AT&T 3G Plans: No Revenue Share, No GoPhone, Activate In Store ONLY, Costs More ?!

Sorry to rain on the iPhone 3G parade but it has to be done. Here's some not so great news about the iPhone 3G. The iPhone 3G data plan is going to cost $30 per month. That's $10 more than the current iPhone plan. On top of that, current iPhone owners will have to sign a NEW 2-year contract to use the iPhone 3G. Meaning, buying an iPhone 3G won't be a seamless upgrade in the traditional sense. Granted, AT&T won't count the remaining years on your current iPhone contract to the new iPhone 3G contract, the fact that you have to sign a new contract plus the added cost per month just doesn't sit right with me.

Look at it this way, the iPhone 3G costs $199. Hip hip hooray right? Not quite. We have to add the cost of the added monthly fees. First we multiply the 10 dollars more a month by 24 months (the life of a 2 year contract) which equates to $240 dollars more to use the iPhone 3G's data plan versus the original data plan. Now for the simple math, $199 (cost of the iPhone 3G) + $240 (cost of 3G data vs EDGE data over 2 years) = $439 over the lifetime of the contract. That's actually a $40 dollar increase from the current iPhone, not quite the 'half price' that we're being marketed to believe.

Also, it looks like AT&T will discontinue their pre-paid, GoPhone option meaning there is no alternative than being tied into a 2 year voice+3G data contract under AT&T. At least before, some users could choose to use the iPhone as a pseudo-data only device.

Perhaps its because the old revenue sharing model of the original iPhone is no longer in effect, but it looks like AT&T has taken back control of data plans and is positioning the iPhone 3G to increase subscribers and broaden market potential. The carrier subsidy is theoretically included in the $199 price, essentially AT&T is giving Apple the money upfront instead of through a month-to-month revenue sharing plan. Do we as consumers win out? Depends what your perspective is. The iPhone 3G is still a great phone and a steal, but AT&T & Apple are obviously not in the same relationship they were in just one year ago.

So when the iPhone 4G comes is AT&T going to raise our data prices to $40? Will it stop? What do you guys think of this? Does it change your perspective on the price of the iPhone 3G?

UPDATE: Gizmodo is also reporting that the iPhone 3G can only be activated in store via a 10-12 minute process. Also, a fine might be levied to those who don't activate the iPhone 3G within 30 days. It seems like the iPhone no longer carries that unique badge of being separate from the rest of the other phones in AT&T's lineup anymore..

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There are 38 comments. Add yours.

JNGold says:

Doesn't matter much to me. I already pay 30 bucks a month for a pda personal plan for my WM device.

Byron Van Arsdale says:

Casey:
Have a Treo 650 and pay $40 per month for my data plan without any text. It may have gone up for current iPhone users yet it'll be a drop for me. Can't wait for July 11th!
Now that the prices are coming down and enterprise solution, should be interesting to see how many people trade their Treo, Blackberry, Nokia for the iPhone.
iPhonoclast: one who thinks differently and happily avoids poor user experiences by using an iPhone! :D

taroliw says:

Well, for me this is kind of a mixed bag. The lack of background application support will limit usefulness of things like telnet, ssh, vpn, or similar applications from third parties. Even if you don't run them all the time, having the ability to bounce into an email or a web page while you're doing something else is actually pretty important for a number of us.
I guess I'll have to see what these offline notifications are really like. It sounds promising, but having no apps to show that use it while boring the crowd with a rehash of the SDK launch doesn't inspire confidence, even if it is worthy of it.
As for whether I will entertain dropping my Treo 680 for this... I am still not convinced on-screek keyboard is great. I must see real development in the application space, certainly enough to be able to measure the usefulness of those applications for my purposes.
This release did nothing to increase the usability of basic integrated email and PIM for my needs. Exchange integration is great, but not useful as a feature if you don't use it. Calendar still doesn't come close to what I can do with the built-in Treo calendar, to say nothing of what third party apps are capable of.
So, I'm not rushing to my Apple store on 7/11. Instead, I'm going to upgrade iTunes and keep an eye on the app store and on the blogs and forums. I want to see what this device and it's new OS can really do before I ditch what is still a very useful device for me (Treo 680), even if it's OS is woefully and painfully out of date.

JNGold says:

[quote] Calendar still doesn’t come close to what I can do with the built-in Treo calendar, to say nothing of what third party apps are capable of.[/quote]
Funny that you should mention both calendar and 3rd party apps in one sentence. WebIS, maker of Pocket Informant (one of the most complete PIM apps for any smartphone platform), is getting PI ready for the iPhone.

Bad Ash says:

The blackberry bold is looking better and better now...

Tom says:

The BlackBerry Bold data plan will be $30 a month as well, and will require the same in-store activation if you aren't a current customer.
The data plan thing is one of the things that bothers me the least from todays happenings. I have been paying $30 a month for a BlackBerry plan for a long time, so it is nothing but a lateral change for me.

gquaglia says:

What's next? The big AT&T Death Star logo on the back?

Galley says:

So, there's no more revenue sharing, and now Apple is selling the iPhone below cost. How do they expect to make money, from the App Store?

FreeLunch says:

Actually its $160 extra.
$40 for data and $5*24 = 120 for 500 text messages per month. The $40 data plan doesn't include text anymore.

Bad Ash says:

@Tom, it just seems to be a bummer that At&t is getting more and more control it seems.

Aaron says:

Interesting info, it seems like there are a lot of loopholes. I posted about the iphone today as well:
http://www.growyourfunds.com/2008/06/apple3giphonereleaseannoun.html

Tom says:

@Bad Ash
I agree 100%...

Ryan says:

HUGELY disappointed at the data plan price increase. AT&T's setting a terrible precedent here. All the other networks now have carte blanche to raise data plan prices when they eventually switch over to 3G as well. While from a capitalist perspective, it makes perfect sense to charge more for a better network, the move just reeks of greed and screws the consumer. Sure, $30/month is still relatively cheap in terms of smartphone data plans, but Apple did a great turn by lowering the floor for data plan rates to $20/month. It gave the consumer the option of taking full advantage of the growing mobile technology field and also made up for the originally exorbitant cost of the iPhone. So what was so wrong with affordable data plans? Why raise the price and give consumers an incentive to not switch to a 3G network? Isn't the goal to phase out the old 2G network and get everyone moved over to the better one? So why charge a luxury tax for it?
An improved network opens up the field for manufacturers to design better and more advanced phones and generally improve the mobile technology industry. Improved networks is the inevitable direction we're headed, so are we going to be forced to eat a price increase each time we make a natural step in technological progression? The only silver lining is that hopefully other companies will follow Apple's example and cut the prices of the hardware, and consumers will see a price break there to make up for the marked up 3G network costs.

Paul B @ MoneyAnswerTree says:

So when the iPhone 4G comes is AT&T going to raise our data prices to $40? Will it stop? What do you guys think of this? Does it change your perspective on the price of the iPhone 3G?

Yes, what do you expect?
Brand New phone, new faster data network for nothing extra? You serious? What did you think?

Dyvim says:

I'd actually prefer to pay $399 up front and get it from the Apple store and keep the $20/mo data plan. What's gonna suck for people who spring for iPhone 3G is not being able to upgrade for a full 2 years (not at the subsidized price anyway). So if I buy the 3G for $199 now and I decide I want next summer's iPhone too, then I will have to pay the full un-subsidized price ($399? $449? $499?).
Since I already have a 16GB iPhone v1, I might want to stick with it for a while and enjoy the new software and upgrade next time when there might be more significant hardware changes.

CoachFreak says:

Ok,the whole "make me sign a new contract when I wasn't getting a subsidy" didn't sit right me with the first time around and it really doesn't sit well with me now. Now I have to commit to ANOTHER 2 years when I am paying "full" price for the phone?????

iphone_addict says:

I just came from the at&t store, they told me that the data price was 45 dollars. I told them that I heard that it was 30 bucks for consumers, and 45 for businesses. Then I showed them the text page from gizmodo that I printed out before i went there. Then they said that they don't know what the price is until July 11th. So the at&t store is saying that the 450 minute plan is 39.95 + 45 for internet. Thats $84.95 + taxes.. etc. I hope that the 45 is incorrect. 45 is too much for 1.4Mbps.

cam92 says:

Can i add this to the family plan and not have to pay the voice plan to just the data plus the 9.99 to be with the whole family?

CA714 says:

SCREW YOU JOBS, ILL RATHER KEEP MY CURRENT IPHONE 8GB 1V 20 BUCKS FOR THE DATA PLAN PLUS 200 TEXT MESSAGES GOOD DEAL

robby says:

Do you have to have the 3g? Can you just pay the voice thing?
That'd be great

modemlooper says:

@ Ryan [the move just reeks of greed and screws the consumer]Not Att&t! LOL
I think people are getting excited for nothing its basically the same damn phone. I have no problem using the edge with wifi here and there. I thought the new iphone would be like 5 meg pix cam and video and a bunch of other cool shit they didnt do. I would have been happy them leave it at the same price and slam the thing with upgrades. The apps I saw on the keynote blew anyways. EBAY! screw EBAY! 25000 submitted only 4000 accepted, Hmmm was there backroom handjobs to get on the apps store?

RNfertitta says:

I went from 8 g to 16g for the added space While waiting with great anticipation for their next phone. I thought for sure they would've gotten smart & added MSM & upgraded the calendar at least. But NO! So I guess I'll just Keep waiting unless I find a better phone before then. And this business of continually increasing my contract is BOGUS! Keep it up fellas & you're gonna loose a 12 year customer! But like they care-right?

Jengky says:

Im wondering the price for international markets (Asia). as without the AT&T thing...guess it'll be a phone-only package huh?.. any news bout it yet?

jojo says:

i wanted to get a iphone 3g but this shocking blog has made me realize that i dont need the iphone ill just get the 16g ipod touch no payments:)

SUPERNATE says:

I am a iphone junkie... And the only solution for my fix is a faster better stronger "white" iphone. Who cares if I need it or what the cost is. It's keeping up with the jones's!!!

Ярис says:

За статью большое спасибо, все по делу, достаточно много кто это использует

dima says:

Твердотельные реле фирмы Carlo Gavazzi

fexamimbamalt says:

???????? | ????????????? ??? ?? ????? ????? ? ?? http://p1p3.net ???? ?? ??? ?? ? ???????? ??????? ?

gophonego says:

Of course it is, did anyone really think the cheaper phone wouldn't come with a catch..cheaper phone+more expensive plan = more expensive phone + cheaper phone...That's why they got bean counters.

shell says:

thats bs, thats at&t always tries to fuck apple and yet they always stay, like when apple thought it was a good idea to let at&t have itunes on their phones then found out at&t was charging wireless users for buying ringtones and for downloading music when they thought people would be able to used their downloaded songs as ringtones, now this. i really wanted an iPhone but i guess im shit outta luck <3 <3 <3

matt says:

I got around this with my Iphone. Buy 2 of the same gophones. Go online to activate at ATT. Activate the sims card from the 1st using the 2nd phones EMIE. This way the card won't be locked or "married" to the phone that it was package with. [ I bought the 1st phone authorized it the card, using the its EMIE turned it on, took out the card and it didn't work in the Iphone only in the gophone. Found out that it was married to the phone, essentially the sims was locked for 180 days or something stupid. So I purchased a second one. ] With the second I first tried to authorize it with my Iphone EMIE but it didn't work (it said call error occurred call customer service…lol ..screw that), and so tried it using the EMIE from the 1st gophone that I had already activated ( ie…the one it wasn’t package with, I figured they’re both the same brand, model , why would ATT care about that) The authorization went through, so I popped the sims card out of the plastic credit card looking thing and straight into the Iphone (note … it never touched the gophone, its first use of service was the Iphone)...bam… 4 bars ATT logo and a 3G. I found out I lost the “15 start up minutes” that came with the phone because I didn’t use the original packaged phone to authorized (If you read the fine print, its in there and says when activated the sims won‘t function on antoher phone for a period of time…screw that…), so I put 30.00 in the account, got the data plan (19.99) and the 1 a day 0.10 minute plan...works great...
I’ve been keeping an eye on my data plan.. I noticed my bill data is 500000kb a month and this is what you want to keep an eye on even though my phone says I move close to 85 to 95 mg….I’m in WIFI a lot because of home and University settings but I knew I was drastically under there fake unlimited plan ( which is really 5 gb).
I’d say just buy one from the store and copy the EMIE from another package because there next to the sku number, but when I purchased mine at check out is, its was electronically registered or something (something like authorizing, or activating came up on the register, even the Target employee commented that it scanned they scan differently)

Tv Online says:

Thanks for the very interestig article!. I have not had cable in our apartment for 7 months now, and I am so happy! Thanks again! I always do look ahead for your new threads!! happy Holidays!!

ali fawzy says:

i have i phone 3g 16g v3.3.3 locked i want to unlock this phone in all network ....in egypt can you help me

Kirby Nacion says:

The final test of an leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction as well as the will to carry on.
The buck stops using the guy who signs the checks.
What we've been subject to in the last many years is mainly responsible for many people to question 'Can we trust Microsoft?'