Well this is a fat load of dung. The $199/$299 pricing plans for the 3G iPhones will apply ONLY to those who qualify for the subsidy. It falls under the same “You haven’t been under contract long enough to deserve a phone upgrade” that every carrier pulls. I for one am ready to have some kind of nerd riot, which never really gets past the planning stages and in the end I just get bitter, blog about it and then watch a “Buffy.” Hey, Steve Jobs, how do you sit on those balls of yours? I don’t recall any mention of different pricing for the iPhone at the WWDC. That turtleneck-tucking-in-jeans billionaire stood on stage and proclaimed that the iPhone had ONE price per model, as if to take full credit for something that wasn’t going to be true. And don’t say, “…but it’s AT&T’s pricing plan…” Like the control freaks at Apple didn’t know every detail about how that thing was going to be delivered? They’re so OCD with their products I’m surprised they don’t hire a guy to stand in the Apple Store and flick the lights on and off while repeatedly counting to a hundred and not stepping on cracks.
Apple, of whose products I own several, has a little bit of what I call “hot girl” syndrome. She knows she can get away with treating you like crap because there are dudes lined up to touch her boobs. She doesn’t need you. But hot girls lack the self-awareness to see their own impending demise…I was at WWDC and I talked to a lot of people from other tech sites (Gizmodo, Wired, etc) and even though there was some excitement about this device there was also disappointment. The problem with having a such an extensive rumor mill is that everyone is setting themselves up to be let down when they find out what they’re actually getting. And that is how I feel about the 3G iPhone–a little more disappointed each day as I find out more and more about the reality of it. I wouldn’t have cared so much that 3Gi was ultimately going to cost four or five hundred dollars, but I would have liked for Apple to have been upfront about that and not be slimy car salesmen leaving out the ultra-fine print (or, no print, since they have managed to omit this rather important detail). These facts had to be dragged out of AT&T.
In short, you will get the low price point of the iPhone IF:
- You are a new AT&T customer and sign the 2-year agreement (a given)
- You are an existing AT&T customer who they deem “qualifies” for the upgrade. In other words, how close to the end of your contract you are. The answer is you’ll probably have to be pretty close. Since the 1st gen iPhone has only been out for a year, we’re all only half-way through our contracts and I’m willing to bet that won’t be long enough for the subsidy.
In conclusion, I think we can all agree that AT&T,whose service is generally acknowledged as the worst, can suck it. I think they honestly have one cell tower held together with coat hangers and earthquake putty that sits on a train and just circles the city, doling out tiny bits of coverage as it goes.
*REVISION* – I forgot to mention I’m still getting one–I’m just crankier about it than I was before.
AT&T iPhone 3G $199/$299 Pricing Policy [MacRumors]