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New iPhone rates, beware

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Me = Exchange Administrator at large Texas University and iPhone owner.

 

We have seen a lot of new iPhone and Mac purchases this past year, and with the announcement of iPhone2.0 software, everyone is buzzing to get on board. Today ATT released its new rates (http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/specials/iphone-info.jsp) and I noticed a few things that caused me to call ATT for clarification.

 

If you are a current customer and want to upgrade, you will pay $399/$499 respectively. New customers and those who have ATT phones eligible for upgrade will be able to upgrade at the $199/$299 price point.

 

We know the plan for the 3G phone starts out at $30, BUT if you want ActiveSync to work, you will have to pay $45/month for the Business Plan (http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/iPhone3G/index.jsp)

 

Text messaging is now $5 for 200 and $15 for 1000, for new plan purchases (3G phone users).

If you have a 2G phone (Edge), your plan stays the same.

 

In conclusion, you can expect to pay $39.99 for a base plan + $45 for Enterprise data plan + $5/$15 for text, for a total of $90/$100 (not including applicable taxes) a month for the new 3G phone.

 

If you are a continuing 2G (edge) customer, you can expect to pay your current rate plan ($39.99 + $20). After being on the phone for over an hour with ATT and Apple, a gentleman from Apple confirmed through unpublished training materials that ActiveSync for 2G phone owners will cost $0.

 

If you are considering an upgrade to the 3G phone, you might consider this as well.

 

Thank you

Jason G

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I just went to an AT&T store, I inquired if if my account qualified for an upgrade, I have been an AT&T customer for a year under a 2 year contract, I switched in 2007 after being with T-mobile for 6 years. Turns out Im not happy with what I was advised today, I bought a really low end phone with AT&T that I have been uphappy with cause of battery life. and they tell me that my account does not become eligible for any upgrade until 3 months before my 2 year contract is up. I inquired why, and they said that I have the lowest phone plan and I dont buy accessories through them, I got the tree months early cause I have perfect pay history.

 

I took this as a very bad slap in the face, I cant even use the minutes I have I have a ton of rollover minutes. So I didn't want to come out and ask the rep this, but I will ask the general public. Can I just terminate and pay my $175 fee and buy the phone for $299 (16 GB?) making it $475 which is cheaper then what they want to sell it to me for? But trust me this will sit on my mind and big me why I give AT&T extra money to continue to be a customer.

 

Thanks for comments. Ron

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Ooo, ouch! Keep an eye on your account. If you see that you rates have changed from your original contracted rates, you should be able to drop them without having to pay a service charge. But, if you want to justify it, the $175 may not be that big of a deal compared to the $1200 a year for service. You might also look into getting a 2G phone if you want to get into the iPhone experience. I'm personally not planning on biting the bullet just yet. I like my iPhone, and edge is not that bad. I use the wifi at work and at home and a few choice restaurants around town and it works just great. There are a few cool things about the 3G that I like, but by the time I'm upgrade eligible, the 3G phone will be obsolete.

 

I say, if you want it get it, its a great phone you wont be disappointed. If you are worried about the $175, there are bigger things to worry about like the $100 a month plan I laid out earlier. Think about it, over the course of two years you will have paid enough to buy a MacPro.

 

Good luck!

J

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Something I don't understand about many iPhone conversations is adding in the plan cost. I don't recall that ever being an issue with phones before the iPhone hit the scene. You can't get any other smart phones at a reasonable price without a contract so why throw in the plan details just for iPhones? Always seemed to me like something detractors thought up so they could point at that.

 

Kinda like the way people grumped about the EDGE network and now yack about the fact the 3G network isn't all that widespread. Well, it was even less so last year so if iPhone 1.0 would have had 3G it would have likely cost more and plans would have cost more and people then would have griped about less battery power, higher cost, etc.

 

It's not perfect but it HAS totally changed the cell phone market. Blackberrys may still dominate the market but they aren't on the minds of the general public like the iPhone.

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I can personally say that all the Apple stores I have been at have about 10 to 15 iphones on display, they all said they are going back to Apple and sold on the apple store. SO I think theld phone is an option for me, and I believe it is safe to say whatever price I pay for that will be my price and I could potentially use it with my existing plan without a data package? and when I am ready to add the edge data will it still be the $19.99 for me since Im only able to access Edge? is this safe to say? I may be offered a new contract once I change to an iphone package I bet though. any thoughts?

 

Ron

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If you buy the old iPhone and add it to your plan, you will have to add the $20 data to your existing minutes. This is an added service. I'm not sure though if they will make you renew your contract, though they might.

 

I'm not sure if I agree with the pirate on considering the plan price in the TCO, I think it does matter, though ATT is competing in this market with other smart phone plans. But he's right, I wouldn't consider the price of gas and trips to the Apple store in the TCO. I was just trying to point out that $175 in the grand scheme of things is not that much of a deal breaker. Consider how much you would pay to fulfill the rest of your contract, and then consider if $175 to get out of it is really a big deal. Consider the $1200 (Enterprise plan) a year vs. the $840 (ish) and year for the 2G phone (you still get ActiveSync too). Consider, consider, consider.... then go buy the doggone phone.

 

You know you want it B)

~j

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I doubt very much you'll actually be able to buy an old phone. They'll be used for warranty replacements when people break theirs (they need them for another two years to cover everyone who bought applecare, remember).

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I would imagine that some people are going to upgrade their phones and sell their old ones on eBay. I would. I'm just not willing to shell out the extra dough for the service at the moment. I personally have had several offers for my phone already, though I'm declining at this time. I disagree, I think you will be able to find phones, but maybe not a lot.

 

Eyes = keep peeled :D

 

~J

Edited by RunNGunVideo

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I meant buy a phone from apple (refurb or whatever).

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AM I ELIGIBLE FOR AN AT&T CELL PHONE UPGRADE?

Not all AT&T Mobility customers may qualify for a cell phone upgrade. At this time, AT&T Mobility allows these customers to upgrade with no upgrade fee when they commit to a new 2-year contract:

AT&T customers who have had 24 months of cell phone service since activation of their cell phone or since their last phone upgrade.

Certain AT&T customers may be eligible for a cell phone upgrade even if they have been in their current plan for less than two years (24 months), if they commit to a new 2-year contract and meet these eligibility requirements:

Customer has had a standard calling plan plus data services costing at least $68.99 a month but no more than $98.99 a month, and who has been in contract (and not had a phone upgrade) for 21 months or more,

or

Customer has had a standard calling plan plus data services costing $99 a month or more, and who has been in contract (and not upgraded) in the last 12 months.

A customer with a calling plan and data services of less than $69 who is 21 to 23 months into contract may upgrade for a fee and a commitment of an additional two-year service contract extension. No upgrade fee is assessed for any customers who are on a month-to-month agreement.

Note that AT&T upgrade eligibility may be further limited based on customer’s usage history, payment record, previous phone replacement, etc. Upgrade eligibility is solely determined by AT&T Mobility at its discretion.

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When do you think the next generation iPhone will be out? Right, next summer, in 2009. I think the smartest thing to do is buy a new iPhone whenever your contract is out, whatever is the new model right then.

 

If you want an unlocked phone from your carrier, then emigrate abroad, to a country where unlocking is enforced by law, because sooner pigs will fly than AT&T stepping out of their lucrative deal with Apple. At least, that's my opinion.

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Just more of my decisions on what I am going to do it comes out on my birthday of all things.

 

I spent some time at an AT&T store today sorting out questions, but they still do not know a lot. I asked them if corporate discount would apply to the iPhone plans now as they did not with the prior plan, they still did not know. I also was encouraged to add the new phone as an additional line to get the $199/$299 price and then I can drop the other line at after getting all set up. I would just have to get a new number for the iPhone and would not be able to transfer my current number over at any point. No biggie I guess... And I also learned the term fee is prorated so it would be under $140 for termination fee. I have a phone call in tomorrow to them to discus my other AT&T services I have and what discounts I can get with combining everything into a package: DSL/home and wireless phone, I even think they do something with television. I also spent 10 minutes playing with a Samsung smart phone called a blackjack and a blackberry, did not like the web experience on the blackberry, pages looked better on the samsung and had 3G which was noticeably faster. But the iPhone had most features blown away. While I was there someone was looking at the iphone and they were confused on how to use it and after talking to them, they were convinced themselves they want one. Oh and that tethering feature its an extra $30 they told me a month on the other phones. I personally thought it was part of the data plan, I cant see paying that much unless it became your home internet as well but I don't live in a 3G network.

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I'm on the fence about the new iPhone. I want one but am reluctant to move to AT&T Wingular. My 1st gen iPhone works nicely on T-Mo but the speed bump for 3G would be welcome. In fact, it might pay for itself. What to do, what to do ...

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Now an AT&T store has told me on top of the $70 plan and data if you want the GPs to work inside the iphone with your third party apps, there is a monthly fee. They said this has been on all there GPS enabled phones, they do not function unless a monthly fee like $9 is paid, they said you get also get turn by turn instructions which this charge too. But they said it may be cheaper then there other phones cause iPhone doesnt offer turn by turn instructions like the other phones??? Will have to see. Too me if a phone comes with a feature, it should be there, but I have heard of carriers locking down functionality of a phone. Anyone know anything further.

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Now an AT&T store has told me on top of the $70 plan and data if you want the GPs to work inside the iphone with your third party apps, there is a monthly fee. They said this has been on all there GPS enabled phones, they do not function unless a monthly fee like $9 is paid, they said you get also get turn by turn instructions which this charge too. But they said it may be cheaper then there other phones cause iPhone doesnt offer turn by turn instructions like the other phones??? Will have to see. Too me if a phone comes with a feature, it should be there, but I have heard of carriers locking down functionality of a phone. Anyone know anything further.

 

I don't want to offend you, Ron, but I've now seen you ask this exact same question on at least 3 topics.

 

As is almost always the case with new Apple products, there is NO way to reliably sift through all the rumors and KNOW which are correct. Sometimes, even when coming from an Apple (or At&T,in this case) rep, I've seen many things which are just plain wrong. I, personally think those reps you've spoken to about the GPS charge or no charge are wrong and possibly deliberately misleading. We'll know for sure by Friday night.

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I thougth about upgrading, but the thought of giving AT&T more money just doesn't sit well with me. I love my current iPhone and with the addition of the apps my iPhone just got better for almost free ;)

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