We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that there are a lot of you legit iPhone 3G owners out there lamenting your contract obligation to AT&T and their iPhone-only rate plans. Unlimited iPhone data plans are now $30, as opposed to the original iPhone’s $20 unlimited data plan. Monthly rate plans are are a pain in the rear compared to the flexibility offered by AT&T’s GoPhone plans.
So, with the iPhone 3G’s first-month AT&T-anniversary coming up, we have to wonder how many of you out there are planning on ditching AT&T and going at it by your lonesome.
You see, iPhone 3G owners have the interesting option of canceling their AT&T contract after 30 days of service, paying the ETF (Early Termination Fee), paying off their monthly bill, and taking their iPhone 3G to any GSM carrier in the world. Granted, there’s no viable software-based SIM-unlock solution for the iPhone 3G just yet, so any contract-ditchers will be limited to jailbreaking (pwning?) their handset and using an AT&T pre-paid SIM card. But, a software unlock solution could be released soon, allowing you to take your contract-free iPhone 3G around the world.
The thing is, iPhone 3G owners would be wise to wait out the first 30 days of service before canceling their contract, lest they be requested to return their handset to AT&T. After the first 30 days of service, however, AT&T allows customers to keep the iPhone 3G after paying up the ETF and settling their final month’s pro-rated bill.
As we pointed out in our previous coverage of AT&T’s iPhone 3G rate plans, “To cancel service within the first 30 days, the customer must return their equipment to the place of purchase (no exceptions). If the customer cancels service after 30 days, they will be charged the ETF. The customer is not required to return the device to cancel after 30 days.”
So, what’s your call? AT&T offers 3G data plans for $20 a month on AT&T GoPhone plans, and pre-paid minutes are easily more flexible than post-paid plans. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with giving AT&T an extra few bucks a month in return for their service.