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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 Hydrofirex on 6/26/2007 8:58:06 PM , Rating: 2
Have to agree with you about Nextel before and after Sprint. I worked for Them just before the buy out. I had unlimited minutes and internet, and I used the hell out of it. It was by far the BEST service. It was like selling water because the brand really had a reputation of quality behind it. At the time they were doing very well: they had the highest average monthly customer charge, the lowest churn, good customer service ratings, and a rapidly growing user base. I bought a little employee stock which more than doubled while I was employed there. The whole empire hinged on Direct Connect though - something you don't even hear about any more. For some reason the Walkie-Talkie feature which made Nextel has lapsed into oblivion with Sprint "Together with Nextel" (Our totally silent partner who we locked in a room and don't feed.)

It's sad, becuase to be perfectly honest the largest number of people who came into that store looking to switch - by far - came from Sprint. I've always laughed that they all got sucked back in, so to speak.

Nextel was definitely the best carrier to be with. You got paid well, unlimited minutes, you got a free phone and super cheap top-end phones, and they even had good health and commission rates. On top of that they had that killer service and brand loyalty. Especially in coprorate, construction, government, and education....

I have a feeling they just didn't have the money and resources to compete in the next-gen wireless network game. That, or the someone cashed out.

HfX


RE: absurd
By bigboxes on 6/26/2007 9:32:04 PM , Rating: 5
Ok, enough with the Sprint bashing. I am in the Dallas area and have had Sprint for 8 years. While not perfect, their service is a lot better than their competition. My calls sound clear and strong. Whenever someone who is not on Sprint calls I can immediately tell the difference. AT&T voice quality flat out sucks. Sprint has the fastest data speeds although I rarely use the phone's browser when I'm out, just use it to connect my laptop when out on the road. The only thing that Sprint could improve on is the phone selection. As far as Nextel goes... couldn't tell ya there, but I am guessing they'll faze out the Nextel brand within five years. As for the "walkie-talkie" feature, I'm sure it's great for when you are doing on-site construction or are out on the factory floor. But when you see morons using it to carry on a conversation at a sit-down restaurant or in line at the grocery store you just want to run the retards over with your cart. It's bad enough that idiots talk on cell phones everywhere. Now just throw in that stupid "walkie-talkie" feature and it goes something like this...

Idiot 1: *BLEE-BEEEP* Hey, what are you doing?
Idiot 2: *BLEE-BEEEP* Hey, standing in line at Wal-Mart.
Idiot 2: *BLEE-BEEEP* What are you doing?
Idiot 1: *BLEE-BEEEP* At AMC watching a movie.
Idiot 2: *BLEE-BEEEP* What are you watching?
Idiot 1: *BLEE-BEEEP* Some movie with Robert DiNiro. Just a second... WHY DON'T YOU SHUTUP?...
Idiot 1: *BLEE-BEEEP* Ok, I'm back. Some loser was getting in my face while I'm trying to watch the movie.
Idiot 2: *BLEE-BEEEP* I hear ya homie. Look I gotta go. I can't hear what the checkout girl wants.
Idiot 2: *BLEE-BEEEP* I'll call you back once I get to the restroom. I gotta go reeeal bad.
Idiot 1: *BLEE-BEEEP* Werrrd. Latez.


RE: absurd
By Devo2007 on 6/27/2007 4:38:44 AM , Rating: 3
You've just illustrated quite well the reason why I loathe the walkie-talkie service.

It's bad enough hearing one person shouting into their phone -- it's a million times worse to hear the other side at maximum volume (and the annoying beep that precedes each message).


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