Hey, AT&T! What are you doing? Are you trying to anger very iPhone customer-base that has loyally kept you from falling even further behind Verizon Wireless’s “America’s Largest Network?” Because, if you are, then your new iPhone 3GS upgrade policy is doing a damn good job of it.
The iPhone 3G S is coming to the US as another AT&T exclusive, and will be offered at the same $199 and $299 price-points as the 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G, respectively. The 16GB iPhone 3G S will command the $199 price-tag, while the 32GB iPhone 3G S will go for $299 when purchased with two-year contract. That is, unless you’re a current iPhone or iPhone 3G customer with a few months to go before becoming eligible for upgrade. Existing (read: loyal) AT&T customers will have to shell out $399 and $499 for the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3G S, respectively.
Last year, AT&T and Apple offered upgrade-pricing for any iPhone customers that jumped up to the iPhone 3G. This year, AT&T is essentially penalizing those same iPhone 3G early adopters that now want to get in on the iPhone 3GS’s launch-day fun. It’s a choise between “buy early and pay through the nose (again),” or “wait until you are eligible for upgrade pricing.” Shouldn’t AT&T be rewarding early adopters for helping push the iPhone and iPhone 3G to popularity?
Perhaps the higher-ups at AT&T don’t realize that early-adopters help drive mass-market adoption. With the iPhone, there’s arguably a stronger correlation between early adopter praise and overall sales performance – based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence.
Whatever the case, I want my iPhone 3G S on launch day. But, I want to pay the new-contract/upgrade price of $299 (for the 32GB iPhone 3G S). I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. If you’re just as mad as I am about having to wait a month or more to upgrade your iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3G S for a reasonable price, sound off in the comments below!