Posted in music | technology on June 9, 2008

iphone

Apple Inc. cut the price of its best-selling iPhone in half Monday - to $199 - making the all-in-one smart phone, media player and Internet device more accessible than before.

Apple also said it had increased the speed for the iPhone so that it runs on the latest 3G technology, shortening the time it takes to download a Web page and access the Internet. And for the first time, it will also incorporate GPS technology so that users can track where they are as they're traveling. [SF Gate]

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Comments (29)

So it is 'cheaper' but now requires a 2 year contract? If you're going to post about something like this, maybe a little perspective and not a blatant repost would be nice.

Posted by chris | June 9, 2008 9:27 PM

Ungrateful. He's sparking discussion.

Posted by Brian | June 9, 2008 9:33 PM

it always required a contract you idiot, as does every fucking phone

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2008 10:07 PM

that is actually a major price cut. you, anon 9:27, are an idiot.

this should seal the fate of the blackberry

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2008 10:15 PM

Should I get an iPhone? I'm afraid to leave Verizon.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2008 10:21 PM

Frankly, I am happy to see Apple lessening the divide between iPhone users and us 'normals' who have pined for an iPhone but always balked at the price. My verizon contract just expired, and thanks to George W Bush's stimulus check, I shall join the iPhone posse as soon as this new model comes out.

Thank you and good night.

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2008 10:28 PM

i too am very afraid to leave verizon. its an ugly world out there in att-tmobile land. someone please advise me

Posted by Anonymous | June 9, 2008 10:37 PM

Fucking Apple. I love you guys, but I'm sticking to Sprint, mainly because I get great service every fucking place I go. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is a great phone, great...thingamabob that does music/interweb...but it's not worth switching to AT&T.

I'll stick to getting an iPod touch.

Posted by madmang | June 9, 2008 11:56 PM

dude any service is better than sprint, get a clue

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 12:11 AM

You people have failed to notice that AT&T's two-year contract for the next-gen iPhone will cost $10 more a month for the data plan. If they require you to sign up for the data plan, over the term of the contract, it will more than wipe out the savings from the drop in the purchase price. (But you do get a more capable phone with faster data speeds.)

"it always required a contract you idiot, as does every fucking phone"

Not true: You can get many other phones (locked or unlocked) without a contract; you just have to pay a much higher, non-subsidized purchase price.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:10 AM

Look for unlocked iPhones from abroad to show up on eBay, etc. You'll be able to use an unlocked iPhone in the U.S. on other GSM carriers (namely T-Mobile) barring an shenanigans by Apple.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:16 AM

"You people have failed to notice that AT&T's two-year contract for the next-gen iPhone will cost $10 more a month for the data plan. If they require you to sign up for the data plan, over the term of the contract, it will more than wipe out the savings from the drop in the purchase price. (But you do get a more capable phone with faster data speeds.)

"it always required a contract you idiot, as does every fucking phone"

Not true: You can get many other phones (locked or unlocked) without a contract; you just have to pay a much higher, non-subsidized purchase price."

that was in response to your comment that they were hiding the price behind a contract, in which my response all phones do that, is true, yes you can buy phones without a contract, but then the price of the phone sky rockets. and the 10 increase in the plan is well worth g3 service, as well you are still making a killing compared to original original iphone buyers who spent 600.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:52 AM

if you try to get an iphone, but have bad credit, you're put on a month to month plan. no contract.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:16 AM

This update makes the first gen users jealous.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:30 AM

Eventually AT&T's exclusive provider contract will expire and you will be able to use the iPhone with Verizon. This will be much gooder. I can wait on this.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:55 AM

much gooder? wow

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:59 AM

sure, you'll be able to USE it on verizon, but since verizon isn't 3G yet, who gives a shit?

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 10:04 AM

that post was the much goodest

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 10:05 AM

Honestly, I'm waiting for an Android phone. Who wants a locked device? No thanks.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 10:26 AM

dont you get the feeling whenever someone pulls out that iphone on the subway, some dudes right away look at that person like they want to jack it?

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 10:31 AM

how long is apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T?

also, no i'm not worried about getting jacked in the subway. sixteen in the clip, and one in the hole, james snuka's about to make some bodies turn cold

Posted by James Snuka | June 10, 2008 10:38 AM

even without an exclusive agreement, this phone cane never be on verizon in it's current iteration, as it's simply not compatible. The iPhone is only compatible with other GSM networks, like ATT and tmobile (networks that use SIM cards), whereas verizon's network is a CDMA carrier.

unless apple starts making a CDMA iphone, it will never be compatible with verizon.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 10:55 AM

Let's give Verizon some credit here...I'm sure this is something they've considered. They're gooder than AT&T.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 11:00 AM

you guys are a bunch of nerds. just feel lucky black lips dont pee on you.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 11:06 AM

I will lay my balls on the black lips

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2008 11:20 AM

"that was in response to your comment that they were hiding the price behind a contract..."

That wasn't MY comment; my first comment on this post was the one you quoted.

"if you try to get an iphone, but have bad credit, you're put on a month to month plan. no contract."

Maybe that was true with the first-generation model (which they stopped shipping weeks ago) since its price wasn't subsidized. I can't see that happening with the new model.

"...verizon isn't 3G yet..."

Yeah it is, just not the same 3G technology that GSM uses. (T-Mobile, on the other hand, just started rolling out its 3G service, starting with NYC.)

"how long is apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T?"

I read that it expires in 2010.

Posted by Anon. 6:10 8:52 AM | June 11, 2008 12:33 AM

Here's an interesting article I just read on Yahoo! News. I've added some comments to it, in brackets.

New iPhone's business model is tough on unlockers
By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer
Tue Jun 10, 5:22 PM ET

NEW YORK - The new iPhone and the way it will be sold look set to shut down a small industry that arose to make the first version of the iconic phone available around the world.

The original iPhone, which launched in June last year, was initially available only in the U.S. and only for use on AT&T Inc.'s network. In little more than a month, however, enterprising hackers found a way to "unlock" the phone to make it usable on other networks, including networks in other countries.

[Every time Apple updated the iPhone's firmware, though, owners of unlocked iPhones had to wait for the hacker community to release an update before they downloaded Apple's update, else they risked ruining their unlocked iPhones. The next iPhone firmware update, 2.0, is due in early July.]

IPhones soon flowed out of the U.S., and analysts have estimated that one-third to one-half of the phones sold never made it onto AT&T's network.

"I saw it in action and I had to have one," said Ernesto Zeivy, a 50-year-old restaurant owner in Mexico City. He had one friend buy an iPhone for him in San Diego for $500 and another unlock it using software downloaded from the Internet.

Apple announced a new iPhone Monday for use on 3G, or third-generation, data networks. It will stem the flow of unlocked phones in two ways.

First, the phone will be sold in more countries. Apple added five countries beyond the U.S. for the first phone, but the second one will go on sale in 22 countries on July 11. Apple has said it will add more countries at a rapid clip and reach 70 by the end of the year. That takes away one of main incentives for unlocking.

Second, Apple is abandoning the unusual arrangement under which the iPhone was being sold. Customers could buy them from a carrier or from Apple without activating them on a service plan, and that meant customers could go home and unlock the phones — and never sign up with AT&T.

"Anyone can unlock it without paying anyone anything," said Blas Caballero, another iPhone user in Mexico. "It's so easy. A minute-and-a-half, and all you have to do is push a button," said the 32-year-old Argentine, who owns a bar in Mexico City. He bought his iPhone in New York.

[He doesn't mention the problem of the firmware updates, though.]

The new phone will be subsidized by carriers, which accounts for its lower price: $199 for the 8-gigabyte model, down from $399. This brings the phone's marketing in line with standard industry practices. [It will actually be free in the UK with select service contracts.]

The carriers plan to make back what they spend on the subsidy through service fees, which means they likely will require two-year service contracts from everyone who buys the phone. AT&T said buyers will have to activate service before leaving the store with an iPhone.

"It's looking pretty bleak for unlockers," said John McLaughlin, founder of Uniquephones.com, a New York-based company that sells unlock codes for cell phones. After being warned away by AT&T's lawyers, it doesn't help unlock iPhones. Unlocking software is available free online.

Apple tried to secure the device technically with its software updates, but couldn't [at least, not for long]. It's the requirement that buyers of the new phone sign up for service in the store that will be hard to get around, McLaughlin said.

Freeit4less, a company based in Syracuse, Utah, has posted prices on its Web site for unlocked 3G phones at $100 above store prices, but chief executive Kyle Jourdan said the company is not accepting any pre-orders given uncertainty surrounding the activation requirement.

"We're just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best," Jourdan wrote in an e-mail. He speculated that Apple or AT&T may sell unsubsidized phones, which would leave an opening for his company. Freeit4less has sold about 121 unlocked first-generation iPhones and 5,104 licenses for unlocking software, Jourdan said.

Federal law allows consumers to unlock their own phones. But selling someone the means to unlock a phone and unlock another person's phone may be illegal. At least one U.S. carrier has won civil cases, not involving iPhones, against unlocking businesses.

AT&T charges customers who break a two-year contract within the first month a $175 early termination fee plus the $36 activation fee. [These amounts may be different for the iPhone 3G contract.] That would bring the cost of the new iPhone to $411 for an unlocker, just slightly more than the old model's $399 price.

That math may mean it is still attractive to unlock iPhones for use on other networks and that AT&T will lose money on unlockers. Analysts estimate AT&T plans to subsidize the phones by more than $200 each.

But Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T Mobility, said Monday that it and Apple are working on "penalties" for users who buy phones and don't activate them within 30 days. AT&T could, for instance, bar buyers who repeatedly buy iPhones and break the contracts from buying more.

One major incentive for unlocking remains, especially for Europeans. Those who travel to other countries with unlocked phones can use local prepaid service plans rather than paying exorbitant international roaming fees to their home carriers. [In some European countries, you could buy an officially unlocked first-generation iPhone, albeit at a higher price.]

Uniquephones.com helps unlock 10,000 British cell phones of all kinds every day, McLaughlin said, with travelers being a core customer group.

Posted by Anon. 6/10 8:52 AM | June 11, 2008 1:15 AM

2 years later, it has only been halved again - still $100 for a new iphone (with a few added features of course).

Posted by Data Recovery Services | August 9, 2010 1:59 PM

$100 for a new iPhone? That certainly has to be when you purchase it together with a 2+ year plan? I know a lot of people swear by the iPhone but I just can't justify the price. Of course if you buy it with a plan you might not notice the high cost, but it's there for sure. Where I live I think you'll pay at least $900 when all is said and done. Expensive!

Posted by Mixer | January 30, 2011 10:19 AM

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