We have got to hand it to AT&T, as they’ve continued to impress us during this iPhone 3G S pre-launch period. Remember when we told you that iPhone 3G owners would pay a premium for iPhone 3G S at launch? Well there was a backlash on Twitter, Facebook, and just about every other social network you can think of, with iPhone 3G owners demanding that AT&T rethink their upgrade policy for these early adopters. It meant a difference of $200.
Of course, we figured that AT&T would ignore all of this, as iPhone 3G owners are under a contract that they agreed to, and AT&T wasn’t doing anything but making them live up to those contract terms. However, AT&T has pretty much done the unthinkable, and is allowing iPhone 3G customer who are eligible for an early upgrade in July, August, or September to get the best pricing on the iPhone 3G S. In other words, if you bought an iPhone 3G last July, August, or September, you can pick up an iPhone 3G S for the $199/299 pricing model, rather than the $399/499 price that you are supposed to be paying.
Read More | AT&T
If you’re an AT&T customer wanting to get the low-down on the iPhone 3GS launch plans, Seth Bloom of AT&T has put up the video above to help you out. Seth goes into pricing (although he doesn’t explain some of the gross iPhone 3GS pricing discrepancies), and how the $199/299 price points are only for “new and qualifying” customers. He also says that on launch day, June 19, two lines will form at AT&T Stores. One for those who have pre-ordered the device, and another for those who need to make a purchase. Pre-orders get picked up at 7 AM, which regular purchasers will need to wait until the store opens at normal business hours. Last, the current iPhone 3G is now available for $99 for the 8GB model, and the 16GB model is now selling for $149, while supplies last.
Amidst all the iPhone 3GS hype, there is some bad news today as well for owners of the current iPhone 3G who may want to upgrade. As it turns out, those $199/299 prices being thrown around aren’t for you. Those are for new customers, and those who are at the end of their contract. If you are a current iPhone 3G owner on AT&T, you’ll have to shell out $399 for a 16GB iPhone 3GS, or $499 for a 32GB model. Ever have your iPhone 3G replaced because it was faulty? You may be in for an even bigger shock. As you can see in the image above, there are two iPhones that AT&T is giving the upgrade status on. The thing is, both phones were purchased on the same day, and are on the same plan (I should know, as it is my account up there.) See how the upgrade dates are different? Straight up ridiculous.
Oh, and if you are just completely not eligible for an upgrade, or want to buy an iPhone 3GS with no contract commitments? The 16GB model will cost you $599, and the 32GB iPhone 3GS will run you a cool $699. I know, it hurts.
If you have yet to purchase an iPhone 3G, you now have another way of buying it, as Apple is now offering direct online purchase of the phone. Something that hasn’t been seen since the original iPhone, online purchasing is back in effect on the Apple website. AT&T has actually been selling the iPhone 3G on their site for about five months now. If you are a new subscriber, you activate service online and the phone is sent to you. Current AT&T customer will have to go and pick up the iPhone 3G at an Apple Store.
This is obviously just another way that Apple is trying to clear out all that iPhone 3G inventory in preparation of the next model.
Read More | iPhone
We are giving away a Pantech Matrix Pro, along with a $100 AT&T gift card that you can use to set up service, play your current AT&T bill, or apply towards the purchase of anything at an AT&T Store. This contest is courtesy of AT&T, so big ups to them. If you want a closer look at the phone, take a look at our Pantech Matrix Pro gallery.
Here’s how to enter to win:
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Gear Live account
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Twitter account
- Add the Gear Live Twitter account to your follow list
- On Twitter, post a tweet about our contest and link to this page. In the tweet, include the phrase “@gearlive” so we can easily find it.
- Once that is done, leave a comment here in this post with a direct link back to your Tweet. Be sure you are signed in to your Gear Live account before you leave the comment.
Here’s an example of an appropriate Twitter entry:
“@gearlive I just entered to win the Pantech Matrix Pro and $100 AT&T gift card! http://bit.ly/O04Rl/” (Click here to tweet this now)
BONUS ENTRIES: Want more chances to win? Share the link to our contests on the following sites, and leave us a comment linking to those as well:
- Facebook: Shared Link
- Del.icio.us bookmark
- FriendFeed: Use Post a Link
- Your blog: Have a site? Link to our contest on it!
Remember: The bonus entries are just that - bonus. In order to be eligible to win, you must complete the core Twitter requirements.
The contest starts today, and is open to US residents only. May 11th. You have until 11:59 PM PST on May 15th to enter your comments here on this post. We will then announce our winner, chosen randomly out of all valid entrants and bonus points, on May 18th.
Well, lookie here. If you’ve been jonesing for an iPhone 3G, but thought it was a big too expensive, you’ve gotta see what AT&T is selling refurbished iPhone for. You ready for this? You can grab a refurbished 16GB iPhone 3G for $149.99. You are saving $150 off the regular price of $299.99 - that’s 50% off. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
Read More | Refurbished 16GB iPhone 3G
We were able to spend some quality time with the latest dual slider Windows Mobile smartphone from AT&T, that being the Pantech Matrix Pro. If you are unfamiliar with dual slider phones, what this means is that if you slide the phone vertically, you get a number pad—but if you turn it horizontally and slide up, you get a QWERTY keyboard. Very slick. The Pantech Matrix Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.1, and is Video Share capable, which means you can beam video to and from the phone to other handsets, a feature that we think is the hotness, along with turn-by-turn navigation via aGPS. We will be doing more with the Matrix Pro, but for now, we’ve put together a nice Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery, featuring 31 images of the new smartphone.
You can pick up the Pantech Matrix Pro now for $179.99 with two-year contract. We’ve got all the specs for you, after the break.
Read More | Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery
Gallery: Pantech Matrix Pro unboxing gallery
It seems that the days of silly iPhone tethering workarounds may be coming to an end (for those who are willing to pay for it.) Rumor has it that AT&T might finally launch an iPhone tethering plan, which would allow owners of the iPhone 3G to use the phone as an Internet access point. Now, we know that MacWorld 2009 kicks off tomorrow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the tethering plan will be announced there, but as our friends at Ars bring up, the functionality would likely require an iPhone OS update, and that in and of itself might be newsworthy enough to be mentioned tomorrow morning, if all of this comes to fruition.
The costs may outweigh the benefits, depending on your travel schedule and how much you’d plan on using the tethering option, as we are expecting the cost to be at or around $30 per month. A little spendy, we think, unless you plan on using it frequently - but then the issue of the iPhone battery comes in to play. Sure, you can plug it in to a USB port, but unless your notebook is plugged in to a power source, then you are using up extra notebook battery life. Or, you could just use a Mophie Juice Pack.
The fact that there was never an official tethering plan for the iPhone has always been odd to us, since other AT&T smart phones have those plans ready from the get go. Let’s hope this rumor rings true.
Read More | TUAW
Don’t wanna splurge on something like an iPhone or BlackBerry? After checking out the Palm Centro, we think this might be the device to pick up for that loved one. You can get one for as low as $49.99 on AT&T, and it’s a great introductory smartphone - a huge step-up from your typical flip camera or music phone. It supports instant messaging, web browsing, has a full QWERTY keyboard, 320x320 touchscreen, media player, 1.3-megapixel camera, 64MB internal storage, and Bluetooth. Seriously, that isn’t bad for a $50 smartphone. Oh, even better? Pick it up on Amazon, and it’s free with contract.
Read More | Palm Centro on Amazon
So you don’t have an iPhone or other web-enabled phone, you’re away from your computer and you’re tired of shelling out your precious greenbacks for 411 services; is there any other option? Well, you could just keep on calling 411, the phone companies love it when you do that – a quick check reveals that Verizon charges $1.49 per call and both AT&T and Sprint charge a piggy bank busting $1.79 per call – or you could give Google or Microsoft a call, they’ll take care of you for free. Google’s service, “GOOG-411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-GOOG-411, while Microsoft’s “Live Search 411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-CALL-411.
Both systems use voice recognition technology (you won’t be able to speak with a real human) to provide directions to and phone numbers of millions of destinations across the United States and Canada, connecting you to your destination and sending you a text message containing the requested information if you so desire.
Which service is right for you? You’ll have to try them both out and decide for yourself. I surprised myself by choosing the Microsoft service as my favorite. Stranger things have happened…
Check out the video (up top) for an introduction to the Google service.