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AT&T: 3G Upgraders pay $200 more for iPhone 3GS

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Monday, June 8, 2009
News Categories: iPhone

AT&T has announced that the upgrade prices for iPhone 3GS will be $399 (16GB) or $499 (32GB) for customers who are still under contract after purchasing the prior-generation iPhone 3G, a $200 premium over the “standard” iPhone 3GS prices of $199 and $299. Using a pricing configurator found on Apple’s BuyiPhone.Apple.com web site, users can find out their individual upgrade prices based on the remaining length of their AT&T contracts, which may be higher or lower depending on the date of their prior upgrades. Users must commit to a new two-year contract; an $18 Activation fee and a $18 Early Upgrade fee are also assessed.

Updated: Some readers have reported upgrade price quotes of $599 (16GB) or $699 (32GB), which may be based on the length of their status as AT&T customers, and their more recent purchase of iPhone 3G hardware.

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Comments

1

I just checked mine. I’m not upgrade-eligible until 7/18/09.

I should get a price break for wanting to buy new hardware so soon. Instead, I’m getting something else broken.

Asinine. Insulting. Appalling. Pick whatever adjective suits you.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 8, 2009 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

2

On Apple’s web site it says, “For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T;customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).”

So which is it? I’m hoping you’re right, haha.

Posted by Cristina on June 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM (PDT)

3

Are you sure, look at Apples terms;

Requires new two-year AT&T;wireless service contract, sold separately to qualified customers; credit check required; must be 18 or older. For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T;customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).

Posted by Andy on June 8, 2009 at 1:07 PM (PDT)

4

heh, the buyiphone.apple.com site is currently getting hammered….

Posted by stainboy on June 8, 2009 at 1:10 PM (PDT)

5

Thank you AT&T;for ruining an otherwise good day ... you money-grubbing cowards.  Hitting your existing customers for another $200.00 in THIS economy will most certainly make us remember you when Verizon gets the phone.  Yesterday, I had no adamant feelings about you one way or the other ... today that has been replaced with nothing but complete disdain.  You didn’t charge the extra $200 when the 3G came out ... why now?  Too bad Apple partnered with such a pig of a company.

Posted by essbee on June 8, 2009 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

6

@2 & 3: I guess it depends how they define “qualified”.  I’m not eligible for an upgrade until May, 2010 but they’ll sell me the iPhone 3GS at a $200 premium today (plus the $36 in fees).  Not sure what makes me qualified.

I’m not thrilled about the $200 premium, but it’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting myself into last year.

Posted by Dyvim on June 8, 2009 at 1:14 PM (PDT)

7

We want Verizon, now!

Posted by ceecee on June 8, 2009 at 1:14 PM (PDT)

8

Everyone complaining about the charges for upgrade need to step back form the computer.  The pricing for upgrading has always been like this.  If you purchased a subsidized phone then you are subject to the terms of the agreement.  The agreement is that you have the subsidized phone for 18months before you are eligible to upgrade to another SUBSIDIZED phone.  Why can’t people get the concept?

I’m not saying I agree with it, but at least you should know the terms of the agreement before you sign on the dotted line.  Grow up.

Posted by Steve on June 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM (PDT)

9

Boo. I can’t belive that as a loyal iPhone user, I have to pay more $ then the guy who says I’ll never own one of those picece of junk.

And for the title 3G “S” speed…..ha. I’m still waiting for my 3G to achive the speeds they claim it has.

I am so pissed off about this, I’m not sure I want to be apart of this “iPhone” thing anymore.

Boo.

Posted by Justin on June 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM (PDT)

10

I purchased a 3G as a new ATT customer on launch day, July 2008. To upgrade to a 3GS I must pay 399/499 instead of 199/299. WHY? Last year, original iPhone owners were allowed to upgrade to the 3G at the standard 199/299 rates as long as they signed a new 2 yr contract.

This is ludicrous that they aren’t allowing loyal customers to purchase the 3GS model at the normal 199/299 rates. I’m willing to sign a NEW 2 yr contract, but nope, I guess they’d rather lose me at the end of my first contract next year rather than give me the deal they gave people last year.

This is a friggin’ joke.

Apple & ATT say: “We have this AMAZING new phone….but to the 30-some MILLION people who own a 3G, you can’t buy one yet unless you want to pay HUNDREDS of dollars extra. But thanks for being a loyal customer!” I suppose they only care about gaining new customers, and not keeping their core satisfied.

Posted by Joshua on June 8, 2009 at 1:16 PM (PDT)

11

@5: “You didn’t charge the extra $200 when the 3G came out ... why now?”

Uh ... because the original iPhone wasn’t price subsidized up front.  (That’s why it was $599 then $399 for 8 GB.)  Plus they would be “upgrading” you to a $30 data plan that doesn’t include texts.

Do you think Verizon is going to let people who received $200+ subsidies with 2 year contracts upgrade for free after 1 year or less?  Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by Dyvim on June 8, 2009 at 1:18 PM (PDT)

12

@11 Yes, but we aren’t exactly looking for to upgrade for FREE. We are willing to sign new 2 year contracts, etc.

Posted by Joshua on June 8, 2009 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

13

Hey Steve .... where was your theory when the 3G hit last year?  AT&T;has a history of doing as they please.  Their decision to shaft their existing customers in this economy shows their true colors.  It’s not about what they CAN do ... its about what they SHOULD do.  Speaking of what people should do .... shut up.

Posted by essbee on June 8, 2009 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

14

To Steve #8: I’m an attorney and I review contracts. This is most assuredly NOT what the pricing for upgrading was last year (from iPhone to 3G) and it is definitely NOT in good faith.

This is deliberate milking of money, simply put. If you purchased a 3G on its launch date last year, you are getting screwed by the fact that Apple is now releasing the 3GS less than one year after the 3G’s launch date. And your facts are incorrect: you are upgrade-eligible after 12 months, not 18.

And as stated earlier, there’s an element of good faith and fair dealing in these agreements, and for AT&T;to effectively penalize would-be upgraders as opposed to welcoming them is one of the major complaints about the company and its handling of the iPhone exclusivity in this country.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 8, 2009 at 1:23 PM (PDT)

15

Stevie

Please grow up and read what people are saying.  The upgrading price has changed.  An additional $200 was not charged the last time when customers upgraded from the iphone original to the iPhone 3G.  Why can’t you you accept this concept?

Posted by ceecee on June 8, 2009 at 1:26 PM (PDT)

16

Sorry, $500 + extent my contract another 2 years with a garbage provider.
I’m not upset about paying the $200 premium, since that is common with most cell phones, but the fact that they decided to change it around from the 3G launch is just annoying.
I should also mention that it’s going to take AT&T;awhile to flip the switch to allow MMS, LOL? Every other phone can, just because AT&T;blocked it from the iPhone means it’s going to take them awhile to re-add it? Screw it, I’m waiting for my NVIDIA APX, hopefully it’ll be on Verizon

Posted by asdfasdf on June 8, 2009 at 1:30 PM (PDT)

17

#13. I couldent agree with you more.
#8.  Instead of telling us to growing up…......how about shutting up.
It is not wise to stick your head into a room of pissed off people and tell them to grow up. If you truly don’t understand why we are so pissed, well….. When you grow up (and have buy your own phone) you may understand.

Posted by Justin on June 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM (PDT)

18

Well said Flippy.  Shameless behavior from the company who has seen hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the loyal iPhone and iPhone 3G customers.

Posted by essbee on June 8, 2009 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

19

@ Justin: I’m with you bro. With all the cash-milking Apple is doing to it’s faithful iPhone customers, WHERE’S THE REWARD FOR LOYALTY. I’m contemplating getting out of this Apple crap!!!!!

Posted by muzikmaniac on June 8, 2009 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

20

Why does everyone insist on comparing this to the 1st gen->3G upgrade?  No, they didn’t charge extra then because they charged the extra $200 up front with the cost of the phone. 

I can understand that you’re upset about having to pay, but if you calmly look at it, it is exactly the same.  And using the excuse of, well, I’m signing a new contract, so isn’t that good enough?  What about the current contract that you’re under with 1 year still on it?  Do you remember that signing that was what saved you the $200 in the first place? 

You can’t have your cake and eat it too people.  That’s not how the world works.

Posted by Nacho on June 8, 2009 at 1:35 PM (PDT)

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