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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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Here's my issue.............
By Domicinator on 6/26/2007 3:02:07 PM , Rating: 3
Lately I tend to get a new cell phone about once a year. It's not necessarily by choice, it just works out that way. I get great discounts through my company, so when I'm due for an upgrade, I go for it. But each time I buy a new phone, I get a little fancier. And each time, I worry more about messing the phone up. I hate nicked up casing, scratched screens, hinges that don't work, etc. Then when I buy protective covering for the phone, sometimes there's even cause to worry about the casing nicking up the phone too. I'm just anal that way. So how much would I be worrying about a phone that cost me HUNDREDS of dollars and has an optical glass screen? A lot.

Recently (like yesterday) I bought an LG Chocolate. That's an expensive phone without all the rebates and discounts and crap, plus the bluetooth headset, software, cables, memory card, etc. that you need to buy to fully take advantage of all its features. It's a nice phone, and eliminates a lot of gadgets for me to carry around. Is it as nice as the iPhone will be? No. But as soon as something happens to it I'll probably jump off a bridge. My money is precious to me. I don't want to have to worry about taking my phone places with me, and that's exactly what I'd be doing with an iPhone. Worrying. Plus, if this thing is a success, people are going to be stealing them left and right.

By kilkennycat on 6/26/2007 8:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
Worrying. Plus, if this thing is a success, people are going to be stealing them left and right.

The thief had better be good at surface-mount soldering and have replacement (custom) SIM-chips handy. The sim-chip is physically built-in. No unlocked phones here.... and the extra anti-thief security. Just take out insurance on the iPhone and smile happily... I'm sure that a number of insurance companies will be lined up to take your money, at a favorable (to them) rate. AT&T offer several levels of insurance already for other cell-phones in their line-up. I would assume that they will also offer coverage on the iPhone. Yet another "hidden expense" for the early-adopters. Beware, most portable items of this nature (c.f: lap-top computers) are not covered by normal household insurance policies. Read the small print.

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