“AT&T may have dropped hints about Apple’s plan for the iPhone this summer, based on a report in Fortune. If you buy a next-generation, 3G-capable iPhone with a two-year AT&T Wireless contract, AT&T will take $200 off the sticker price,” Anders Bylund writes for The Motley Fool.
“If Fortune’s sources turn out to be right, it’s a rather audacious grab for market share from old Ma Bell. The discount would not apply if you bought the phone at an Apple store, so the telecom would effectively steal some retail sales from the very partner that supplies the hot product in the first place,” Bylund writes.
“Now, the current iPhone already sells out about as fast as Apple’s manufacturing partners can make ’em. We’ve even seen outright shortages… which tells me that AT&T shouldn’t need to lower prices at all,” Bylund writes.
“Unless, of course, the next iteration would be sold through multiple carriers,” Bylund writes.
Full article here.
Nobody outside of Apple and AT&T (and their lawyers) know for sure what their U.S. iPhone agreement stipulates. Imagine if it only really covered the first year and/or the first-generation iPhone (multi-year deal, but for the original iPhone only). Then, with the debut of the next-gen iPhone, it would make perfect sense for AT&T to want to begin subsidizing it. But, what would preclude others (Verizon, etc.) from doing the same (or better) subsidies?