AT&T stores now offering early upgrade pricing on iPhone 3G

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In the latest move aimed at helping Apple clear inventory of iPhone 3Gs ahead of new models anticipated this spring, AT&T retail stores are now offering some customers early upgrades to the Apple handset at subsidized pricing.



The silent offer, which began this week, is being extended to customers on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the carrier would only offer non-iPhone customers the option to upgrade from their non-Apple phone to an iPhone 3G at the $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) subsidized price points after their 24-month contract had run its course.



However, AT&T representatives have confirmed to AppleInsider that as of this week the company is waiving the upgrade clause for customers who are approximately 14 months into their two-year contract.



The waiver isn't bound to strict terms, however, meaning that retail employees are free to grant upgrade pricing for customers who may not be quite as far into their 2-year contract, but that determination is to be made by the employee after accessing and reviewing the customer's account history. Other factors like long-term loyalty to AT&T may play into the decisions.



The move follows similar initiatives by both Apple and AT&T to rid their stores of lingering iPhone 3G inventory. Both companies on Thursday began offering the handset at a "no commit" price of $599 for the 8GB version or $699 for the 16GB model.



AT&T is extending the offer only to existing subscribers and is limiting sales to just one iPhone. Apple, however, is willing to sell the phones to anyone who walks into its stores and isn't limiting the number they can purchase.



Apple is widely expected to unveil new iPhone models at its June Worldwide Developers Conference.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Just don't give us early upgrade options FROM a 3G to a NEW iPhone. Please. It will tempt me far too much...
  • Reply 2 of 30
    Tick Tock, Tick Tock...
  • Reply 3 of 30
    Actually, this has been going on for some months now, at least in some markets. My current 2 year family plan doesn't renew until around June, but my primary line has been eligible since last November and the 3 other lines since mid February according to the in store rep I normally deal with at my local ATT store. We've been holding off to see what, if anything, is intro'ed in June before we trade up our 2 Blackberries and 1 Motorazor to new iPhones.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Haven't us original iPhone owners been able to upgrade to the iPhone 3G at any time for the low price since we will be shelling out an additional $15 per month for the same service we are getting now?
  • Reply 5 of 30
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,031member
    It's funny reading how the AT&T is only now offering an upgrade option, in the UK I upgraded my original iPhone which was only 5 months into it's contract for the new iPhone 3G, all they did was reset my 18 month contract, the contract also remained at the same price where a friend of mine in the US had to pay more for his 3G contract than the previous iPhone model, it does seem that American networks get their customers to walk in pull down their pants and prepare for penetration!
  • Reply 6 of 30
    I received this message when going online to buy a new phone. I am an AT&T premier member.



    Just thought this was odd...



  • Reply 7 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Haven't us original iPhone owners been able to upgrade to the iPhone 3G at any time for the low price since we will be shelling out an additional $15 per month for the same service we are getting now?



    The first iPhone wasn't subsidized, it was profit sharing. I imagine that both Apple and AT&T will want to get users on the newest iPhone, so I think that AT&T will allow iPhone 3G users the option after one year of use, below the current 14 month policy. After all, they are getting a mandatory data fee with each iPhone contract so they are more valuable than there other phones as a whole.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,178member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Haven't us original iPhone owners been able to upgrade to the iPhone 3G at any time for the low price since we will be shelling out an additional $15 per month for the same service we are getting now?



    the cost of service wasn't the issue. it was that you didn't get a subsidized price but had to sign the two year contract the first time. it wasn't fair and they knew there would be complaints so they just make all iphone lines instantly upgradable at the discount.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    It's funny reading how the AT&T is only now offering an upgrade option,



    there has always been an upgrade option. all they are doing is adjusting when. Originally the discount pricing upgrades would be when you were at the end of your contract. but then some folks would be at risk of just changing services since by law you, not the cell company, owns the phone number so you can switch companies as much as you want. so if you were only a couple of months away they would offer you the 'favor' of a discounted upgrade so you wouldn't run off. that's all this is again.



    and in fact it makes a lot of sense. by law, they have to pro rate your ETF each month you finish on your contract. so after 14 or so months you are down to $100 or less. but if they get you to sign a new contract you are back up to $175.



    as for the no contract thing. has anyone actually tried to go into an Apple store and buy one, much less as many as you wanted. there is nothing about it on their site, as one would think if you could go back to buying it and activating it at home.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    the cost of service wasn't the issue. it was that you didn't get a subsidized price but had to sign the two year contract the first time. it wasn't fair and they knew there would be complaints so they just make all iphone lines instantly upgradable at the discount.



    There was nothing unfair about it. You weren't required to sign a contract at time of purchase but you also weren't paying full price had there not been an expected carrier service with the handset.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    eljefeeljefe Posts: 1member
    Just visited an AT&T store. My contract expires in August. Was told that the price for me was $399 for the 8GB. When I showed them the article they said it didn't matter. Called AT&T premier and was told that $399 was the discounted full price of $599. I even talked to a manager. My account on the website said the same thing as the post above.



    Discount my butt. Guess I will be waiting for the new iphone and once other companies have the iphone AT&T will be losing my business.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Seems kind of early to be talking of clearing inventory. Normally it's a few weeks before an update.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    Seems kind of early to be talking of clearing inventory. Normally it's a few weeks before an update.



    I think that depends on how much inventory you have to move. This may just be the first stage in a complex effort to get as much money from the old and busted iPhone 3G before the new hotness iPhone 3G arrives.



    It would be nice if they dropped the price for those that care more about a deal than getting the latest HW tech, but that adds an issue with trying the next generation's replacement at a higher price.



    Apple may also want to reduce the numbers to ziltch like they did last year. Although I don't think Apple intended for their product to have gone dry so quickly. But you can't deny that the buzz from the lack of iPhones was huge. I know I sold my iPhone for more than I bought it for. Perhaps they are trying to create that frenzy again for the next iPhone's release. Id est, starve the masses until a stale cracker seems like a feast.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElJefe View Post


    Just visited an AT&T store. My contract expires in August. Was told that the price for me was $399 for the 8GB. When I showed them the article they said it didn't matter. Called AT&T premier and was told that $399 was the discounted full price of $599. I even talked to a manager. My account on the website said the same thing as the post above.



    Discount my butt. Guess I will be waiting for the new iphone and once other companies have the iphone AT&T will be losing my business.



    A friend of mine did the exact same thing with the exact same result, even though her contract expires in only a couple of months. Is there any truth to this article?
  • Reply 14 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kobe24mvp View Post


    A friend of mine did the exact same thing with the exact same result, even though her contract expires in only a couple of months. Is there any truth to this article?



    The article may be truthful, but the info could have been from a higher source in corporate or only be active in a few retail divisions at this point. I have no idea what the truth is, but I do know that retail is the last to know about such changes.



    If she has only a couple of months I guarantee he can get an iPhone 3G now with a new contract at the reduced rate. Especially if he wants to close out his account to go to another carrier. Regardless, I think she should wait until the next iPhone comes out in a few months. I think the HW update will be well worth the wait.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Just tried to upgrade my girlfriend to a 3G Iphone. AT&T rep said she wasn't eligible for an upgrade until September. I even mentioned this article and he stated that there was some misinformation put out about the upgrade pricing. I'm going to try another store. That particular store has never seemed real interested in selling Iphones.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G-macman View Post


    Just tried to upgrade my girlfriend to a 3G Iphone. AT&T rep said she wasn't eligible for an upgrade until September. I even mentioned this article and he stated that there was some misinformation put out about the upgrade pricing. I'm going to try another store. That particular store has never seemed real interested in selling Iphones.



    I just spoke to an AT&T CSR for 15 minutes trying to get a definitive answer. The CSR had not heard of that offer but had noticed an increasing number of accounts still in contract that were unusually noted as "upgrade eligible". He agreed that the date seemed to be after about 14 months of service.



    With me on the phone he tried to get a conclusive answer but all he could get were other people noticing the same thing and some hearing, unofficially, about this upgrade option. He thinks the rumor may be indeed be true but has leaked from a higher source and may be made known to the retail and other customer service employees on Monday.



    I recommend calling 611 over visiting a retail store.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    *baleeted*
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Actually at&t has been offering early upgrades since the beginning it is just not a fully discounted price. The price has been 399 and 499 just like the original iphone price, which is still a discount compared to apple non contract price. This is not new, customers have also not had to wait until the end of their contract either usually customers think that there upgrade date is the end of their contract but this is not usually the case. most accounts become able to upgrade at 16-18 months, depending on the amount of money you spend monthly you could be able to upgrade as early as a year. Unfortunately the information in this article is not correct entirely.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    I just wanted to say that I've had no luck in the stores, on the sales line, or on the internet chat (which seems to be quite worthless.)



    I'm a bit frustrated because my upgrade eligibility date isn't until June 24th. By then, I'm sure we'll have seen a new iPhone. The problem is, I'd like an iPhone now- and I don't feel like paying $399. Apparently they're all out of refurbs for existing customers too @ $199. Grr.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JSchultz View Post


    I just wanted to say that I've had no luck in the stores, on the sales line, or on the internet chat (which seems to be quite worthless.)



    I'm a bit frustrated because my upgrade eligibility date isn't until June 24th. By then, I'm sure we'll have seen a new iPhone. The problem is, I'd like an iPhone now- and I don't feel like paying $399. Apparently they're all out of refurbs for existing customers too @ $199. Grr.



    1) You'll need to define "no luck".



    2) If by eligibility you mean that your 24 month month contract is up June 24th, that is less than 3 months, which means that you are 21 months into your contract. I know, for a fact, you can get them to allow you get a new handset at the eligible price, providing you have not been late with your payments in the past.



    3) At this point I'd just wait for the new device. It'll have plenty of new HW --and perhaps double the capacity-- for the price you are willing to pay today. If you can't wait 3 months are really going to be happy with the current iPhone when the new one comes out shortly?
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