AT&T Reveals iReady, Full iPhone Prices, More

AT&T has apparently been watching Roger's desperate, retreat-action PR spin and thinking, "Yeah, let's not do that." So instead they've done something typical and something a little surprising. The typical thing: they've issued a press release with some crunchy details, including:

  • Price for those ineligible to upgrade: $399 for the 8GB and $499 for the 16GB -- these still require a 2 year agreement
  • (Edit: whoops, misread the press release) -- no-contract iPhone 3Gs will eventually be available at $599 and $699
  • Minute Plans and FamilyTalk Details
  • $18 upgrade fee (?!!?! Is this new?)
  • Text options on top of your $30 data plan: $20 for unlimited, $15 for 1500, $5 for 200
  • iPhone 2.0 software will be pre-loaded on iPhone 3G
  • One more: Confirmed that they'll start selling at 8am local time.

It's a far cry from the simplicity of the original iPhone plan, but hey, at least we know now. AT&T apparently anticipated possible outcry, confusion, and panic, too. So here's the nonstandard part: they're released a series of videos on YouTube (first one is above) detailing what you need to do to be "iReady." In addition to the above, there's details on how to "make your original iPhone a hand-me-down" and how to "switch to AT&T for the iPhone 3G"

Alright, we have to Wait-a-Thon this. What do you think of the un-contracted prices? What do you think of the "upgrade fee?" Plans? Anybody else need a Xanax? Comment for your chance to win one of the last $100 iTunes Gift Cards we're giving away.

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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AT&T Reveals iReady, Full iPhone Prices, More

57 Comments

I think the non-eligible prices are pretty decent. I was personally expecting $599 and $699 to be the flat-out non-eligible price. At least they are still partially subsidizing the phone for those that aren't eligible.
Basically, the phone is being treated EXACTLY like all other At&t smartphones and BlackBerrys when it comes to plan pricing. The upgrade fee isn't new, it even existed for the first iPhone if you were already mid-contract with At&t (I paid it... like 3 times...). The only thing I am upset about is that too many people are going to get all upset about it and act like it is the end of the world while they ignore the fact that the iPhone is now receiving the same data charges and text charges as the Tilt, or the BlackBerry Curve, or the Palm Centro while they curse Apple and At&t to hell for trying to steal peoples souls...
For anyone pissed about the device pricing. At least they are giving non-eligible people a partial subsidy! Let's say you want to buy an At&t Tilt and you are halfway through your contract, which makes you non-eligible. You get to go into the At&t store and buy it for $550. There is no "semi-reduced" priced. There is no special treatment. There is the full retail price and the subsidized price. So before anyone gets too upset about the iPhone pricing, it would be nice if they would look at the bigger picture.

So, upon readying this blog I could do nothing but laugh despite the fact that in pissed off. Now I knew the prices where going to be step but damn. Thank God that I am eligible for an upgrade and I only have to pay $299. The fact that your already going to be paying $30 for a data plan and then another 15 or 20 on top of that for text is kinda &*^%ed up because you didn't even add a voice plan yet. I'm still going to get the phone but my question is to the people that are going to pay $600 to $700 dollars on a Iphone with no contract, Can these be possible unlocked now? Is it it worth dropping 700 for a Iphone to take it to another carrier?

Non-contract prices are pretty steep...it's surprising given the backlash that will inevitably occur when the prices eventually drop (around Christmas?). The upgrade fee follows in the long tradition of telecommunication companies giving consumers the proverbial rooster. At least AT&T is letting us know up front, as opposed to on "signing day"...although that begs the question, is it better to be knowingly screwed or screwed by surprise? I hate the $30 data plan on top of the already expensive talk plans, overall it directly translates into me paying roughly $30 a month for 24 months ($720) just to have faster data connection on my iPhone 3G. All of a sudden that $599 price tag (day-one iPhone adopter, right here) I paid last June doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

I understand where you are coming from Tom but at least with those other phones I could use my discount from my company that cuts my bill in almost half. The Iphone does not let you use any type of discount for your bill regardless of who your work for or who you are affiliated with. I'm not bashing the IPhone I'm just a disappointed that I am going to be dishing out way more money a month than I every had to while being a AT&T customer. I won't cripple me to do it but It will make me drop a "Damn" line everytime I see the bill, lol

$599 and $699? Too steep... I thought the idea of this new phone according to Jobs was to make it so anybody can afford one... I feel bad for the people who's only option is to buy it straight out. Thought I'm sure in a few months or maybe less we will see a price drop on those prices. Maybe...

Damn, read the list wrong... NO CONTRACT what so ever is 599 and 699. Well the lower prices with a contract are not bad then.

@Blaqamir
You may want to look into that. I have been hearing that since the iPhone 3G is being priced and treated the same as all other smartphones and PDAs, it will also be eligible for plan discounting. You would HAVE to upgrade though, because nothing changes about the current iPhone.
First gen iPhone = no plan discounts
3G iPhone = possible plan discounts.
You really might want to make some calls and check it out. I make no promises though! I am just passing on regurgitated information.

Pricing is good but why not just include txt messaging. Some will use it a lot, some won't. Make it part of the total package for an extra $5 to everyone for 1,500 txts.

I was surprized that the non-eligible upgrade price was $200.00 more per phone.Since the early termination fee is only $175,00 to cancel present contract.$25,00 savings to cancel and open new account.Then I saw where the upgrade fee is $18.00.Considering the new account activation fee is $36.00 I would only save $7.00,not worth the trouble.

They don't include text messages with any Windows Mobile phone, any Palm device, or any BlackBerry. All of those devices have a $30 data plan + separate text packages starting at $5. The iPhone 3G is simply being treated the same now.

I still want them to include text messaging, even if they don't otherwise. SMS is a cash cow. I don't like cash cows.
There may have been an upgrade fee before... I feel like maybe I had to pay one when I got my iPhone 2G? I'd have to go back and look through my records to check... I know I had to pay one when I upgraded to my 8525 a year ago.

How will the Apple store know which category you are in? What is to stop someone from purchasing from the Apple store for the advertised price?
I'm thinking I may just add a line to my existing family plan to get the subsidized prize. I have a year left in my contract, when that year is up I just drop one of the existing lines. Now I've laid out $120 (9.99 a month) instead of $200, and it is spread out over a year rather than up front.

I'm kind of bummed about the $5 texting thing. I don't use that many texts (nowhere near 200) but I do use a few and I liked having them included in my original iPhone data plan. I need to do the math to see whether I'd be better off just paying for texts a la carte or with the $5 plan. The bummer about a la carte is that I would think about it with every text I send and receive.

Tom, ATT is not treating the data exactly like Blackberries. I presently have unlimited data and 1500 messages for $40 a month, under the new iPhone pricing it will cost me $45.

Sometimes I'm amazed by how much whining comes out of the hordes of Apple fans. Right now my wife and I have a Samsung Blackjack (didn't get the original iPhone because I didn't want to downgrade from the 3G I already had) and a Motorola StarTac -- I mean, RAZR. 700 minutes a month family plan with unlimited 3G network service for the Blackjack comes to about $10 less a month than we'll pay for 2 iPhone 3G's with unlimited network service. In other words, it's essentially the same price as their non-Apple plans for 3G service.
All these people talking about the increase price of getting the 3G are quite silly. It would be the same "premium" that they'd have to pay if they went from the original iPhone to a Samsung Blackjack, a Blackberry with 3G, etc.
I have no problem with the requirement for the 2 year contract, either -- this is again, pretty standard. iPhone people are NOT getting treated any worse than affectionados of other manufacturer's phones.

@Tom
I will look into that to see if there is a discount for the upcoming Iphone 3G. I was just going of the assumption that there would be none from when I bought the first Iphone.
FYI:
BlackBerry: Unlimited Data Plan + Unlimited Text - $50
PDA Plans: (Including Tilt, 8525, Palm, etc): Unlimited Date Plan + Unlimited Text - $50 PLUS $5 for Xpress Email
Iphone: Unlimited Data Plan + Unlimited Text - $50
. . . . So I guess there is really nothing to b***h about

I AM CONFUSED!
What if I want an ATT Unity family share plan with only ONE iPhone??? (And just ONE iPhone Data Plan and just ONE $5.00 200 messages) What happens then?
I am more confuse now then when I started. Wahhhhh!

For those of us that can't access Youtube at work (by the way, that youtube video can't be played on an iPhone either), what are our options for our 2G iPhones? I'd like to sell mine but want to make sure I'm not required to have it with me when I buy my new 3G. Also, does anyone know of a safe, effective way to wipe the harddrive clean before selling it?

Did I miss something? Doesn't the press release state that the plans listed include unlimited data? The prices seem the same as they were with the 2G iPhone, don't they?
Either way, their plans are the same price as Sprint's for the Instinct, so at least they're keeping it competitive.

The old phone can be handed down, but they don't talk about what the plan cost will be - hopefully the same $20/mo that it is now. The text messages don't bother me because I am already paying $30/mo for family unlimited texting.

Nothing surprising here. Biggest disappointment in the 3G iPhone price plan: 200 SMS not included in the $30 data plan, as it was in the $20 data plan of the original iPhone. I guess that's just another way AT&T is attempting to recoup costs of the subsidization.
I'm still confused, however, about how they will transition my wife's account to a Family Plan. She wasn't planning on being there with me, even though it's her account. Perhaps I need to be added as a user on her account (but without adding a second line) before July 11.

I'm with the people who are disappointed (or worse) with the texting situation. Making low-volume texters pay an extra $5 just smacks of nickel and diming us. I rarely text, but do on occasion. Maybe 30 a month. How ridiculous.

I can't wait for August (when I'm eligible to upgrade). It will cost a little extra compared what I'm currently paying for a non-iPhone plan, but it will be worth it.
@ Douchey McGee, the new 2.0 firmware is going to include a fully secure way to delete & remove all of the data off your current iPhone.
@ jason m, the difference is $10 per month (& $15 per month if you include the 200 texts). Yes, both include unlimited data, just at a slightly higher price.

Dang! I'm really glad that i'm eligible for the upgrade pricing . . . just barely too, my upgrade period started a couple days ago. Personally i think that AT&T should include ext in the data plan as opposed to charging $20 bucks, it's ridiculous. They know that no one can limit their self to 200 texts a month, so thy price that reasonably (cause nobody will buy it). Maybe 1500 will be enough, but i mean come on! the whole big business end of all these pricing schemes are really . . . i'm just really angry that AT&T got full control over the plans and pricing.
APPLE! PLEASE buy some cell towers, start a wireless company with reasonably priced plans! I know that you can do it.

AT&T makes money on its GoPhone plans, right? The iPhone 3G costs less than $250 to produce, right? So why the $600 price for a phone without a contract? I do have a contract with AT&T, so it doesn't really affect me, but I just don't understand why Apple doesn't want to sell iPhones to more people (T-Mobile users and people who don't want to sign contracts).

Prices are a bit steep compared to my verizon ones, but lets be honest, iphone > verizon phones.
It's worth it, but I was hoping for an easier fee.

Despite being upgrade eligible (phew), I'm a bit upset that current iPhone users will have to pay the "early upgrade" price in order to upgrade.

@DC
If you have BlackBerry unlimited and 1500 text messages for $40, you are under some sort of older plan and are grandfathered.
It is not the case anymore. BlackBerry personal plan is $30 and 1500 text messages is $15. The 1500 text price is unanimous to all of At&t's current phones, not just the iPhone or a PDA/smartphone.
I know I personally had a BlackBerry Curve with unlimited data and 1500 texts and I know I was paying $45 for it.
I am not saying you don't have what you claim, but it may be an older price point that they don't offer anyone anymore. The whole point I am trying to make is that the iPhone is simply being priced the same as their other smartphones and PDAs when it comes to data and texts. Too many people are looking at it like it is an unfounded price increase, when it is really just the iPhone being brought inline with other devices.

My sister was planning on upgrading her phone which isn't yet eligible for upgrade. With the new $399 price tag for an uneligible upgrade, I think she might change her mind.
Personally, I don't care much about the iPhone pricing for uncontracted phones etc as I'm eligible for an upgrade and i'm an AT&T user.

If you purchase the new 3G iPhone from Apple and not AT&T the prices are $199 and $299. Why would you go to AT&T to purchase if you are required to pay $200 more? I am not eligible for an upgrade until March 2009 but will be going to Apple for the 3G.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news Diane,but getting the phone from the Apple store instead of ATT store will cost the same.

Was planning to give the old phone to the wife, get the new one....given the rate plans I've gone from excited to angry that I ever switched to AT&T. What ridiculous gouging!
In addition to the terrible rates, it sounds like I'd have to pay $45/mo. to get Exchange access?! You have got to be kidding me. This had better be wrong, or I'm done with Apple and AT&T until they pull their heads out of their backsides. I love Apple products, but this is just way beyond insulting. I have no desire to voluntarily be gouged month after month with artificial distinctions only possible in a broken market...

Upgrade fee... gimme a break. That, with the increased data plan cost (even more for Exchange), then add in text messsaging... Frakking death by a thousand cuts.
I'm glad I'm not upgrading right off the bat... I'm gonna wait for that 32GB Christmas 3G iPhone!! LOL

Everything is pretty much as expected. Like many others though I was hoping that they would have included some text messages in the price. Text cost AT&T practically nothing (I assume but correct me if I'm wrong) but makes them boat loads of cash. I would have been happier if the plans had been more like 200 free, 1500 for $10, and unlimited for $20. Seems more reasonable to me. Just another reason for me to wait another year for the 3rd gen iPhone 3G.
Does anybody know if the text messages include any kind of unlimited mobile-to-mobile messaging? Did it before? Or are all text treated the same? I've never been sure about this.

Rick, 2 calls to both the Apple store and the 800 number confirm the price to be $199 and $299. Again, why get it from AT&T?

@Step
BlackBerry Enterprise data plan = $45/mo on At&t
PDA Enterprise plan = $45/mo on At&t
Why should the iPhone be any different?
@Badmofo
The upgrade fee exists for every phone in At&t's lineup. Anytime you actually upgrade your phone and extend your contract, there is the fee. This is not iPhone specific.
Also, the reason that the original iPhone included 200 text messages was because the data plan it used was the MEdiaMax Plan. Go look it up on the website for clarification. To keep it simple though, that is the "best" data plan available to feature phones for unlimited data, and the first iPhone was a feature phone, so it had that plan.
@Everyone
The iPhone 3G is a full on smartphone. None of At&t's other smartphones include text messages with the data plan, so why should the iPhone?
There is absolutely no "gouging" going on whatsoever. The iPhone is simply priced accordingly with all other PDA/smartphone plans now. How and why does that make Apple or At&t evil? How is it gouging? If it is gouging to charge these prices for the iPhone, what do you call it when they charge (and have been charging for a while) the same rates on a BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile phone?
First gen iPhone = Feature phone
iPhone 3G = full on platform, which makes it a smartphone
The plan pricing reflects this simple fact.
If you think you have it bad, and if you can honestly convince yourself that At&t is gouging, I invite you to have a look at the Rogers iPhone rate plans...

@Diane
You are wrong. At&t would never sell a single iPhone to a non-eligible person if you were right, and that isn't going to happen. I am not going to try and prove it to you at length, but I promise you that you got the wrong information.

Diane I wish you were right,but as Tom says it isn't going to happen.
The Apple people are not telling you that they will be going through AT&T to activate your phone and will see that you as an existing non-eligible for upgrade customer will have to pay the additional $200.00 to get the phone.They probably haven't even been trained on it yet.

I'm assuming that it is still true that those of us with iphones and existing contracts are eligible for the $199 price correct?

Tom: you need to wise up.
ATT = Greedy
apple= Hey we dropped the price. ........... ( but you'll still get it dirty monthly)
IMO = WE got FAUKED!!!
Iphone 3g = Rip OFF !!!

Steve Jobs and AT & T once again showing there business genius..
They lower the price but change whats really going on behind the curtains so the audience still loves the magic, and they make just about the same amount of money.
From a business standpoint I recognize their intelligence.
But as consumer... I wish I had better options.
Making texting more is just too greedy.

Ok so here's the 1 million dollar question what happens if I buy the iPhone 3G activate it pay the $30 for the first month then decide I don't like it and go back to my original iPhone reactivate it through iTunes and start paying the $20 a month with the text messages but then just switch the sim to the iPhone 3G? That is exactly what I did with my treo 750 but I did it on at&t website I told it I had a samsung sync and it offered me the mediamax at $20 a month then I just stuck my sim in my treo wich was a 3G device and it all worked out fine I ended up saving $20 a month. Once I find out if that is possible then I will get me an iPhone 3G

I ended up with the same deal with my Treo 750 and my wifes 680. Both had the MediaMax200 plans for $20. With the new plans, it will cost me about $40 more a month. Doubt you can reactivate under the old plans. I think AT&T has pulled them.

I've already taken my Xanax, thank you. Okay, so not really; sounds good though. Anyways, I think the pricing is fair, as is the upgrade price. ATT has one objective, and that's getting people using their wireless service. If you're already using their service, they've crunched the numbers in their database, and decided they can treat you like crap for 2 years, and that you're still going to stay with them. iPhoners might be different though.

Just called ATT, and 200 text messages are included in the $30 unlimited plan. I guess they caved under the pressure. Nice!

for the last six months i have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new iphone g3.
just a few weeks ago, on june 10, 2008 my verizon contract expired and i deliberately went to an at & t store to ask what i should do....that i wanted the new iphone and they told me that i should take the temporary "free" phone until the new iphone was released and then i could trade it in for the iphone for the price it was advertised, $199.
now i am being told that i have to PAY TWICE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY to get my iphone! i NEVER would have signed up with at & t except for wanting an iphone and i wouldn't have joined at+t one month ago if i knew that it would not make me eligible for a 'discounted' iphone!
this is tremendously unfair and when i complained to at & t they said there was NOTHING THAT THEY COULD DO ABOUT IT...that the price was LOCKED IN by apple!
however, as i've been telling my story i've heard other different stories from different people...some people are saying that they've been told that when 'iphone fever' dies down in a few weeks, they'll be able to get the iphone for the advertised price....time will tell.
verizon has now been 'courting me' to come back and says that they have similar phones to the iphone for less money and will buy out my contract with at&t...tempting!

the iphones are pretty sick i just thought they would cost about 800 but ....599 699 is pretty good dont u guys think so...i have the black berrry curve...i juss got it..but i think i wana get the iphone the bad thing is dat i cudve waited to just pay 200 n buy it instead i paid 500 for the black berry bummmer

I know this is an old article but... Just a quick FYI, the upgrade fee of $18 is NOT NEW. It has always been there for ANY phone you upgrade to. What happens is sometimes they waive it for you. ;)

I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this website. Keep up the good work.

We're a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful info to work on. You've performed an impressive job and our whole community will probably be grateful to you.