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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 FITCamaro on 6/27/2007 7:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have Verizon btw. We had Sprint but for some reason in my parents house we couldn't get a signal. Just there. I could be under the building of where I worked at the time and get a signal, but not at my parents house. So we switched. Verizon is just as good as Sprint though. I worked for Sprint as a sales rep though for a year in college and found out all the nasty secrets that the other carriers don't tell you (Verizon didn't have any). I'll never use Cingular/AT&T or T-Mobile.

RE: absurd
By Schrag4 on 6/27/2007 9:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting how people say one service stinks and another rules. Call my cynical, but I basically view all cell companies as the same. Sure their rates differ and the coverages differ, but in the end, a lot of people will be satisfied but some will be screwed over royally.

About verizon: A co-worker of mine had a terrible time with Verizon's customer support. Short story is that they payed their bill via bill-pay at their bank, and Verizon could find no record of it (even though they took the money). He jumped through hoops for months obtaining data from their bank, etc, but in the end Verizon would never accept the data that THEY REQUESTED as proof that they paid. They even called corporate headquarters and the person they talked too laughed at them when they suggested legal action because they Verizon has an army of lawyers and they're just some peeved customers. Their customer support even told them to 'F Off'. No kidding.

So maybe your verizon service is great, but don't get in a dispute with them. You'll get bent over the futon...

None of the companies have a reason to improve their support because they all stink. It's kind of like price fixing. If they all agree to not improve their customer support then none of them have to.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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