With the announcement of the iPhone 3G has come some confusion over who qualifies for an upgrade. This time around the phones are being subsidized by AT&T which means they have control over who gets upgraded pricing and who doesn’t. Some current 2G iPhone owners have been confused thinking that they won’t be able to get the phones priced at $199 and $299. Thankfully an internal memo to AT&T employees explains the upgrade process and who qualifies. Assuming this is a legitimate memo, here are the answers to your upgrade questions.
I own a 2G iPhone, will I be eligible for the $199 and $299 pricing for the iPhone 3G?
The short answer is yes (big sign of relief). The long answer, from the memo says: “When the 3G device launches, all active postpaid customers in good standing with a 2G iPhone will be eligible to receive the qualified upgrade pricing for a 3G device regardless of service tenure. Customers that would not otherwise be eligible due to tenure will be made eligible at launch.
Just keep in mind that you will have to re-sign a 2-year contract and you’ll also be forced to change your current plan to one that includes the increased price for faster 3G speeds.
I’m an AT&T subscriber but I don’t have a 2G iPhone. Will I be able to get the iPhone 3G for upgrade pricing?
The short answer is maybe. The long answer is that it will depend on when it was that you signed your contract, and possibly when (or if) it was that you upgraded to your current phone. AT&T hasn’t outlined the specifics here yet, and they haven’t said what the non-upgrade pricing will be. Our guess is that it will be about $100 more for each model.
What if I sign-up for AT&T and get an iPhone 3G when it launches and I don’t like it. Can I return it?
Certainly you can return it and cancel your service, just as long as it’s within 30 days from when you bought it in the first place. Some people thought this might be the way that they’d be able to purchase phones to unlock and re-sell, but as it turns out, it won’t be. If you take advantage of their return policy, the customer will have to return the device within the 30 day time period after initially buying it.
So what am I to do if I want an unlocked phone?
The only way we can see that you’ll be able to get an unlocked phone is to go into AT&T and purchase the phone, sign-up for a 2-year contract, and then cancel the service and pay the early termination fee of $175. This would mean you could get a phone for about $375 and then unlock it or do whatever you choose to do with it, assuming the software will be available right away to do so.