A $99 iPhone? It's already here
If the rumored $99 iPhone 3G doesn't materialize next week, don't worry: You can get a refurbished model for exactly that price--right now. A shorter warranty is the only negative.
At next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, we should find out if theare true.
Of course, savvy shoppers know that it's already possible to buy an iPhone for $99: For several months, AT&T has offered refurbished 8GB models for that tempting price.
(More recently, the company dropped the price of refurbished 16GB iPhones to $149, but at the moment those are out of stock.)
Obviously it makes sense to wait a few days and see what develops at the conference. After all, if you can buy a new iPhone 3G for $99, why go with a refurb? On the other hand, if the rumors don't pan out, you stand to save $100 (or $150 if you choose the 16GB model).
What's more, the only real downside to buying a refurbished iPhone is the warranty: 90 days instead of 12 months. That's probably a deal-breaker for some, but at least you can add an extended warranty and still come out ahead.
Personally, it's not the price of the hardware that bothers me: It's the $70 minimum monthly service charges. Forget the $99 iPhone--I want a service plan that's under $50. Somehow, I doubt very much we'll hear that kind of announcement on Monday. Sigh.