 3 days on the phone per month. Ironically I really hate talking on the phone.


RE: What I want to know
By Oregonian2 on 6/26/2007 8:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
And if you do all of it calling someone else on a Cingular cell phone, a plan with 100 minutes may be just fine (assuming the free M2M feature that's in a lot of plans). :-)


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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