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iPhone Users Angry Over AT&T Upgrade Policy 789

Posted by kdawson
from the fair's-fair-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.
All is not sweetness and light in the wake of the Apple WWDC kickoff announcements, especially concerning the evolution of the iPhone. Reader Hugh Pickens writes: "AT&T will offer the new iPhone 3G S when it debuts later this month at a cost of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, but only to new customers and those who qualify for the discounted price. AT&T subscribers with an iPhone 3G who are not eligible for an upgrade — those not near the end of their two-year contracts — will have to pay $200 more — $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model. 'This is ridiculous and slap in the face to long-time loyal iPhone customers like me who switched from T-Mobile and the only reason was the iPhone,' writes one unhappy iPhone customer. 'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy. Call your local AT&T and ask for the manager and complain. Send e-mails and post in forums everywhere.' The issue is spurring heavy debate on support discussion forums, with some customers supporting AT&T. 'The option you have is to honor the contract you freely committed yourself to,' says one forum member. 'If you want to upgrade early then you will have to pay full price with no subsidy discount. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your predicament.'"
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iPhone Users Angry Over AT&T Upgrade Policy

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  • BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:32PM (#28259197)
    You know Apple releases a new phone every year, and you know AT&T makes you sign a 2-year contract. Either pay the higher price for the upgrade or live through the horror of not having the latest shiny product until your contract runs out.
  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:32PM (#28259201) Journal
    So the issue is that a new model has been released and only people who are eligible for a new phone can get it at a discount? Apple never should have caved on the iphone price change retroactivity, now they can't improve anything without the existing users demanding free upgrades for life.
  • Or.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wovel (964431) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:33PM (#28259203) Homepage

    How every other carrier and every other phone works. Just because they were generous when the 3G came out, does not obligate them to do so again.

  • iPhone Users? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sthomas (132075) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:33PM (#28259213)

    Looks like only one user was upset in that forum. The rest all saw the logic and understood what a subsidy is used for.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:34PM (#28259229)

    'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy.'

    A vigorous campaign? Really? I'm sorry, but in this context, the author simply sounds pathetic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:34PM (#28259231)

    It's standard cell carrier policy, only give discounts when your contract is either expired, or close to expired, in order to bait you into extending it.

    They make up for the *loss* (note, there is NO loss, it's just a reduced markup / profit on the phone) in their overpriced charging model, for minutes used, data transmitted, text-messages sent/received, etc.. drekcetera...

    The end of the posting says it pretty well...

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:36PM (#28259253)
    AT&T and Apple are trying to get new customers by lowering the initial cost and subsidizing the remainder on a 2 yr plan. If you already have an iPhone, you don't qualify, plain and simple. Why is this a slap in the face? When did we as a society get our collective sense of entitlement?
  • by Donniedarkness (895066) * <Donniedarkness AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:36PM (#28259255) Homepage
    They have a policy that says that if you're a new customer, you get a discount...

    They also have a policy that allows you to upgrade your phone at a discounted price after a certain amount of time.

    If I'm not mistaken, they've done this for a while, now... and so does Verizon. How does the iPhone have anything to do over this? Sounds to me like someone is just mad that they'll have to wait for their upgrade.

    Not saying that longtime customers shouldn't get a discount or anything... just that this shouldn't surprise anyone.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wovel (964431) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:36PM (#28259259) Homepage

    It does seem a tad late to mount a vigorous campaign against the entire US Cell Phone Industry.... What are we wll going to do, switch to Boost?

  • by Wireless Joe (604314) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:37PM (#28259261) Homepage
    You sign a contract for 24 months to receive a reduced price on your handset. You're not eligible for a discount until a good portion of that commitment has passed (usually 18 months). Owners of the first Gen iPhone got a discount because they bought their phone at full price. 2nd gen iPhone owners who paid full non-contract price are eligible for a discount. People who got a handset (ANY handset) at a discount and are within their contract time won't see one until their time expires. I just bought a new Macbook Pro 11 months ago; should I go to the Apple store and whine because they've improved the design, and I can't buy one for half price?
  • Re:iPhone Users? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:38PM (#28259269)

    Really, I just bought an iPhone in February, and will be amazed if I can get a discount beginning February 2010 or even August 2010, and I understand completely. I could sell my phone right now for $400 easy, so it wouldn't make any sense for AT&T to sell me the better version of my phone for $200.

    Stuff like this makes Slashdot look silly too, a massive jump to conclusions over a small minority shouldn't be news.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skye16 (685048) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:46PM (#28259349)

    Or you could boycott the particularly onerous terms of your contract by paying your ETF and not giving AT&T your money any longer. You and I both know it doesn't cost them even remotely close to 95$ a month for your service - their profit margins are obscene. It's absolutely their right to request you pay that amount each month, and if you were suckered into a contract, that's a blow to you. Learn by your mistake by terminating the contract in the legal manner (and if that means waiting until they change the terms of the contract, so be it) and don't fucking enter another one like it again. Until you tell them you're not interesting in paying obscene costs or entering into their service with any contract (even forgoing your precious ball and chain for a while), they'll keep bending you over and blasting your asshole repeatedly. If you want to just lay there and take it, that's your prerogative, but kindly have the decency to shut the fuck up about how you're not receiving a perceived fair bargain from the entity you willfully signed your custom away to.

  • Holy Shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yerktoader (413167) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:49PM (#28259381) Homepage
    The general consensus here on Slashdot so far:

    1)"tsfroggy"(RTA) agreed to his/her terms in a contract and has to deal with the pricing like everyone else.

    2)A past discount is not an obligation for a future discount.

    3)"tsfroggy" is a whiner.

    4)AT&T is clearly in the right on this, even if the pricing is too high.

    I must say, Congrats gentlemen. I'll be interested in seeing how long this lasts in this particular thread.
  • Cry me a river (Score:2, Insightful)

    by L4m3rthanyou (1015323) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:50PM (#28259389)

    Stop the presses, customers are being price-gouged by AT&T and Apple! Oh, the horror!

    Who is going to expect sympathy over the fact that they have to pay $200 more to upgrade their iPhone?

    Why is this even on the front page? Does Slashdot really worship the iPhone this much?

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:53PM (#28259427)

    This is totally out of left field. It's a good thing the US is chock-a-block with better wireless carriers and the iPhone is portable between them.

    Very funny, and for some reason it makes me want to throw up.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:56PM (#28259475)

    When did we as a society get our collective sense of entitlement?

    It started sometime back in the mid-sixties, and it's been all downhill ever since.

  • Yeah, I don't really get the complaint here. I've complained before when cell phone carriers wouldn't give me the same deal as "new customers" even after I've completed my contract-- not so much because I think that they're obligated to offer me those deals, but more because I think it's stupid and it's caused me to switch from a carrier I was otherwise happy with in order to get a better "free" phone.

    However, the $199/$299 prices for the iPhones are their subsidized prices. The real prices are $200 more, but you're essentially getting $200 cash-back for locking yourself into a t 2 year deal. If you're already in your 2 year deal, then you're not in a position to sign on for another 2 years.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:58PM (#28259497)

    All well and good to posture, but those having an iPhone under the only contract terms available have sunk costs and can't do a thing to recover them.

    The phone is locked to ATT.

    ATT subsidized the iPhone heavily and wants to recover their costs. Its understandable.

    Yes, ATT should allow you to pay off your ETF (which by the way should ONLY include what they owe Apple for the phone) and let you start a new contract with a new phone.

    What could be more fair?

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:59PM (#28259503)

    Yeah if you are paying $95 bucks a month then you really need all those extra minutes! That's $35/month more than I pay for my iPhone BTW

  • Bingo! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by King_TJ (85913) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:00PM (#28259511) Journal

    Honestly, given the current state of our economy, I'm surprised more people aren't ashamed to post such nonsense.... Even though we don't yet know exactly what will be in the latest revision of the iPhone, all indications point to a few relatively minor tweaks, like a built in compass and ability to use the faster tier of 3G cellular data network. Oh, and likely a faster graphics processor, which is nice -- but did anyone honestly have issues with it updating too slowly before? This will only matter for some games that want to push the envelope a little further with how much you can do on a phone. FAR from a necessity, especially for those of us who'd rather play "real" games on a home computer or console system anyway!

    Heck, I bought one of the very early 1st. gen. iPhones, and I didn't WANT to go to the 3G model. The version using the slower EDGE network was about $10 cheaper per month to keep a contract on, and I thought it had a more "solid" feel to it than the plastic-backed, sloped wedge shape of the current model. But finally, when mine started acting up, outside the warranty period, it just made more sense to buy a new phone.

    If you can get past the pointless "keeping up with the Jones'" attitude for a minute, I fail to see why a 3G iPhone owner would be that compelled to rush out and upgrade at all? Those that have that irrational need to "show off" by having one first? Well, let them pay full retail price!

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:01PM (#28259523) Journal

    This is genius.

    1) Apple culture heavily weighted towards having latest shiny object

    2) AT&T contract requires 2 year ownership or pay $200 penalty

    3) Apple maintains 1 year design cycle

    4) Profit!!

  • by fullfactorial (1338749) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:02PM (#28259533)
    2G cost $599 at launch because it did not require a contract.
    3G cost $199 at launch because it required a contract.
    3GS will cost $199 at launch because it requires a contract.

    Existing iPhone 3G owners can't upgrade for free because they're still paying off their subsidized phone.

    Apple didn't realize the bease they were creating when they asked AT&T to try a non-subsidized model for the initial launch. Now everyone remembers the "free" upgrade to the 3G, but somehow forgets paying $599 for a 2G on launch day.
  • by Bloopie (991306) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:03PM (#28259549)
    How does one user [att.com] complaining about upgrade policies on a forum, with almost all the other users thinking the policies aren't so bad, qualify as a "collective sense of entitlement"?
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:17PM (#28259679)

    Because you're essentially running up "debt" that way, that the phone company is going to take longer and longer to recoup. When they give you a discount on that phone, they're essentially loaning the money for a set time. Asking for a year's extension on that time costs them. Imagine if a customer did that every year as the new models came out. They extend their contract to 3 years now. Next year they're up to 4 if they switch out. Pretty soon they're racking up owed contract years that they'll either newer get to, or they're going to have to eventually wait out for an extremely long amount of time before they can get a new phone.

    I mean honestly, if this guy is whining now about this model - do you honestly think he's going to get this one and then wait THREE years (an eternity on the cell phone market) before picking up the newest model? No, he's going to want the latest and greatest every time. If he wants that then fine, but he needs to cowboy up and pay the full price.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated&ema,il> on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:19PM (#28259693) Journal
    Exactly. I guess with a phone this popular, inane complaints will always rise to the surface.

    This is the case with every mobile provider, at least here in the United States. You sign a contract, get a subsidized phone, and in a few years, provided that the phone qualifies, a customer can apply for a discounted upgrade. It's worked nicely for T-Mobile, Sprint and VZW customers since it's conception.

    HTFU.
  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:20PM (#28259701) Journal
    Bunch of crybabies.

    No, its a bunch of rabid apple fanboys who want to piss away more money to apple, but can't stand the idea of paying AT&T a little extra cash for the contract they willingly accepted.

    I'd be upset too, if I didn't know that apple released new products yearly with their masterplan of planned obsolescence.
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gumbi west (610122) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:21PM (#28259715) Journal
    AT&T has a profit margin of 10%. If you think that is insanely high... I'd rather not be in business with you.
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated&ema,il> on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:23PM (#28259735) Journal
    You know what's somewhat ironic about all of this? At this point, the iPhone is probably the easiest phone to unlock EVAR, and is also the poster child for phones chained to tailored calling plans.

    Education goes a long way...
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by malchus842 (741252) <stephen@adamsemail.net> on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:29PM (#28259797) Homepage

    But it's not being screwed. You and I willingly bought G1 phones, and have used them. Nobody forced us to buy them, nor enter into the contract. So when the G2 hits, if I really want it that bad, I'll pay the price. If not, I can wait out the 2 years and get the discount(*).

    (*)I have 5 lines on the family plan, so in the end, I can pretty much upgrade any time I like. My kids love getting the hand-me-down cool phones, and my wife isn't into technology. :-)

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:33PM (#28259839)

    But it's not being screwed.

    Yes, I agree. That was precisely my point. I meant screwed as in "aw, damn, this new model is like, way cooler than my old piece of junk". I didn't mean to imply that the vendor or cell phone company were in any way to blame for my impatience.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:34PM (#28259845)

    Bunch of crybabies. No, its a bunch of rabid apple fanboys who want to piss away more money to apple, but can't stand the idea of paying AT&T a little extra cash for the contract they willingly accepted. I'd be upset too, if I didn't know that apple released new products yearly with their masterplan of planned obsolescence.

    No argument from me.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@gmail. c o m> on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:35PM (#28259849) Homepage Journal
    A mere price doubling? These people should consider themselves fortunate.

    I remember nearly a decade ago when our then only phone company sold it's top end cellular to staff at a 30% discount with a 2 year interest free payment plan. They thought it was really a great deal, ontil 18 months later when a new phone matching or exceeding all features of that model started selling for less than the monthly installments.

    As for myself, I have never bought a cellphone costing more than 2X the absolute cheapest phone on the local market. But, that's just because I am not rich.

    Here is a more general rule of thumb: If your phone is crushed by a car 15 minutes after your last backup and those backups are safe, you should only be upset over the inconvenience of being out of touch for a few hours and having to restore on the new phone. If the loss of the phone instrument itself is a cause for concern, you payed too much.
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:35PM (#28259853)

    What exactly do you consider "obscene" profit margins? If you look at AT&T's income statement [yahoo.com], their profit margin is on the order of 10%. That's not anywhere close to "obscene." For comparison, Microsoft's margins are closer to 30% [yahoo.com].

  • usury. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:36PM (#28259867)

    Actually, the terms were *always* onerous and unfair. It's just that there was never a phone available that really made people say "i want that" often enough to notice that they were getting shafted.

    Now the iPhone is out and it's become the banner to rally behind.

    Frankly, I think it's too much for the phone companies to be allowed to sell the phones. They've shown they can't play fair when they have that ball. Twice. Once with the regular phone market, and now with the cellular phone market.

    They probably ought to be forbidden at this point from selling the phones at all. If people want to finance their phones that should be their own business.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:38PM (#28259883)

    Right here:
    |
    |
    |
    |
    V

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:52PM (#28260005)

    As for myself, I have never bought a cellphone costing more than 2X the absolute cheapest phone on the local market. But, that's just because I am not rich.

    So 2x $0 = 0? (since you can always find a contract w/ a free phone) Why not just say $0?

  • by afabbro (33948) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:03PM (#28260115) Homepage

    'This is ridiculous and slap in the face to long-time loyal iPhone customers like me who switched from T-Mobile and the only reason was the iPhone,' writes one unhappy iPhone customer.

    Long-time? Even if you bought an iPhone the day it was released (June 29, 2007), you are not yet at the end of your initial 2-year contract. How "long-time loyal" can you be?

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:11PM (#28260197) Journal

    I refuse to pay the idiot premium on high fashion items, and that is exactly what Apple's products are.

    Someone that the actual value of the 32GB is $699 so you're still getting a deal. I bought my Thinkpad Z61e that I'm posting this comment with for $650. I don't think there is a phone on the planet worth $700. To even make that excuse is lame.

    I'll stick with whatever device does what I want it too without spending laptop money on it.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:15PM (#28260249)
    Probably because Microsoft's developed expensive products but after that they just have to pay people to stick CDs in boxes and direct the incoming dump trucks full of gold coins. I'm not surprised to see such a high margin if they're in the "sit on our successful product and let it sell for awhile" phase of its operations.

    I bet any sales of product based business model will generally have a higher margin than continuous providing a servic
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bertoelcon (1557907) <berto@el@con.gmail@com> on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:39PM (#28260583)

    I bet any sales of product based business model will generally have a higher margin than continuous providing a servic

    And thats why the Media Industries won't change with the times.

  • Re:Holy Shit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DamienNightbane (768702) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:44PM (#28260641)

    4)AT&T is clearly in the right on this, even if the pricing is too high.

    If people are paying for it, the price is in no way too high.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:57PM (#28260797) Homepage
    Pretty much any phone these days comes with Bluetooth, and if you have Bluetooth, you can use Bitpim [bitpim.org].
  • by spoonboy42 (146048) on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:08PM (#28260895)

    Of course, it would be lovely if we could dispense with the entire status quo wherein mobile carriers subsidize the cost of phones to lock people in to long-term contracts. I'd gladly pay more for unlocked smartphones if it meant I could pay less for service (you'd better believe the cost of all those handsets is built into your bill) and switch at-will.

    Now, it's true that you can buy some unlocked phones today, but it's far from the ideal situation for several reasons:
    1. The price of unlocked phones is substantially above the wholesale price which phones are sold to the carriers for (I don't expect a volume discount like they get, but a few hundred dollars markup is a bit steep).
    2. Some phones simply aren't available unlocked without going to the grey market, including the iPhone. That's because a lot of the most appealing phones (I'm debating an iPhone 3GS or an HTC Magic for my next) are offered as "exclusives" for a single carrier. That means that, in my region, if I want a particular phone, I'm stuck with AT&T or T-Mobile, respectively, for service.
    3. No price break on service. If you bring your own phone to play, you're still paying the extra that would cover the cost of a carrier-provided phone, which in this case is pure extra profit for the carrier.

    Now, just imagine if a similar situation existed with TVs: you only get a cool new TV when you sign up for an extended cable or satellite contract, and you're then locked into using that TV with that provider. You'd also have to consider the tradeoff between the features you want in a TV and the coverage and quality of service you get. In other words, it would be an intolerable, fragmented mess.

    But the service providers love vendor lock-in, and the phone manufacturers are only to happy to collude with them. It would probably take regulatory action to cut this particular knot. It's not impossible (remember when the FCC finally forced the mobile carriers to implement cell number portability, then they all advertised it as a great new feature), but I certainly wouldn't hold my breath for it.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:09PM (#28260907)

    Greetings from a EU citizen. You guys need to lobby for number portability. It's a big step towards more competition when customers can switch to another provider without worrying about losing their phone number.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by triceice (1046486) on Monday June 08, 2009 @11:28PM (#28261523)
    I agree with you. I have been a smart phone user for over 10 years and I knew that after using my wife's iPhone that I wanted one. I also knew that means I would have to get back under contract. I had been an Cingular user without a contract for over 7 years (coverage in my area was better from them then from the others). I only bought unlocked phones and paid the full price for them. I know that I am under a 2 year and went in to it with eye wide open. AND SO DID EVERYBODY ELSE. Simply put it's your money and no one forced you to sign the contract.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @11:31PM (#28261537)

    I've gotten enough free upgrades from Apple, just in terms of firmware alone, to justify giving them another couple hundred bucks.

    If you think as an Apple user that getting firmware updates for features and stuff that should have already been in the phone in the first place is worth paying "hundreds of dollars" for than you guys really are fucking stupid.
    "I'm so glad our government is kind enough to let us breath this air for free! I would pay thousands of dollars for it!"

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:13AM (#28261747) Homepage Journal

    What kills me is that people still get into these plans willingly. Its been years since most of them started doing the cell phone game, and they should know better by now. I looked at the three year plan one cell company wanted me to enter into years ago and decided to buy the phone for full price instead.

    Of course, our short attention spans allow us to both sign a two year contract and expect a new phone the next year on that same plan, and be confused why we have to pay more when the phone is worth what they're charging for it.

    Its not like they're selling you a $200 iPhone for $400. They're selling you a $400 iPhone for $400, with a discount for signing a NEW contract. Jeez.

  • Bad question -- Prius purchasers are almost implicitly looking to save on and minimize gas usage.

    What if you could buy a Corvette for just $10,000 but had to gas it up at GM dealerships for twice the price per litre? I bet a number of people would go for that option. Those same people would want the new Corvette model next year when it comes out too.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:21AM (#28261803) Homepage Journal

    I'm waiting for "Books sold on this product will never again need to be checked for authenticity and can be ported to any future Kindle device you purchase, and if we ever go under or cancel this offer, we will give you the book in PDF format for free."

    That is to say, I'm probably never buying one.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tyrione (134248) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:56AM (#28261985) Homepage
    Apple has $30 Billion plus cash on hand. Microsoft even more. I guess they love to pay taxes, by your logic? AT&T is heavily investing into their infrastructure as the market continues to demand more.
  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coolsnowmen (695297) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @02:02AM (#28262351)

    I'm sure it might be possible to game the system, but the amount of time you lose on the phone with multiple levels of customer service if anything goes wrong (and it will) will make it not really worth it.

  • by Trahloc (842734) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @02:32AM (#28262505) Homepage

    This is perfectly normal, they give a $200 discount so people sign a 2 year agreement. A few give reduced discounts before the contract is up but a majority only give discount prices when your out of contract. Anyone who doesn't understand this and feels its a 'slap in the face' should grow up, it's not like they hide this fact at signup.

  • Re:BooHoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imapopsensation (972362) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:08AM (#28262671)
    What is it about a some iPhone users that makes them think that the general rule of lending and new product pricing doesn't apply to them? When a new product comes out, its costs more. Borrowing at interest or signing payment contracts sometimes offsets that new product price so you an get that new product smell. Getting it at new user price requires a two year contract, and a new customer opp for ATNT. When a new car comes out, you can get 5000 back for signing a 60 month lease to 8% interest. It happens with every manufacturer and every new product, period. Instead of wasting time iWhining about it, why not look at the monarchy subscribed to when you buy a closed phone, from a single service provider, with a limited (selective) development platform, with a single outlet for purchasing things? Shouldn't this be more concern then most shiny thing in the room?
  • by davmoo (63521) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @06:02AM (#28263501)

    What the hell, I've got Karma to burn...

    Apple/AT&T release a new phone and only new customers and customers with contracts about to end get it for upgrade pricing. Others are crying.

    Guess what, cry babies...that's just like every other carrier in the US does. Its the industry standard here. Why did you expect different from AT&T and His Holiness Lord Steve? Contrary to what you think, you are not better than everyone else. Welcome to the real world.

  • by Sj0 (472011) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @07:29AM (#28264015) Homepage Journal

    I was thinking the same sort of thing.

    I stopped using contract cellular for various reasons, but I understood when I bought my first cellular (a contract phone) that I was paying for the phone by locking into the contract for so many months. How is AT&T supposed to make money giving away subsidized phones before they pay back the ones they've already subsidized?

  • by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @09:00AM (#28265035)

    How is AT&T supposed to make money giving away subsidized phones before they pay back the ones they've already subsidized?

    The overpriced data plan that they force you to sign up for?

  • by sean.peters (568334) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @12:14PM (#28268037) Homepage
    The general consensus is that people are being crybabies over the fact that they're being held to the contracts they signed, presumably of their own free will. No argument here. What baffles me is why people are even up in arms about upgrading - the differences between the iPhone 3G and 3GS are not really earth shattering - you can get a bigger capacity (up to 32 GB), autofocus camera, and the magnetometer... and that's about it. After all the hype over the new phone, I was pretty underwhelmed. Disclosure: I'm an iPhone 3g owner, and I'll be waiting until the next version to upgrade.

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