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


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

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 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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The original iPhone was not subsidized, what’s so hard to understand about AT&T;charging a premium?  I stood in line in 2007 and paid my $599 at an apple store.  Even though I had to sign a two year contract AT&T;already got their money out of me.  Now, AT&T;ate $200 of that when I stood in line and upgraded to my $299 3G iphone.

It sucks but it was expected.

At least the used market for unlocked iphones is still ripe on ebay, I plan to unlock my old one and sell it there.

Posted by Ryan on June 8, 2009 at 4:36 PM (CDT)


I had my iPhone 2G for 2 months and they let me upgrade free of excess $200 charge last year. Now this year they say I’m not “full upgrade eligible” till March 2010? WTF AT&T;. AND to top it off no tethering or MMS? What happened to all the money you’re making off of all the iPhone customers? Squandering it to the CEO’s? You want us to pay even more to upgrade this time so that we can continue to help you provide sucky service and slow network upgrades!?! No thanks. After my 2 years is up this time, I’m taking my phone elsewhere T-mobile or otherwise.

Posted by willdibbs on June 8, 2009 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


If AT&T;doesnt change this by next week it will create two relase dates. The first one next week with all the new people buying the 3GS and then a second one on 7/18 when all the people who have 3G iphones will upgrade if they dont want to pay that extra $200.

Posted by chris on June 8, 2009 at 4:44 PM (CDT)


The point of the complaining, for the apparently unindoctrinated, is that by nudging the release date of the 3GS to June 19, that puts those who bought the 3G at launch in the very unfortunate position of having to pay a $200 premium if they want to upgrade immediately. There is no apparent option to simply extend the contract and reap the benefit of the subsidy as there was last year.

Some of you (Nacho, Steve, et al) are doing an awful lot of finger-wagging at those of us who have a justifiable amount of reproach for this business practice. I can understand the you-should’ve-seen-this-coming argument better than anyone, but it simply does not apply here. AT&T;should theoretically be very happy to grant the subsidized pricing to 3G users who want to upgrade to the 3GS, because it means that they’ll get a contract extension in the process. Here, that logic does not seem to take a foothold, and as a result, a lot of generally pleased 3G users are now exceedingly peeved, for good reason. If you alienate your existing customer base, what good is it to attract new customers? You’re simply swapping the jilted for the eager.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 8, 2009 at 4:45 PM (CDT)


Nacho is lobbying for a job with AT&T;.  So, $200 extra for upgrading, $18 for early upgrade, and $18 for activation.  Come on AT&T;, certainly you can think up more silly charges to stick it to the customer.  Should’nt extending the contract another 2 years be enough?  I can’t agree with Nacho with AT&T;so I’ll take Nacho with Cheese.

Posted by ceecee on June 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM (CDT)


@#8 - Flippy Hambone - If you are an attorney (and I don’t believe you) please let me know what office you work for so I can stay far away. You apparently aren’t interpreting your own contracts correctly.

@#17 - I did buy my own iPhone, last year and I understood the agreement I signed.  I can’t upgrade and expect to get the new GS for a subsidized price until December.  Lastly, I don’t care how pissed off you are, again… grow up.

Posted by Steve on June 8, 2009 at 4:50 PM (CDT)


So if we wait until July 18th, assuming we got the new phone on July 11th, we can avoid the #200 fee?

Posted by Ryan on June 8, 2009 at 4:52 PM (CDT)


Steve, I don’t understand why you have to be so rude and condescending in discussing this matter. I am simply offering a rational counterpoint. I understand what my contract says and I also understand some concepts such as course of dealing, fair business practices, good faith, etc. I understand that someone who walks in off the street and buys an iPhone 3GS gets a better deal than an existing user, and that is highly unconventional in the telecommunications industry.

I stayed completely above board in my comments on this matter and you became sore about it. That’s regrettable, because my objective was to discuss this civilly.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM (CDT)


I am sure someone will tell me if I am wrong but I did not think the “Original iPhone” was subsidized ($399 and $499 as I recall).  That is why “Original iPhone” users were able to upgrade to the 3G at the full subsidized price.  If you are a current “3G” user you have likely not hit the return threshold on your present subsidized phone and there do not quality for the subsidized price on “3GS.”  I understand that loyal customers are a little pissed but what Apple and ATT are doing is running a business and that means they want to make money.  If Apple/ATT were to subsidize every iPhone for every customer every time they made improvements to existing products we would all throw our old iPhones away for the new ones and both Apple/ATT would be broke and unable to make any iPhones at all.
If you are one of those people that must have the latest and greatest please stop bitching and suck it up.  After all, being the first one on your block to have the new “S” will cost you (If it didn’t you likely wouldn’t feel nearly as special).

Posted by MBB on June 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM (CDT)


AT&T;wants an extra $200.00 from their loyal customers.  If that wasn’t enough ... they want to hit you with another $18.00 as an “early upgrade” fee ... and then they have the audacity to slap your with another $18.00 for “activation fee”.  That is like a hotdog vendor charging extra for buns and mustard.  It is this kind of corporate greed and self-serving tactics which have this country in a tail spin.  Thank you AT&T;for your corporate conscience.  According to you, I am eligible for an upgrade around Christmas of this year.  Please take note of the mistletoe that will be hanging from the Fruit of the Loom label on my jockey shorts.

Posted by essbee on June 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM (CDT)


I’m confused here. Apple’s site 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).”

Yet AT&T;is saying it will be $399 (16GB) or $499 (32GB) for customers who are still under contract after purchasing the prior-generation iPhone 3G.

So which is it? I got an iPhone 3G last year, and like most current iPhone users, am interested in upgrading to the new one.

Posted by Cristina on June 8, 2009 at 4:58 PM (CDT)


What if you have the 1st Gen iphone (2g) and want to upgrade?  Will I still have to pay the higher price even if I am eligible for an upgrade, and did not already upgrade to the 3G last year?

Posted by Mahoney on June 8, 2009 at 5:03 PM (CDT)


When I go to this is what it says.

As a valued AT&T;customer, AT&T;can offer you an early iPhone upgrade with a new 2-yr commitment and an $18 upgrade fee. You may qualify for a standard iPhone upgrade on 07/12/2009.

  * $299.00* — 8GB iPhone 3G (black)
  * $399.00* — 16GB iPhone 3G S (black or white)
  * $499.00* — 32GB iPhone 3G S (black or white)

What will the price be if I wait until July 12th?  Thanks.

Posted by Marc on June 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM (CDT)


Welcome to my world. This is what I was told last year when I wanted to upgrade from my cheapy free phone that was worth $100.

I was also lied to repeatedly by Apple and AT&T;about the pricing structure.

Sadly, this is how it works. People who bought the 1st Gen iPod for $399 without any subsidization attached are the exception not the rule. It can’t last forever.

I knew this would happen and that current iPhone users would poop themselves.

Posted by ort on June 8, 2009 at 5:13 PM (CDT)


Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to pay the $150 early cancellation fee and start off as a whole new customer with AT&T;?

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I don’t want to pay $700 or $500 for a new 32gb iphone3gs just because I upgraded my phone and paid them more money not so long ago. This is f’n ridiculous.

Posted by matt on June 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM (CDT)


If I fall in love with a product, I’m willing to pay a premium for it. I pay almost twice as much for my ATT contract than I did for a more robust Sprint plan, because I love the iPhone. What I can’t tolerate is being raped every chance ATT gets. Why $200 more? If I early terminate it’s only $120 ($175fee - $55 credit for 11 paid months). Additional fees are $36 in either case. So, go ahead and charge me that prorated $120, but don’t milk me for $200. Apple you continue to disappoint by allowing ATT to abuse your customers.

Posted by vizitch on June 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM (CDT)


This is a load of apple sauce.

Posted by Brant Walker on June 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM (CDT)


You know what’s funny?  All you people bitching are going to be the same people in line on release day.

Posted by jefff on June 8, 2009 at 5:21 PM (CDT)


36, Ive been thinking the same, just cancel the contract, absorb what ever they charge, about 120 for me also. Seems like a lot of admin for at&t;, yet its cheaper!!!!

Has anyone tried this?

They are crazy. OR I say F it, and go to Verizon!

Posted by Andy on June 8, 2009 at 5:27 PM (CDT)


Nice. Way to treat loyal customers!

Posted by bt on June 8, 2009 at 5:40 PM (CDT)

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