The hidden cost of an iPhone 3GS

June 8, 2009 in Technology

Apple's new iPhone 3GS is can be pre-ordered for just $199... unless you already have an iPhone.

That's right, current iPhone users are not eligible for the subsidized price, and will have to shell out $600 for for the 16GB model, as disclosed in the footnotes of the pre-order page.

AT&T is apparently telling some users that they qualify for a special upgrade price of $400, though I haven't received my notice yet.

It continues to be very interesting to observe the partnership of Apple and AT&T, two drastically different companies. It's almost as if AT&T doesn't realize how lucky they are to have the iPhone on their network. No MMS until late summer? No tethering at launch? There is absolutely no excuse, especially since users of the Safari 3.0 beta were sending MMS's just fine. But price-gouging the very people who have rabidly bought every previous iPhone? That's just cruel.

Or brilliant.

How many companies would love to charge more to the very people who want their product the most? Unfortunately, it doesn't engender much in the way of customer loyalty. We'll see how many Apple fanboys (and girls) snap up the new 3Gs at the unsubsidized price.

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