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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 BillyBatson on 6/26/2007 9:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
I totally disagree with you! I had Cingular (Pacbell) back int he day and before that AT&T. My Mom went from being with AT&T for 5 years to Nextel. My dad had Pacbell (cingular), Sprint, and is now very unhappily with T-Mobile. My sister left Nextel and is with me now on Sprint. Sprint is by far the best service we have ever had!!!!!!!!!! They did screw with my dad several times but it was all mistakes that were quickly fixed but due to that and him wanting more minutes with his GF he switched to tmobile. I am VERY happy with sprint, I get coverage nearly everywhere (except a 1 hour stretch on the 10 in Texas, data is the best, plan pricing is a little high but competitive.
I LOVE SPRINT!!!! and no iphone will get me to switch even though in the last 2 years phone quality itself has dropped on their service, they went from having the best phones to nothing. I had the Samsung Blade for the last 1.5 years and now have the Samsung Upstage. Been with them 3 years and counting.

RE: absurd
By djc208 on 6/28/2007 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree, I've had Sprint for about five years now and while I won't sing their praises from a rooftop they've been good to me. Their pricing is some of the better I've seen, coverage might not be as good as Verison but it works just everywhere I need it to. Best part is they'll through out some decent extras to get you to re-sign. I've gotten a few free upgrades to my calling plan over the years to renew my contract.
I do wish the phone selection was better but part of that is me, I can't have a camera phone at work, so a lot of the ones I like I can't get unless I don't take them to work (which kind of defeats the purpose of having a cell).

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