Existing AT&T iPhone 3G->3GS Upgrade Pricing: WTF?!?

  • Posted: 08 June 2009 07:59 PM

    “Want an iPhone 3G S? Already have an iPhone 3G? Be prepared to pay $700 to upgrade [Updated]”

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/06/08/want-an-iphone-3g-s-already-have-an-iphone-3g-be-prepared-to-pay-700-to-upgrade/

    Turns out it’s less than $699, but quite a bit more than the $99/199/299 base for new customers.

    Might this cut into a lot of people’s upgrade plans?

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:07 PM #1

    dmbream - 08 June 2009 10:59 PM

    “Want an iPhone 3G S? Already have an iPhone 3G? Be prepared to pay $700 to upgrade [Updated]”

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/06/08/want-an-iphone-3g-s-already-have-an-iphone-3g-be-prepared-to-pay-700-to-upgrade/

    Turns out it’s less than $699, but quite a bit more than the $99/199/299 base for new customers.

    Might this cut into a lot of people’s upgrade plans?

    Yes, for those who purchased the 3G last year.  However, you can sell your used iPhone for most (if not more than) of the price on the new ones.  The top price for the 16GB 3GS is $499 for ATT customers in good standing.  I’m about to learn if the pricing on the used 3Gs holds up, given an expected flood from other sellers also seeking to upgrade.

    Edited for correction:  The $499 upgrade price is for a 32GB 3Gs, not 16GB 3Gs.

    [ Edited: 17 June 2009 09:56 AM by ByeTMO ]      
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:23 PM #2

    You think prices on used phones will hold up when new 3G models can still be had for $99?

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:32 PM #3

    dmbream - 08 June 2009 11:23 PM

    You think prices on used phones will hold up when new 3G models can still be had for $99?

    Without a contract, the iPhones are worth more than you might expect. The 8GB is $99 you quoted is WITH a contract.

         
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    Posted: 08 June 2009 08:39 PM #4

    If this policy stands, you will see a huge drop in upgrades compared to last year.  Oh Well we just have to wait 6 months.

    ATT is trying really hard to get new customers, and Apple does not mind screwing the existing 3G customers in the process for 6 months.

    I am sure they did their research and figured out that there are enough die hards that will pony up the big bucks and in the long run focusing on new customers will payoff rather then keeping their present ones happy with new iPhones.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:40 PM #5

    Right. Right.

    Being that the 3G came out less than a year ago, though, not a single owner is out of his/her contract, no?

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:40 PM #6

    dmbream - 08 June 2009 11:40 PM

    Right. Right.

    Being that the 3G came out less than a year ago, though, not a single owner is out of his/her contract, no?

    Maybe some overseas buyers will be interested?

         
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    Posted: 08 June 2009 08:46 PM #7

    I just checked with the Apple website and my account qualifies for a the cheaper upgrade on 7/12.  I suspect that would include most original iPhone users that bought 2 years ago. 

    It pays to be first. :-D

    I will get a new one in July.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:55 PM #8

    Mercel - 08 June 2009 11:32 PM
    dmbream - 08 June 2009 11:23 PM

    You think prices on used phones will hold up when new 3G models can still be had for $99?

    Without a contract, the iPhones are worth more than you might expect. The 8GB is $99 you quoted is WITH a contract.

    If you jailbreak/unlock your 3G phone it will have a much higher resale value. If you are considering this approach, do not upgrade to 3.0. The recent update to itunes it requires broke the unlocking hacks.

    If you break your contract with ATT (for $175, I think), you aren’t going to be able to start a new contract (under your own name) for a number of months, and will certainly loose your current phone number.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:56 PM #9

    Sadly, it punishes loyal Apple iPhone users who purchased a new iPhone last year and this year, while rewarding those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

    It’s kind of like a weird penalty for being loyal and supporting Apple’s bottom line…

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  • Posted: 08 June 2009 08:59 PM #10

    litespeed - 08 June 2009 11:56 PM

    Sadly, it punishes loyal Apple iPhone users who purchased a new iPhone last year and this year, while rewarding those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

    It’s kind of like a weird penalty for being loyal and supporting Apple’s bottom line…


    Don’t blame Apple. It’s AT&T’s policy. They want to be repaid, via the contract running out, for the upfront subsidy. If you can get a new subsidized phone whenever a new one comes out, they never get their money back.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 09:07 PM #11

    willrob - 08 June 2009 11:59 PM
    litespeed - 08 June 2009 11:56 PM

    Sadly, it punishes loyal Apple iPhone users who purchased a new iPhone last year and this year, while rewarding those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

    It’s kind of like a weird penalty for being loyal and supporting Apple’s bottom line…


    Don’t blame Apple. It’s AT&T’s policy. They want to be repaid, via the contract running out, for the upfront subsidy. If you can get a new subsidized phone whenever a new one comes out, they never get their money back.

    Sorry, I thought AT&T actually made money by extending your contract if you bought a new one.

    Anyone remember what the upgrade cost last year?

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  • Posted: 08 June 2009 09:08 PM #12

    The reason why AT&T won?t support MMS with the iPhone until ?late Summer?, tethering info!

    Posted by The Boy Genius on Jun 8, 2009 4:15 pm


    We were just told the real reason why AT&T won?t be supporting MMS on the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S at launch, and you?re going to laugh? Technically it will work right away our ninja tells us. The are no extra plans or higher fees we?ve just learned (the unlimited $20 package covers unlimited SMS and MMS), and the reason it?s not good to go right away is because AT&T has to manually remove all the ?Opt Out MMS codes? on each account. Basically, if we were to summarize this, and we?re going out a little bit of a limb, remove the Opt Out MMS code, and MMS will work with the final OS 3.0 build right away. Who wants to try it with the GM 3.0 build just released?

    We?ve also just heard that tethering will be 100% locked out at launch, but AT&T?s in the process of putting together a $70/mo unlimited data and tethering plan. SMS and MMS will not be included in that plan, we?re told.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2009 10:02 PM #13

    litespeed - 08 June 2009 11:56 PM

    Sadly, it punishes loyal Apple iPhone users who purchased a new iPhone last year and this year, while rewarding those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

    It’s kind of like a weird penalty for being loyal and supporting Apple’s bottom line…

    Wait a minute. AT&T paid a huge subsidy to Apple on each iPhone sold. The subsidy is recouped (and priced to be recouped) over the two-year plan term.

    An existing iPhone customer can upgrade to a new iPhone for an additional $200. It’s less than the cost of a new iPhone without subsidy.

    It appears existing iPhone customers do benefit if they choose to upgrade before the end of their existing contract versus someone who purchases a phone without a subsidy. AT&T does have the contractual right to insist the company is made whole or close to whole and is providing a discount path for those desiring to upgrade prior to the expiration of their existing contract.

         
  • Posted: 16 June 2009 09:35 PM #14

    Damn right Dawn.

    So many folks are missing the point of the subsidy recapture. 3G owners who paid $200 last year essentially got a $400 discount. The higher the monthly payment, the sooner one is upgrade eligible. For me it’s 12 months. Those with minimum payment have to wait for 18 months or so. 

    I am thinking about paying the $200 to upgrade early since I bought my iPhone last August, making me eligible mid-August this year. If I upgrade early- pay $200 and buy now, I will be eligible for June next year. (assuming AT&T doesn’t change policy ) Since I will be signing a new 2 year contract.

    If I wait two months for the $199 price, then next year (2010) I won’t be eligible until mid- August again, most likely month or two after a new model is introduced.

    Paying $200 now means, that July and Aug payments will be on the new contract, opposed to the current contract if I wait. I pay $110/month, @ 10 months that’s $1100, or $1320 annually. If I upgrade early, total AT&T payments will be $1300, $20 less.
    I am going to being paying $1,320 per year on a new contract no matter what, whether I wait or upgrade early. If we think the current contract as the iPhone acquisition cost, then it becomes cheaper by ending the contract sooner

    DawnTreader - 09 June 2009 01:02 AM
    litespeed - 08 June 2009 11:56 PM

    Sadly, it punishes loyal Apple iPhone users who purchased a new iPhone last year and this year, while rewarding those who are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

    It’s kind of like a weird penalty for being loyal and supporting Apple’s bottom line…

    Wait a minute. AT&T paid a huge subsidy to Apple on each iPhone sold. The subsidy is recouped (and priced to be recouped) over the two-year plan term.

    An existing iPhone customer can upgrade to a new iPhone for an additional $200. It’s less than the cost of a new iPhone without subsidy.

    It appears existing iPhone customers do benefit if they choose to upgrade before the end of their existing contract versus someone who purchases a phone without a subsidy. AT&T does have the contractual right to insist the company is made whole or close to whole and is providing a discount path for those desiring to upgrade prior to the expiration of their existing contract.

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  • Posted: 17 June 2009 09:52 AM #15

    I don’t get the hullabaloo over AT&T pricing either, and believe me, I am NO FAN of AT&T. 

    I expect to get $400 or so from the sale of my old 3G, so I’m out of pocket $100 for a more capable, faster phone 3Gs (with 32 GB!).  No angst here.