Did you get fully subsidized iPhone 4 price even with AT&T contract 6+ months from completion?

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!In AT&T’s June 7, 2010 press release, AT&T Mobility’s CEO Ralph de la Vega, stated, “We know that people are eager to get iPhone 4, which is why we moved up the upgrade eligibility date for current iPhone customers by up to six months.”

Six months.

So, then why did we get fully subsidized pricing on our iPhone 4’s when we are Day One iPhone 3GS buyers (not to mention Day One iPhone and iPhone 3G buyers)?

We paid $299 for each of our iPhone 4 32GB models, yet we bought our iPhone 3GS models less than 12 months ago. And, last June 19th, we paid dearly for the privilege.

Was the $299 price we got during our iPhone 4 pre-orders a computer error? Will we be charged another $200 per unit on June 24th? Or did we get it because we paid the full (unsubsidized) price for our iPhone 3GS units last June?

Has anyone else pre-ordered iPhone 4 models at the fully-subsidized prices ($199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB models) who was also more than 6 months from the end of their 24-month AT&T Mobility contracts?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for proposing these questions.]


  1. Dial *new# from your iPhone. In may when I checked, my upgrade date was November of this year (I was also day one 3 GS). Since the announcement when I checked, it says I’m eligible for full subsidy. I was also able to preorder the 32gb for $299. Seems all good on my end.

  2. I was originally eligible on November 19 and I got a full upgrade. I pay $88 a month. The amazing thing though, is that my sister, who bought her 3gs in December of last year and only pays $80 a month, was eligible for a full upgrade. She has payed them just over $500, barely enough to cover the subsidation, let alone enough for bandwidth anD so they could even make a profit from her. Pretty good deal.

  3. Not us: I have a 3G and my wife has a 3Gs. I was able to get subsidized pricing on mine, naturally. However, my wife was listed as being eligible Feb. 2011 for her 3Gs. She called and was told the window is actually 22 months, but she is eligible for early upgrade pricing which splits the subsidized/full price difference meaning an extra $200 if she wants one. The 22-month number makes no sense as that would put her in April. I also read on an ATT FAQ that customers that pay $99 and more per line are eligible for 12-18 month upgrades: the more you pay the faster you can upgrade, which makes sense. We are on a family plan with her phone being the primary account. This technically makes my wife’s plan greater than $99 dollars so she should qualify. She has yet to check into that though; they probably have different rules for family plans ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> It may also be that the FAQ is out-of-date. The web site is pretty pathetic in terms of up-to-date information once you start drilling down deep.

    It appears as if the rules/answers change depending on who you talk to. Why am I not surprised?

  4. I’ve bought every new iPhone from 2007 iphone, iphone 3G, iphone 3GS, and now the iPhone 4 on the day it was released. Every time, ATT gave me the discounted subsidized price with a new 2 year contract extension. My wife who is on my family plan has done the same thing, but for some reason, it says that she can’t upgrade until January. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how ATT handles upgrades.

  5. Bought 2 3GS iPhones 1st day, but only 1 eligible now (family plan). Goes by how much you pay per month, how many months, your standing, etc.

    Bought 2 years AppleCare on each iPhone 3GS, don’t know if Apple will transfer 2nd year to iPhone4. Not that it’s possible to order one now …

    Just 1 iPhone4 sort of screws up the FaceTime bennie.

  6. I bought my 3GS for $150 from the refurbished section on at&t;’s website. All I did was wait a few months after it came out. Bought my kids the 3g for $50 ea refurbished too. They looked and smelled brand new, only difference was they were not in the fancy retail box, came with new cables and headphones. They have performed flawlessly. Apple refurbished gear is top notch, they make it like new.

    So I think I am going to wait awhile on iPhone 4, I paid full retail for the original when it came out, and vowed never again to do that..Now that the 3Gs is only $99, I think I will upgrade my kids though, but if I can find refurbs for $50 you bet I’m jumping on that.

    Explore your option people there are inexpensive ways to upgrade your kit..

  7. @rob nailed it. Luckily the first comment knew the answer. Even thought it is a 2 year contract, AT&T;makes you eligible for upgrade pricing after 18 months. This is to keep customers from even getting close to letting their contracts expire. They do this for all of their phones, not just smart phones and iPhones (smarter phones).

    So, yes, if you bought your 3GS in June 2009, you would normally be eligible for upgrade pricing of November 2010.

    Since AT&T;wants to lock in as many lucrative iPhone customers as possible before they lose the exclusive later this year, they bumped up all those upgrade dates.

    I have no problems with AT&T;’s coverage, or service, so this is great for me!

  8. I bought a 3G on day 1…but because I had changed phone numbers several times in the mean time my contract had been renewed and I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade until 6/9/2011. That was, until I went into the AT&T;store and pleaded my case that I hadn’t changed hardware in 2+ years, only phone numbers.

    They allowed me an early upgrade with no extra cost. Expecting my iPhone 4 on my doorstep June 24!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.