Print 107 comment(s) - last by espiritiv.. on Jul 2 at 12:11 PM

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: absurd
By Phynaz on 6/26/2007 2:15:58 PM , Rating: 2

How much are you paying for an unlimited data plan?

RE: absurd
By Circle T on 6/26/2007 2:32:53 PM , Rating: 4
I pay $65 a month for 500 anytime minutes, and then unlimited EVERYTHING else. Thats unlimited text, IM, mobile-mobile calls, web browsing, pic and video messaging, and GPS use. All while being on a 3G network. This is all with Helio, on my Ocean.

I think the iPhone device prices are fine. Its got a lot of great stuff going on, so thats fine with me. But the plan prices are a bit high. Thats less anytime minutes, a limited number of night and weekend minutes, VERY limited number of texts, and no 3G coverage. No thanks.

I like Apple, and think the phone looks great. But, like many people, I'll wait for version 2.0 at the earliest. Then maybe, once they at least get some 3G in there, it will be worth it for me. Not until then though.

RE: absurd
By Hoser McMoose on 6/27/2007 10:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
a limited number of night and weekend minutes

Is 5,000 minutes really "limited"? I mean, does anyone actually talk on the phone for more then 83 hours a month outside of business hours? That's just a bit shy of 3 hours a day, each and every day of the month.

Maybe it's just me, but I just don't have enough happening in my life to talk to anyone that much! :)

RE: absurd
By Circle T on 6/27/2007 10:52:32 PM , Rating: 1
Is 5,000 minutes a lot? Totally. But, there IS a limit. And, when you work 8-5 M-F like I do, many of the minutes I talk on my cell are during those times. I don't believe I've ever gotten anywhere close to 5,000. But just knowing it won't matter if I do is nice.

I didn't mean that to sound like I was saying its "limited" as in problematic. Just that there IS a limit in their plan, which I do not have. Aside from the 500 anytime minutes I get, every single other use of my phone is unlimited for me. And "UNLIMITED" is much better than "LIMITED" in my book. Regardless of how high the limit is.

RE: absurd
By darkpaw on 6/26/2007 3:05:09 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I'm paying $30 a month for almost the exact same plan from Sprint. 450 minutes, unlimited data/pic/video/mobile-to-mobile, 250 txt messages.

RE: absurd
By gramboh on 6/26/2007 4:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
Unlimited data on a device like this is worth more than it is on your normal cellphone. This will be used for email and 'real' web browsing which use more bandwidth that minibrowsing on a cell phone.

RE: absurd
By darkpaw on 6/26/2007 5:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
Hm, cause the email works fine on my phone. The web browsing leaves a lot too be desired, at least until I hook it up to my laptop and browse for no added fee on a 15" screen.

RE: absurd
By Rugar on 6/27/2007 10:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'm using the same plan that darkpaw is (SERO for the win!) with my PPC-6700. Screen-wise, the iPhone isn't much better than my 6700 so it's pretty comparable. $30 for 450 minutes, unlimited mobile to mobile, and unlimited internet. I use my phone for a standalone web browser when I'm waiting somewhere and I tether it to my laptop for internet on the road.

The iPhone is pretty and has lots of nice functions, but those are clearly "early adopter" rate plans. If Cingular ever brings the rate plans down to what I am paying now with Sprint and Apple integrates 3G into the iPhone then I might consider buying one. No way I'd switch right now.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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