AT&T relents on iPhone pricing for upgraders

Jun 17, 2009
Apple's iPhone 3G

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. will allow some current iPhone owners to upgrade to a new model at the same price as new buyers when it is released Friday.

Wednesday's announcement comes after AT&T took some criticism from owners who felt that its prices were unfair. Current owners would have to pay $399 for the cheapest version of the new iPhone 3G S, compared with $199 for new buyers.

The Dallas-based carrier heavily subsidizes the purchase price of the phone, and it takes a while for it to make that money back through monthly service fees. That means it doesn't want to sell new, subsidized phones to customers who haven't "paid off" their old phones.

Customers qualify for the "new buyer" price after a certain period, determined by a formula. Factors include how much they pay per month and whether they're current on their payments. Those who pay at least $100 a month generally qualify 12 to 18 months after purchase, AT&T said.

But the most recent iPhone model, the 3G, went on sale 11 months ago, meaning people who bought it then have been ineligible for the lowest price on the new phone.

On Wednesday, AT&T said current customers who would otherwise qualify for the lowest price by September will qualify on Friday, when the new phone goes on sale.

The iPhone 3G S, made by Cupertino, Calif.-based Inc., includes a faster processor, longer battery life and an auto-focusing camera.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Big new iPhone brings Apple more profit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple drops price of least expensive iPhone to $99

Jun 08, 2009

(AP) -- Apple Inc. slashed the entry price for an iPhone in half and rolled out new laptops for $300 less than previous models Monday, the company's first dramatic price cuts since the recession began a year ...

Latest upgrades underwhelm, but iPhone still holds lead

Jun 11, 2009

For a company whose iPhone products have set the agenda for the mobile phone industry for the past two years, Apple's announcements this week at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco were underwhelming.

AT&T earnings fall, but iPhone cushions the blow

Apr 22, 2009

(AP) -- Cost-cutting and the lure of the iPhone softened the effect of the weak economy at AT&T Inc., helping the country's biggest telecommunications carrier beat analyst estimates for the first quarter.

Apple unveils new iPhone 3G with faster Web, GPS

Jun 09, 2008

Apple today introduced the new iPhone 3G, combining all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based ...

Recommended for you

Big new iPhone brings Apple more profit

3 hours ago

Apple's largest iPhone is selling for $100 more than its other new model, but a new report says it costs Apple only $15.50 more to make the more expensive version.

Microsoft to launch Xbox One in China in days

5 hours ago

US technology giant Microsoft will launch its Xbox One in China on September 29, becoming the first game console to enter the market in 14 years, it said Tuesday, in an apparent reversal of a delay announced ...

PlayStation TV to hit US in October

5 hours ago

PlayStation TV home entertainment system is set to hit North America on October 14 as Sony seeks to improve its financial footing with games, films and music.

User comments : 0