Originally Posted by NasserAE
And how much of that monthly payment is going to cover the price of the iPhone?! As I have said earlier and I will say it a thousand times "AT&T is not charging iPhone buyer any less or more than what they charge anyone else who uses their voice and data plans". They might have a minimum plan but you are still getting the minutes specified for that plan. And by the way, if you are an existing customer you got to keep your existing voice plan even if it is below the minimum.
One more thing, AT&T never increased the price of the data plan. The data plan cost $30/month even before the 1st gen iPhone came out last year (Actually it is $35/month without a contract).
My friend have AT&T voice and data plan. He got the iPhone on Saturday for $199. He kept his voice and data plan and his monthly payment went up $0! so how did you come out with the idea that AT&T is financing the iPhone since his monthly payment did not change?!
again, maybe you guys are just not actually reading the posts, but the American cell phone buyers SHOULDN'T be paying the same prices for subsidized phones as for non-subsidized phones.
the fact that we are has more to do with the fact that many of us seem to not be able to understand the concept of deferred billing than with anything else.
ask your friend if he had to re-up with AT&T for another 2 years?
I'm sure he did, and in that contract lies that phone repayment money.
in theory, his bill should go down at the end of two years as the phone is paid off, as it does in most other countries, but it has never sunk in over here that the price you pay for the phone at sign-up (whether it's free, $199, or ten million) is only part of the price you pay for the phone.
one day maybe it will sink in and prices can rationalize, but if the arguments on the forum are any indication, it won't be any time soon.
but as a last attempt, think of it this way.
when you buy a car, most people use financing of some sort, some have down payments, some don't. some have longer repayment periods than others etc.
but in ALL cases the original price of the car was the same (usually, or at least fairly similar).
that price, is the minimum price that you could have left the dealership with the car paid off.
with the iPhone, while there are many different nominal price points you can pay, you won't have the phone paid off with just the $199, you will still have to pay the minimum line charges, so they NEED to be included in the price.
with a car purchase that doesn't happen so they don't include it in the price, but if they DID, you would do well to do so.
they could sell me the car for $1, but if I HAVE to pay a 30 thousand dollar financing charge, that is going to effect the outcome.
if your obligations to pay off the phone AREN'T satisfied by paying the $199, then you HAVEN'T actually paid for the phone yet, it really is that simple.
on the original iPhone there was a much higher down payment and a lower monthly charge, that was reversed for the 3G.
the fact that Apple SHARES the monthly revenue with AT&T should go even farther in showing that the phone and the monthly contract are inseparable.
it doesn't make it a bad deal, or a bad plan, or some evil agenda, it just means that saying you "bought" an iPhone for $199 isn't by any means accurate. and it is misleading at best for them to describe it as selling for "half price."
many have said that AT&T is just bringing the price of the plans in-line with their other plans, and that may be true to a degree, but the reason that the plan was lower for the first gen phone, was that everyone had to pay full price, so there was no need to add any subsidy charges onto the monthly bill, not that we were getting any sort of discount or anything.