AT&T offers $199, $299 3GS pricing to some iPhone 3G owners | iLounge News


AT&T offers $199, $299 3GS pricing to some iPhone 3G owners

Following a solid week of complaints from users, AT&T has announced that it will be offering iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September of this year its best upgrade pricing ($199/16GB, $299/32GB) on the iPhone 3GS beginning tomorrow, June 18. In an open letter, the company states that “[l]ike most U.S. carriers, we offer a variety of phones that we sell below our actual cost when customers agree to sign service agreements. In general, the more a customer spends with us, the quicker they become eligible for a price break on a new device. For example, iPhone customers who spend more than $99 a month per line with us generally are eligible for an upgrade between 12 and 18 months into their contract.”

The letter continues, “[a]ll of that said, we’ve been listening to our customers. And since many of our iPhone 3G customers are early adopters and literally weeks shy of being upgrade eligible due to iPhone 3GS launching 11 months after iPhone 3G, we’re extending the window of upgrade eligibility for a limited time.” AT&T notes that its upgrade eligibility tools will not reflect the change until tomorrow, and that supplies will be limited at its retail stores, but customers may order online from AT&T for delivery in 7-14 days, or purchase the device from Apple’s online or retail stores. Finally, it says that customers who pre-ordered from an AT&T store would have the price adjusted at checkout, while online pre-order customers eligible for the discount will receive an e-mail and a credit. Customers who pre-ordered through an Apple will have their upgrade eligibility re-assessed, and if eligible for the lower pricing, will receive an credit from Apple.

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As someone who had to wait an entire year to buy a subsidized iPhone because I was stuck in a 2-year commitment due to buying a cheapy “free” phone… I find this somewhat irritating.

AT&T;would have made WAAAAYYYY more money off of me if they had allowed me to break contract and upgrade to an iPhone, but no amount of negotiating or harassment would make them budge.

I guess they threw that all out the window for all of the whiney Apple fanboys.

Posted by ort on June 17, 2009 at 2:43 PM (CDT)


LOL!!  whose whining now??!!!  LOL!!

Posted by Mike on June 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM (CDT)


I agree with #1 on the fairness but considering I already spent the $499 on the pre-order I am more than happy to save that added $200.

Bravo AT&T;

Posted by Ryan on June 17, 2009 at 3:24 PM (CDT)


AT&T;will allow people who bought an iPhone 3G and spend more than $100 per month to upgrade a few weeks early saving the $200 and extending their 2 year contract. BIG DEAL.

All others get nothing at all. It is cheaper to cancel your account completely at $175 minus $5 for each month passed (about $115 for many iPhone 3G owners) then to STAY with AT&T;for another 2 years! Sound like stupid business move.

I bought my iPhone 3G at launch and pay $80 a month and I would NOT be eligible for an upgrade until 1/2010. So no upgrade for me and I will hope that Apple gets rid of AT&T;. Their network is far from the best, NO MMS on launch, NO thethering, Neutered apps (SlingPlayer, Netshare, etc).

Watch the exodus when AT&T;loses the iPhone exclusive! I believe that Verizon will have the Palm Pre in about seven months, so I may tell AT&T;to kiss my iPhone.

Posted by Stephen on June 17, 2009 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


I am sorry but I think I am missing something here, the iPhone 3G came out last July and you had to get a two year contract which means you will not be eligible until next July 2010 to get another phone without penalities. So how can anyone who purchased the the iPhone 3G be eligible to purchase a new one this July, August or September or are they waving the 2 year contract by a year allowing you to upgrade early and sign another 2 year contract. Just curious. I was and still am planning to wait till next year when probably the 4G iPhone comes out.

Posted by cvandevere on June 17, 2009 at 3:40 PM (CDT)


#4, I didn’t read the qualification that you had to have gotten your 3g in Jul/aug/sept as well as spend $100 per month on server to be eligible.  I read it as generally if you spend $100 per month you’d be eligible after 12 to 18 months but in this case if you bought your 3g in jul/aug/sep that you’d be eligible.

I hope how I read it is right!

Posted by Ryan on June 17, 2009 at 3:43 PM (CDT)


@ cvandevere

thats a very valid point, i got the 3G the day it came out and my upgrade date isnt till Dec, how is anyone qualified to upgrade in July/aug/sept

Posted by Jeremy on June 17, 2009 at 3:47 PM (CDT)


@5 AT&T;allows you to get the full upgrade discount after 18 months. 

I’m pretty pissed too.  I bought the 1st gen iPhone when it hit $299.  Not sure if that was subsidized or an Apple discount but I didn’t even have my phone for 7 months and they let me upgrade to the 3G.

I stood in the 8 hour line getting the 3G and now I don’t qualify for the upgrade until December.

So for those like me, we have few options.

1.  Pay the extra $200 and get pissed off again next year.
2.  Wait til December and get the upgrade only to deal with this upgrade crap again in June/July.
3.  Wait til my contract is up and go with Verizon who is rumored to get the 4G iPhone in June/July 2010.

I’m choosing 3.

Posted by Distraught on June 17, 2009 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


I missed the part about “iPhone customers who spend more than $99 a month per line with us generally are eligible for an upgrade between 12 and 18 months into their contract.” I am still going to wait.

Posted by cvandevere on June 17, 2009 at 4:30 PM (CDT)


My family plan includes two iPhones with data plans, unlimited texting, and a very modest voice plan. Still, that obviously drives my monthly bill up into the $140-150 range, which explains why my eligibility date for a standard upgrade is July 18, only 12 months from the date of my 3G purchase.

I think, yet again, it’s amusing how ort and his ilk continue to make reference to “whiney (sic) Apple fanboys.” There is something to be said for a corporation wanting to capitalize on an opportunity. AT&T;angered a lot of folks, rightly or wrongly, and for once took the initiative to do something that will likely net them a lot more goodwill over the long haul. Is it the perfect solution? Absolutely not. But I know that this news entices this 3G owner to upgrade now rather than later, and that I have no objections at all to inking that contract extension. That may just be me, but I think people like me represent a pretty fair portion of the overall iPhone user demographic.

Amazing that when all the uproar started, people like me who made rational arguments about this issue were labeled “whiners.” I guess the “whiners” get the last laugh. As fate would have it, complaining about a policy has yielded some measure of satisfaction for some folks.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


To add to what you said Flippy Hambone, I do not think it is “whining” to ask why AT&T;considers iPhones “special” when it comes to their higher-priced data plans, compared to other phones - yet NOT special and just like any other phone when it comes to the subsidy rules.

Posted by Dale on June 17, 2009 at 8:38 PM (CDT)


Shoot.  I bought mine from Apple.  That means i dont get the upgrade, although had i bought it from AT&T, i would be eligable?

Posted by Eddy on June 18, 2009 at 1:57 AM (CDT)


I can’t upgrade until August 21st, 2009. I have AT&T but I’ve never owned an iPhone… am I excluded from this upgrade eligibility change? (Because obviously this is aimed for iPhone 3G people… but it doesn’t say others are excluded…) It’s confusing because no one is specific these days! D:

And well, if I am excluded, my dad has an upgrade eligibility for the iPhone that won’t be used (we have a FamilyTalk plan)... can I take his upgrade? I know in the AT&T FAQ it had a question that said “My kid is eligible… can I take his upgrade on the 19th” and AT&T said yes… but is it vice versa? Because I am the punk teenager who wants one, not the parent who would take it from the kid, as stated in the question… lol.

Any help would be appreciated! :D Thank you, iLounge, for your continuing coverage on everything. I’m a LONG time reader, first time writer. Thank you for reviews on cases (specifically iSkin), you’ve helped me with that so much. :D Anyway, if anyone could help, that’d be great!! Cheers! :)

Posted by Jeff on June 18, 2009 at 10:23 AM (CDT)


I called AT&T and they said I was not eligible for the $299 pricing still.  He said he thinks my bill would have had to been over $100 per month as well.

Posted by Ryan on June 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM (CDT)


I am currently on a 35+ minute call with AT&T to first- get my upgrade status, and second- find out why I am not eligible for the $199 pricing even though I purchased last July, spend in excess of $100/month and am in good standing. It actually took over 15 minutes of conversation to get the CSR to recognize that AT&T had just changed their iPhone upgrade guideline.

Now I am going to likely waste the rest of my morning trying to get an answer as to why I do not qualify. Based upon what I’ve seen so far,

Posted by Jordan on June 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM (CDT)


Jordan, please keep us posted on what you find out.

Posted by Ryan on June 18, 2009 at 4:38 PM (CDT)

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