Apple yesterday took a serious step towards increasing the iPhone’s market share when it announced that the current 8GB iPhone 3G would now be available for $99. The caveat is that that price only applies to new AT&T customers and AT&T customers nearing the end of their contract. For everyone else who bought an iPhone 3G a year ago, the cost to upgrade to the 16GB iPhone 3G S is $399 while the cost to upgrade to the 32GB model is $499. With no contract, the phones run at $599 and $699 respectively. So there is a discount for current iPhone 3G owners, it just isn’t as significant.
In response, a number of iPhone 3G owners have been bitching about AT&T, arguing that they don’t give a shit about their most loyal iPhone customers. While I hate AT&T as much as the next guy, anyone bitching about the upgrade cost to the new iPhone 3G S really has no legs to stand on. Here’s why.
Harry McCracken over at Technologizer hits the nail on the head, explaining that current iPhone 3G owners have already received a subsidized phone for a 2 year period of time. If they were allowed to upgrade for $199, they’d be receiving 2 subsidized phones for a 3 year period instead of 4.
You agreed to fulfill a two-year contract with AT&T in return for the discount you got last year. AT&T is willing to renegotiate it and give you a proportionate discount on a 3G in return for another year of commitment. Explain to me again what’s offensive about that?
Equally as annoying as AT&T’s lackluster service and customer support is the entitlement culture that’s so pervasive in the tech world these days. “You mean I have to actually pay for software?!” Remember when Apple drastically reduced on the original iPhone and people started bitching? Gimme a break. If you bought an iPhone for $599, then you obviously thought it was worthy of a $599 investment at the time. Sure it sucks to see your neighbor pick one up for a lot cheaper just a few months later, but hey, that’s the tech world. It’s amazing that people are so brazen as to actually complain about a company lowering prices. One crazed woman even sued Apple for lowering the price on the original iPhone.
Sure, it sucks to be me and pay almost-full price for the iPhone 3GS, but that’s how life is. You don’t get a reduced price on your new notebook just because you bought the old model a year ago. You don’t get reduced price on cars, or anything else.
Besides, do you really want to sign up with AT&T for another 2 years when the iPhone might be hitting Verizon next year?