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  • AT&T Hiking Early iPhone, Smartphone Upgrade Fees

    Calls to AT&T have confirmed looming speculation Monday about AT&T hiking its early upgrade and no-commitment pricing for the wireless carrier's expansive line of smartphones, including the iPhone. Although the changes take place this week, only customers who are presently ineligible for upgrade - or unwilling to sign a new two-year contract - will be effected by the across-the-board price hikes.

    It sounds as though AT&T is pinning the cost increase on the growing sophistication of smartphones and the added cost of keeping up with the times. AT&T reps, however (including the one I spoke with) have been widely quoted today stressing how "individual account needs" can still be addressed by AT&T on a one-on-one basis.

    The company's policy regarding upgrade eligibility, however, doesn't appear to have been altered. Simply put, customers who opt for an upgrade before 12 or 18 months into their contract, or who will only sign a new one year contract (rather than two) will have to pay the new prices to upgrade. For iPhone upgrades, customers are looking at $50 more (iPhone 3GS 8GB is $299, iPhone 4 16GB is $449, iPhone 4 32GB is $549).

    As some may recall, AT&T increased early upgrade fees on its smartphones last October from $75 to $200, although the iPhone was spared from that list. Many began speculating after Verizon got the iPhone earlier this year that AT&T would soon revise its early upgrade fees on the iPhone too as yet another measure to help rope in customers for the long haul in an increasingly competitive smartphone environment. It now looks like those folks were right.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Hiking Early iPhone, Smartphone Upgrade Fees started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Dear ATT, Verizon has the iPhone too. (literally can hardly wait till June)

      Kthanx and BYE.
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      $459? Eh..my iPad 2 cost more than that. Who cares haha
    1. Riviera's Avatar
      Riviera -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeroskater61 View Post
      Not fully true... I got the first gen iPhone at a discount, year later I got the iPhone 3G at a discounted price, year later I got the iPhone 3Gs at a discounted price and guess what another year later I got the iPhone 4 at a discounted price and I already looked online under my account and it stated I'll be eligible for an iPhone discount in July 2011 since that's when I got my iPhone 4 last year in July.
      If you have more than 2 lines in your family plan & if you ALWAYS pay your bill full amount & on time or within your grace period, most likely you will be eligible for an early upgrade. It happened to me in the past.

      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      This happens every year at upgrade time. People knowingly sign a TWO year contract with the understanding that you have to be under contract for at least 18 months before you are fully eligible for upgrade discounts... then after ONE year they totally forget about the deal they signed and start complaining. Give me a break. If you want an early upgrade fork out the extra cash but don't complain about the contract rules that YOU are asking to break!
      Best response!

      Stop whining, people.
      If You signed a 2 years contract, then man up and deal with it.
      You gotta pay to play.

      Quote Originally Posted by domanads2k4 View Post
      They will new contract = discounted price
      Of course you get a discounted price for a new contract - even my 11 year old niece is aware of it, too.

      I want to see what Verizon would do next year for an early upgrade to iPhone 6.
      $100 bucks on the table says Verizon will do exactly what AT&T is doing right now or maybe worst?
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by one1 View Post
      Dear ATT, Verizon has the iPhone too. (literally can hardly wait till June)

      Kthanx and BYE.
      You mean "literally CAN'T hardly wait till SEPTEMBER"
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Hate Att with passion
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      You mean "literally CAN'T hardly wait till SEPTEMBER"
      Did I stutter?
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -

      it's not entirely an AT&T-only thing: a number of different kinds of providers have done this and will do it again. It's no less crappy, in general, but, I wouldn't hate AT&T anymore than I do any provider over this.

      But I don't think it affects my solution: Family Plan with four lines, only two of which use iDevices. Every six months I'm eligible for an upgrade and those other two lines are happy with their basic phones while I take the upgrade for myself.
    1. Beaudean's Avatar
      Beaudean -
      To Alexevo
      No I think YOU are wrong. He said he can hardly wait. That means he is only just managing to endure the long wait till June. Well thats my understanding of the english language. Your interpretation sounds wrong to me.
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      AT&T was doing everyone a favor by doing any sort of early upgrade discount. The fact that they gave everyone a full discount to upgrade from the 2G to the 3G was amazing... but then people felt entitled to the same concession. From the 3G --> 3GS --> i4 they gave everyone $200 off after 12 months... not too bad. They're still going to give you $150 off retail which they don't have to do at all. Go over to Verizon and see if they treat you any better.
      hey you wrote in orange cool at&t colors woot woot
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      "..have been widely quoted today stressing how "individual account needs" can still be addressed by AT&T on a one-on-one basis"

      What this means is most of the population are wusses so we can screw them and only have to deal with that small minority of non-borg that might object.

      People email your representatives, squeaky wheel gets the grease. Politicians are wusses if they think an issue will get the press poking cameras in their face and asking questions they will tell the big brother corporations to keep their money...this time.
    1. drewstone's Avatar
      drewstone -
      I know it's gonna sound like I'm defending AT&T here but I'm NOT, but for the ppl that are grandfathered-in to the unlimited plan, they could easily stop honoring it and make us all go to a tiered plan. Although Verizon has the iPhone after 3+ years, I get that, but AT&T does let their customers get new iPhones earlier than the 2 year contract. I know Verizon does as well, but their customer service imo is the worst of the carriers. I'm glad that AT&T let's us upgrade early. But ppl will b1tch and complain if given the chance I guess.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by drewstone View Post
      ...But ppl will b1tch and complain if given the chance I guess.
      No guessing about that!!
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      I was on a boat and lost my iPhone 4 overboard (that was a bad day). I went to the AT&T store, and they sold me a new one for $199. I had used my upgrade two months before on the iPhone 4. So I can't complain!
    1. RoloDiva13's Avatar
      RoloDiva13 -
      Yet another example of 'the masses' showing the entitlement personality. As others have stated, you signed a TWO YEAR--24 months for those that have trouble counting--agreement to discount that phone to something u could afford. If you don't want to abide by that simply pay the no-contract price for a phone.

      Oh and btw: just like VZW got rid of their new every two deal moving forward, At&t has also (sort of) followed suit and changed the standard discount upgrade policy to a flat 20 mo--no matter how much $$ your line has in monthly charges. Customers with an upgrade date already in the system are 'grandfathered' in, but after your next upgrade watch that new date. It'll be 20 mo instead of the 13 u may be used to if you were a high-paying customer (+$99)

      It amazes me that THIS change hasn't gotten more attention than a simple price hike when so many iPhone early adopter customers have enjoyed a steep discount EVERY year the new devices come out.
    1. TheGrandFinale2001's Avatar
      TheGrandFinale2001 -
      Yeah this should be no surprise to anyone. Either way I'm still getting the iPhone 5, or whatever it will be called lol.