Despite being over two years old, the iPhone 3GS was the second most popular smartphone during the third quarter of 2011. And now with the release of the iPhone 4S, the already-popular iPhone 3GS has been positioned to become even more popular with Apple making the device free with a 2-year contract from AT&T.
Well, that’s what the deal used to be.
It turns out that those greedy bastards at AT&T raised the price of the iPhone 3GS to $0.99. Don’t worry, I’m already mobilizing a serious class action lawsuit.
But in all seriousness, it’s a curious move without a clear-cut explanation. To this end, one MacRumors reader who claims to work at AT&T chimed in with this:
“I work at AT&T, this is being done to help prevent fraud as the 99 cents cannot be billed to your bill. It must be charged to a credit or bank issued debt card. Fraudsters are using stolen identities to steal these handsets … been an issue since they went free. ”
Perhaps that’s indeed the case, and while we don’t know for sure, that explanation makes a helluva lot more sense than various marketing and legal theories we’ve seen floating around.