UPDATE: Watch the full video of our iPhone 3G line experience.
We had no idea that our quest to grab a few iPhone 3G units at launch here in the Seattle area would turn out to be an utter fiasco. Last year, when the original iPhone launched, we had a much longer wait in line (over 19 hours versus just over 8 hours) last year, and were further back in the line to boot. However, it was a complete failure on both Apple and AT&T’s part in making sure that the experience went as smoothly as possible.
Oh, sure, we finally have our iPhone 3Gs working and in good shape, but it took much, much longer to get them in that condition than it should have. Read on as we relive the events that took place earlier this afternoon at the Alderwood Mall Apple Store. Oh, and credit for that photo of Sparky walking out after being first in line goes to Jim Valley.
We already told you about our crazy iPhone 3G launch day purchase fiasco, but now we wanna hear from you guys. Was what we experienced accurate? Did you just end up flying through purchase and activation, with no problems at all? Or was your experience more like ours, where things seemed to go wrong at every turn? Let us know!
Alright, we’ve given you details on the iPhone 3G pricing scheme, let you know that the iPhone 3G launches at 8:00 AM on July 11, and even hit you with the iPhone 3G Guided Tour. Not enough for you? Well, AT&T put together a video showing how they are preparing for the iPhone 3G launch, and even what you can do beforehand, and on launch day, to speed up your purchase. They are calling it being “iReady.” Yeah, they went there.
A few days ago we tried to make sense of the iPhone 3G pricing confusion that people have been going through. Well, we are happy to report that Apple and AT&T have finally provided all the answers we need on this front. Pricing for the iPhone 3G will be as follows:
$199 8GB model, $299 16GB model:
- New customers who activate a new line of service with AT&T
- iPhone customer who purchased their phone before July 11
- Current AT&T customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount
$399 8GB model, $499 16GB model:
- Existing AT&T customers who are not currently eligible for an upgrade discount.
$599 8GB model, $699 16GB model:
- Customers who want to purchase an iPhone 3G without signing a contract
- Customers who enjoy getting royally screwed
Apple and AT&T have finally been letting those of us in the US in on their iPhone 3G launch plans. As it turns out, unlike last year’s 6:00 PM iPhone launch, the iPhone 3G is going to be available bright and early at 8:00 AM. AT&T confirmed that their stores will be opening at 8:00 sharp to start selling the new iPhone - and it makes sense. Since people need to sign up for lines of service, things may go a bit slower this time around. Oh, also, an 8 AM launch doesn’t mean there will be any less of a line. That line will just grow huge overnight instead of during the afternoon. Break out the sleeping bags!
Hit the link below for the full release from AT&T.
Read More | iPhone 3G launch info press release
It seems that there is a bunch of confusion surrounding the price of the newly announced iPhone 3G. I spent a while on the phone the other day chatting with my pal Chris Aarons over at Buzz Corps, and we debated how pricing would work. At the end of the conversation, I realized how silly it was that, despite a price being announce on stage at WWDC 2008, that people still weren’t sure if they would be able to get the phone for the $199-299 that was quoted.
So, where does the confusion lie? Well, when dealing with cell phone companies in terms of subsidized phones (and the new iPhone 3G is a subsidized phone,) it all comes down to qualification. Don’t believe us? Head on over to AT&T’s iPhone 3G splash page. Next to the price of the phone, you will see a neat little asterisk. Scroll down to the fine print, and what do you find? The following:
*Qualified customers only. 2 year contract required. Based on 3G and EDGE testing. Actual speeds vary by site conditions. Based on iPhone 3G (8GB) and first-generation iPhone (8GB) purchases. Requires new 2-year AT&T rate plan, sold separately.
Did you get that? Qualified customers only. And yet, there is no mention of who qualifies. There lies the conundrum. When Steve Jobs announced the price of the iPhone 3G, he made no mention of any sort of qualification that had to be met, and many believed that $199 was the price anyone should expect to pay for the new iPhone. Luckily, InformationWeek was able to get some information out of AT&T’s Mark Siegel, which should help in clearing all this up. Looking at what Siegel had to say, here is what we know to be true:
Get this - Fortune is saying that AT&T is going to be subsidizing the cost of the 3G iPhone by $200, which would mean that you could get one of the new phones for $199 USD with a 2-year contract. Now, that isn’t as crazy as it seems, as they do this with just about every other phone that they offer. They just haven’t been doing it with the first iPhone. Now, to be clear, if you made the decision to buy the phone from an Apple Store, you would be paying the full price.
Other tidbits in the Fortune article state that the new phone will be 2.5mm thinner than the current iPhone (which itself is 11.7mm thick), and that it will also include a GPS chip. Pricing will be $399 for the 8GB version, and $499 for the 16GB model, before subsidies. As with all Apple rumors, we take this one with a grain of salt, but hey, it’s Fortune, right?
Read More | Fortune
AT&T‘s CEO Randall Stephenso let slip that a 3G iPhone is indeed on it’s way sometime in early 2008. This is an obvious evolution for the platform and is no surprise, but hearing it ‘right from the horses mouth’ certainly is a nice reassurance. While the exact timing of the release is unknown, he did indicate it would likely be prior to May. Based on AT&T’s HSDPA technology the 3G iPhone would feature the same blazing download and upload speeds as other 3G devices currently on the market. Apple has yet to comment on Stephenso’s early-announcement.
Gear Live’s prediction: the announcement of the 3G iPhone will come hand in hand with a more proper unveiling of the SDK at Macworld, likely with a bump to 16GB of storage to match the current generation iPod Touch. Gear Live’s predicament: we can’t wait.
AT&T just announced their USBConnect 881 - an HSDPA/HSUPA modem for Macs and PCs that connects via USB. The minuscule 1.25oz modem claims to give an average download speed of 600kbps to 1.4Mbps, with uploads clocking in at 500kbps and 800kbps in HSUPA markets. While it may not be as slim and sexy as an Expresscard modem this looks like a great option for those with an older laptop, or a Macbook looking to quench their hankering for high speed laptop data on the go.
Available now for $50 with a 2 year contract, or for $299 without a commitment to AT&T.
Read More | AT&T
Apple has finally gotten around to posting the details on how early iPhone owners can claim their $100 Apple Store credit. You know, the one that was a response to the backlash the company received after dropping the price on the iPhone by $200 - or 33% - just 61 days after it’s launch? It takes about five minutes, and Apple has done it in a way that makes it so only people who actually have the purchased iPhone in their possession, and activated with AT&T, can claim it. Here’s how it works:
- Head on over to the iPhone Store Credit page
- Input your iPhone’s AT&T phone number and serial number into the fields on the site
- You will receive an SMS which includes an access code. Enter the code into the site
- Print the result page, which includes the codes you need to redeem the credit at any Apple Store location, or at the Apple Online Store
To be safe, we’d recommend claiming right away, as you only have until November 30 to do so. If you bought your iPhone between August 22 and September 4, skip straight to the Apple Store itself, as you aren’t eligible for a $100 store credit - instead, you’ll just receive $200 in cash. For those who receive the credit, you can purchase just about anything sold by Apple, except another Apple Store Gift Card or an iTunes electronic Gift Certificate. You can use up to six credit codes when making a purchase at an Apple Retail Store and up to four credit codes at the Apple Online Store.
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