OK, deep breath. Let's see how this works out: AT&T today announced its iPhone 3G pricing, including upgrade pricing for existing iPhone users:
AT&T today announced iPhone 3G pricing for new and existing AT&T customers, several attractive voice and data plans, and tips on how to be "iReady" when iPhone 3G goes on sale at AT&T retail stores at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, July 11.
Pricing and Eligibility
AT&T is making it easy for customers to prepare for their iPhone 3G purchase by posting "Get iReady" tips and frequently asked questions at www.att.com/iphone. The site also will include a link for customers to check their upgrade eligibility and other wireless account information.
So I jumped over to this site to see what was up with my upgrade eligibility. (And seriously, how the heck could I not be eligible?) This is what I got:
L164: We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are currently conducting system maintenance that prevents us from retrieving your account information. Please try to log in again at a later time.
Ah, AT&T. You cease to amaze me. Yes, that's what I meant.
Only AT&T would announce information of this magnitude and then take their site down for "system maintenance." Idiots.
iPhone 3G will be available for $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model. These prices require two-year contracts and are available to the following customers:
- iPhone customers who purchased before July 11
- Customers activating a new line with AT&T
- Current AT&T customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount
Existing AT&T customers who are not currently eligible for an upgrade discount can purchase iPhone 3G for $399 for the 8GB model or $499 for the 16GB model. Both options require a new two-year service agreement. In the future, AT&T will offer a no-contract-required option for $599 (8GB) or $699 (16GB).
Again, who are these people that own iPhones but are not eligible? Am I missing something here?
Voice, Data and Text Messaging Plans
iPhone 3G customers can choose from four individual AT&T Nation plans, which bundle voice and unlimited data (e-mail and Web browsing).
- AT&T Nation Unlimited: Includes unlimited Anytime Minutes for $129.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 1350: Includes 1350 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $109.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 900: Includes 900 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $89.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 450: Includes 450 Anytime Minutes and 5,000 Night & Weekend Minutes for $69.99 a month.
All AT&T Nation and AT&T FamilyTalk plans for iPhone 3G include nationwide long distance and roaming, Visual Voicemail, Rollover, unlimited Mobile to Mobile calling, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling and Caller ID.
AT&T will offer FamilyTalk plans, with bundled voice and unlimited data, starting as low as $129.99 a month for two iPhone 3G lines. Up to three additional iPhone lines can be added for $39.99 each.
Unlimited text messaging can be added for an additional $20 ($30 for FamilyTalk plans of up to five lines); $15 (1,500 messages), or $5 (200 messages).
So this verifies what I previously thought: The very lowest cost iPhone plan (with SMS) is $74.99 a month before taxes and fees, or about $90 a month in real-world cost. This is about $15 more a month than what I'm paying now, or $360 over the two year contract.
Business pricing is brutal: $45 plus a voice plan, for a total of about $120 a month before taxes and fees. Yikes.