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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: absurd
By MADAOO7 on 6/26/2007 7:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think you underestimate the power of marketing and brand recognition. BMW is a great example. You have a premium brand that sells on primarily on quality and uses performance as a secondary selling point. Case in point - a new BMW 328i 4 cylinder with a measly 230 hp, at BASE price costs $32,400. With that said, this vehicle continues to sell very well.The point is that it's a luxury item, just like a $700 Coach Bag, or a $10,000 Rolex. People use it for stature. I mean at least this has some practical use. Sure the itemized report of how much the materials costs falls way short of the MSRP. We live in a nation where the greater majority is not as technically savy as this board, and wouldn't know the slightest about 3G, EDGE, or what's a reasonable price of 1 Extra Gig. As a Marketing professional, I find it highly improbable that the iPhone will be a failure, and highly probable that you'll be eating your comments within a few months.

RE: absurd
By Alexvrb on 6/26/2007 11:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
BMW didn't squeeze out 230HP out of a naturally aspirated 4-banger. They're using a 3 liter inline 6. Their 230HP was also eeked out using premium gas, if it was designed to run factory on 87 octane they'd probably be around 215-220. Either way it only puts out 200 ft/lbs of torque. Their twin-turbo version of the same motor does much better at roughly 300HP/300 ft/lbs.

Still, you're right that BMWs are status above speed. So more to the point, 3-series are actually the affordable BMWs. A better BMW to use in this example would be a 5-series, especially the 528. Much higher price tag, extreme bragging rights, power is secondary.

RE: absurd
By walk2k on 6/27/2007 2:38:55 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? Honda makes 237HP all-motor out of their 4-banger.

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