iPhone 3G S: Were you able to upgrade?

AT&T promised to throw early adopters a bone with the 3G S. Were you one of the lucky ones?

The iPhone 3G S launch is well under way, and AT&T made a big deal this week with a capitulation to iPhone customers under contract (click the link for the CNET story). It promised that some 3G customers who would normally be upgrade-eligible later this summer (June, July, August) will finally be able to get their 3G S now for the new-contract prices of $99, $199, and $299.

It was a nice promise, but were you able to take advantage of it? I ask because I bought my 3G last August 31, and I pay more than $99 a month on my bill--a prerequisite according to AT&T's news update. However, after half an hour spent on the phone with customer service managers, I discovered that what I had been told on AT&T's Web site and via text message was still true: I don't qualify until 1/31/10, which is more than halfway toward the release of the next iPhone after this one.

Moreover, AT&T wouldn't specify what, exactly, determines whether a customer gets a 12-month or 18-month upgrade window. Even their official message remains gray on the matter. To make matters even more inexplicable, the manager said it was "Apple's decision," and that I needed to spend more than $99 a month just on my voice plan, not including data (required with every iPhone contract) and texting. On the other hand, our editor in chief, Scott Ard, told me he was successful, and that he was a 3G owner who had been eligible late July. What was the magic powder that sealed the deal? He's been with AT&T longer than I have, which may have helped.

Sound off: did you get an upgrade? Were you denied? Was it a pain to do, or remarkably easy? Let us know. At the least, I can feel sympathy in numbers (and wonder why I'm so excited about spending so much for a faster chip, a video camera, and a compass). For more on my AT&T rant, check out this week's Digital City podcast when it goes live.

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