Bitching about the iPhone 3G S upgrade in today’s entitlement culture

Tue, Jun 9, 2009


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.

McCracken writes:

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.

Gizmodo writes:

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?



5 Comments For This Post

  1. oakertood Says:

    Thank you for saying/writing what I was thinking. It’s disappointing to see so many complaints like those to which you referred.

  2. robinson Says:

    The complainers have a point, though. Really depends on how much the subsidy was, right?

    And AT&T is only shooting itself in the foot as many now won’t upgrade! I’ll bet, though, that in a few months the upgrade cost will be less!

    Of course, complaining about $200 when one is spending $1700 over a 2-year contract period is pretty silly. I still don’t understand how anyone affords these things– or is willing to spend over $2,000 just for a cell phone toy! Especially one that will be obsolete in another year!

  3. Mart Says:

    Yeah except I never wanted the damn subsidy in the first place… buying the original iPhone like an iPod and activating at home however you wanted was great and worth paying the up-front real cost of the phone many times over, just so I didn’t have to tether my life to corrupt, deceptive creeps… Argue about the merits of subsidies tied to contracts if you want, but when there is NO WAY to buy a device without the subsidy, something stinks my friends.

    Mobile network operators are a price-fixing extortionist cartel. This is not entitlement, this is exploitation and it stinks.

  4. Mitchel Says:

    Called AT&T twice and I’m not even eligible for the early upgrade of $399 for the 16 gig 3Gs, till February 2010. I purchased my 3G September of 2008. I worked my way up two levels at AT&T and they won’t budge…$599 for me (full retail). Entitlement my a**…this just sucks. Consider yourself lucky if your even able to upgrade for $399.

  5. Joe Says:

    What about those of us who bought the iPhone 3G only a few months ago and didn’t get the reduced price the first time around? It sucks knowing that I paid for the 32GB iPhone in March and got a 16GB one instead. Shouldn’t there be some grace period for those of us who just recently bought the 3G iPhone? Or maybe not, since it is just a business and Apple doesn’t care about their customers loyalty. Makes me rethink of what I thought Apple’s customer service stands for. Hey maybe Apple can bring out a new iPhone ever month to screw their customers even more and make everyone pay the full price each and every month….. It’s just business right?? Apple and the iPhone just lost a fan. I had nothing but good things to say about Apple, and all my computers are macs until now. Back to PCs I go, and a regular phone without the iPhone BS. Good going Apple!!! Keep up the good work you are doing. They must be listening to AT&T on advice on how to treat their customers, because it’s a familiar tune.

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