AT&T announced Tuesday that iPhone 3G buyers will be forced into more costly service plans than those offered alongside the original iPhone. Plans will now start at $70 for a package that includes 450 minutes and no text messages. The carrier also issued a series of “tips” on how to be “iReady” when the new Apple handset goes on sale at its retail stores at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, July 11.
Pricing and Eligibility
iPhone 3G will be available for $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model. Both prices require two-year contracts and are available to the following customers:
- iPhone customers who purchased before July 11
- Customers activating a new line with AT&T
- Current AT&T customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount
Existing AT&T customers who are not currently eligible for an upgrade discount can purchase iPhone 3G for $399 for the 8GB model or $499 for the 16GB model. Both options require a new two-year service agreement. In the future, AT&T will offer a no-contract-required option for $599 (8GB) or $699 (16GB).
Current customers may also choose to wait until they become eligible for an upgrade discount. Eligibility is generally determined by amount of time remaining on a current contract and payment history. Customers can check their upgrade eligibility and other wireless account information at www.att.com/iphone. The site also includes a series of “Get iReady” tips and frequently asked questions.
Current AT&T customers who are upgrading to iPhone 3G will be forced to pay an $18 upgrade fee and new AT&T customers will be forced to pay “the standard $36 activation fee.”
Voice, Data and Text Messaging Plans
AT&T said iPhone 3G customers can choose from four individual AT&T Nation plans, which bundle voice and unlimited data (e-mail and Web browsing) but no SMS messages (which will cost extra):
- AT&T NationSM Unlimited: Includes unlimited Anytime Minutes for $129.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 1350: Includes 1350 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $109.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 900: Includes 900 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $89.99 a month.
- AT&T Nation 450: Includes 450 Anytime Minutes and 5,000 Night & Weekend Minutes for $69.99 a month.
All AT&T Nation and AT&T FamilyTalk plans for iPhone 3G include nationwide long distance and roaming, Visual Voicemail, Rollover, unlimited Mobile to Mobile calling, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling and Caller ID.
AT&T will offer FamilyTalk plans, with bundled voice and unlimited data, starting as low as $129.99 a month for two iPhone 3G lines. Up to three additional iPhone lines can be added for $39.99 each.
Unlimited text messaging can be added for an additional $20 ($30 for FamilyTalk plans of up to five lines); $15 (1,500 messages), or $5 (200 messages).
iPhone for Business
Business customers interested in iPhone 3G should contact an AT&T business sales representative or review their account information online to determine their eligibility for upgrade pricing. Corporate e-mail and other business applications require the Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone, which is $45 a month and bundled with an eligible voice plan. Small business customers may qualify for AT&T BusinessTalk, a shared plan specifically for small businesses. Additional details on iPhone business offerings are available at www.att.com/iphoneforbusiness.
iPhone 2.0 Software
All iPhone customers will benefit from the iPhone 2.0 software, which will be pre-loaded on all iPhone 3Gs and available as a free download for current iPhone customers. The new software will include numerous enhancements, such as business-class e-mail access via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync; the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK), which allows a business to easily create applications customized to its needs; and the App Store, which offers a wide-range of applications — from games to business, education to entertainment and productivity to social networking. For example, AT&T has developed YELLOWPAGES.COM Mobile for iPhone, which takes local mobile search to a new level by allowing users to discover businesses and local events based on their popularity among other iPhone users, get directions and access business reviews.
Sounds easy, right?