AT&T Extends Eligibility for iPhone 4 Buyers
As an incentive to get current iPhone owners to upgrade to the new iPhone 4 announced today, AT&T has modified its upgrade eligibility policy.
In his keynote address, after announcing the iPhone 4 , Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained that AT&T was rolling back eligibility dates for its customers so they could get the iPhone 4 sooner.
"AT&T is going to make an incredibly generous upgrade offer. If your contract expires at any time in 2010, you can upgrade to the iPhone 4 [at launch]. You can get it up to six months early," Jobs said.
"We know that people are eager to get iPhone 4, which is why we moved up the upgrade eligibility date for current iPhone customers by up to six months. This move, combined with the new wireless data plans we announced last week, will make it more affordable for more people to purchase an iPhone and enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, in a statement.
This move benefits AT&T and iPhone users alike. Customers can get the latest iPhone sooner, and it allows AT&T to lock customers into another contract. With increasing unrest about the AT&T network performance, getting customers to sign up for another contract instead of switching networks when their contracts expire is an important move for AT&T.
The iPhone 4 will go on sale June 14 with pre-orders starting June 15. For new or "Upgrade Eligible" customers the 16GB iPhone 4 will go for $199 on contract and $299 on contract for the 32GB version, plus an $18 upgrade fee. However, for those exercising their early upgrade option (those whose contracts expire sometime in 2010, as mentioned), the price goes up to $399 for a 16GB iPhone 4 and $499 for the 32GB iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS 8GB will be discounted to $99 on June 24 as well, or for $299 for early upgraders.
iPhone owners who are unclear about their upgrade eligibility status can text "*639#" on their iPhones to receive a text message from AT&T.