AT&T to offer iPhone 3GS for $49 starting Friday

AT&T is set to offer new iPhone 3GS’s to customers willing to sign up for a new 2 year service contract and data plan for just $49. The iPhone 3GS will be available from AT&T stores as well as Apple stores starting this Friday.

Currently AT&T offers a brand new iPhone 3GS for $99 with a 2 year service agreement, but also offer refurbished models for $49. Now however that it is set to change, with new models being offered at the refurbished price. The iPhone 3GS is still a very capable handset and can run the latest iOS 4.2.1 software with the omission of a few features.

Normally when these price reductions take place, AT&T and Apple are accused of dumping stock for a new product launch. Don't think this is the case this time; we are still six months away from the expected launch of the next iPhone.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

[Chicago Breaking Business]

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

AT&T to offer iPhone 3GS for $49 starting Friday

18 Comments

I love my 3GS. It was my first iPhone, and I bought it right when the price dropped to $99 (week of the iPhone 4 launch, I believe). It'll do me just fine till the iPhone 5 comes out!

Not bad, but I picked up a refurbed iPhone 4 for $100 on Black Friday, which was definitely the better deal when compared to this.

I think they are trying to get people locked into a contract before they drop the Verizon iPhone announcement!

They can do what they want. This is America and it's a free country(at least for now). I would however never reccomend anyone getting the older model. Just think how far behind the phone will be when you close in on the end of the two year contract. But this would be a great option for folks who want to save money and get their foot in the iPhone door. If they have wifi already at the house and watch their data usage when theyre out and about, they can get on the $15 a month plan and come out of the deal very good. If you're low on funds that might be a good option for you. The iPhone is an amazing product, even the older versions. And I would pick last years iPhone over this years android any day of the week. And i would choose the iPhone 3G over the newest blackberry.

@NFC
+1 - though you would think a cheaper iphone 4 would be far more effective. I wonder if Apple prohibits carriers from discounting a product themselves in the first X months of release.

In brazil they sell it for something like a U$ 600 dolar deal, with a U$20 month plan. Looking for a fair place to live for sure!

The reason why the price is dropping is due to the fact that ATT is suffering iPhone 4 shortages right now. This way they can get some attention off the iPhone 4 to replenish.

The iPhone 4 shortage from AT&T is complete rubbish.
I've been watching the releases of each iPhone in the US since each of their first day.
For example, for the iPhone 3G, we were able to determine that there were at least 2000 on launch day at my local Apple store. The AT&T store in the same wing of the mall had about 150 total. They were sold out within the first hour and no replenished stock for at least two weeks, to which they would trickle in less than a dozen at a time.
Now, ask yourself: why would the "exclusive US carrier" of the iPhone only have less than 10% stock of iPhones available to sell?
COMMISSION. The suit-wearing bastards at the top of AT&T likely decided that Apple can go about their casual business and sell their iPhones with the mandatory AT&T activations and contract renewals, and they wouldn't have to pay a penny in commissions.
After I got my 3G and perused the mall, I walked into the now-empty AT&T store, and all the sales reps were leaning on the counter, staring at the flooded Apple store across the wing, line still wrapped around the corner until the end of the night.
If AT&T doesn't care about their own employees, what makes you think they care about us as customers?
The only reason they're blowing out iPhone 3GS is because either Apple sold it to them cheap to dump stock in favor of the iPhone 4, and/or they know just as well as we do that they're no longer exclusive to the iPhone, and they'll do anything (including taking an upfront loss) to lock in the last few suckers into a two-year plan with a device about to be two generations old.

My recent attempt to buy a 3GS case at an Apple store was met with the comment of "get them now because the 3GS is out of production and when they're gone, the cases will be too"...but who knows if the guru was in the know or just assuming.

Just wait until the iPhone is released on Verizon. You'll see the remaining stock of 3GS sell for $0.01 or buy one, get one free at AT&T.

I agree with the shortage comment. I went into two AT$T stores this weekend to get my iphone 4 and I was advised that they are out of stock. There isn't one store in this area that had one. So, they basically had to order one for me. 7-10 business days. Maybe Verizon took them all???