No such thing as a free lunch. You don't get something for nothing. Yesterday we linked to Gizmodo's response to iPhone 3G owners "whining" about not getting a second bite at the cheap subsidy pricing for the iPhone 3G S.

Bottom line, you got your discount last year in exchange for a 2 year contract. That contract isn't done in full yet, so you don't get a discount in full yet.

But that got me thinking. I asked this on Twitter and am getting mixed reaction, so I'll ask it here:

What if AT&T offered you full, subsidized pricing anyway ($199/$299) in exchange for another 2 year contract? No, not 2 more years starting now -- that still costs them a year -- but an additional 2 years after the current contract expires, for 3 years total from iPhone 3G S release.

Here's the math: 2 year current contract - 1 year completed = 1 year + 2 years new contract = 3 years total.

Sound crazy? Rogers in Canada has all iPhone 3G owners on 3 year contracts already. 3 years are normal in some parts of the world.

However, the idea clearly doesn't scale, does it? If AT&T offers an iPhone 3G S+ with iPhone 4.0 next year, the same math and model would mean you'd have to sign for a 4 year contract to get subsidy pricing (original 2 years - 1 year + 2 years - 1 year + 2 years = 4 years total).

Sure, it looks nice and linear -- matching OS version numbers even -- but not it can'. Who's going to offer or sign a 6 year contract for iPhone X running 6.0?