AT&T talks iPhone 3G pricing

Some, but not all, Ma Bell customers will be able to buy the latest iteration of the iPhone starting bright and early July 11 at the new, lower prices.

Update at 10:52 a.m. PDT: Information about monthly text messaging added

AT&T reaffirmed pricing for the iPhone 3G on Tuesday, noting that eligible customers can snag the new smartphone for a discount: $199 with an 8GB flash drive and $299 for 16GB.

AT&T will begin offering Apple's iPhone 3G at its retail stores beginning July 11 at 8 a.m. local time. AT&T is the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S.

Under the plan, the discounted price will be available to customers who have purchased any iPhone before July 11, who are activating a new customer line with AT&T, or who were eligible for an upgrade discount at the time of purchase. (Eligibility for an upgrade discount, the carrier said, is generally determined by amount of time remaining on a current contract and the payment history.)

To be eligible, customers must also sign a two-year contract. Apple had revealed the $199 and $299 pricing for the iPhone 3G at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Those who are not eligible for an upgrade discount can buy the iPhone 3G for $399 for the 8GB model or $499 for the 16GB version. Both require a two-year contract as well.

Customers who purchase the phone without a contract will pay $599 for the 8GB version or $699 for the 16GB model.

The phones will come with the iPhone 2.0 software preloaded on the devices, which includes such business-class e-mail through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and the iPhone Software Development Kit for creating customized applications. AT&T will also offer its Yellowpages.com Mobile for iPhone on the devices.

There will be an activation fee of either $18 for existing customers eligible for an upgrade, or $36 for new customers.

AT&T is requiring customers to activate their phones in the stores, as the carrier looks to reduce the number of customers who may try to unlock, or hack, the phones to run on other carriers' networks.

AT&T is launching four voice and unlimited data plans for the iPhone 3G.

The AT&T Nation Unlimited plan will include unlimited anytime minutes for $129.99 a month, while the AT&T Nation 450 plan includes 450 anytime minutes and 5,000 night and weekend minutes for $69.99 a month.

The carrier is also offering its Nation 1350 plan, which includes 1,350 anytime minutes for $109.99 a month, and Nation 900 plan that includes 900 anytime minutes for $89.99 per month. Both of these plans include unlimited night and weekend minutes.

And for folks who engage in tons of text messaging, AT&T is charging $5 for every 200 text messages; $15 for every 1,500 messages; and $20 for unlimited text messages.

For more details on the device, see Crave's iPhone 3G FAQ .

 

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