General Question

swimmindude2496's avatar

Is there an AT&T rebate on the iPhone 3G if you have been with AT&T for years like me?

Asked by swimmindude2496 (322points) July 26th, 2008

Is there, of so how much. Becuase last time I upgraded my phone I got a $75 VISA Rebate Card a month later. But that wasn’t an ipHone. Is there one for iPhone?

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12 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

No…and not likely as AT&T has agreed to subsidize the iPhone 3G. There is an “implied” discount, however, technically you’re paying full price for the phone over the required 2-year contract.

You should know that anyone currently “locked in” to an AT&T contract that has a subsidized phone (i.e. the phone you currently own was discounted at the time of upgrade/purchase), whereby the current contract period has not yet expired, is not eligible for the upgrade prices of $199 (8GB) / $299 (16GB). Your price to upgrade to the iPhone 3G will be more ($399/$499 respectively).

Completely unsubsidized iPhone 3Gs can be purchased direct from Apple Retail Store for $599 / $699 respectively), but you still have to get “locked in” to a new 2-year contract with them. They’ve really tightened up purchase policy so as to discourage unlocking of new iPhones, so much so that at the time of purchase, Apple employees take the phone and activate it in person while you’re in the Apple store (and they also have you select your new contract on the spot as well). This was also set up so as to discourage/prevent people from coming in to the Apple store to buy multiple, unactivated units and jailbreaking them and/or reselling them.

If you’re really interested in an unlocked iPhone 3G, you’ll need to look at purchasing one outside the U.S. (some internet articles on blogs like are reporting that some carriers in Europe are selling actual unlocked units, but be prepared to pay upwards of $800 and as much as $1000!).

swimmindude2496's avatar

@sndfreQ I don’t want an UNLOCKED or JAIL BROKEN phone I just want a normal iPhone and how do you know my contract hasn’t expired yet? And I also talked to the Store Manager at AT&T Store and he said all I have to do is buy the iPhone at the store, and go online into my account and click upgraded my phone and go through that process and then it will be all set. Is this true?

swimmindude2496's avatar

And a person at a little AT&T booth in my local mall said that I can upgrade my phone 18 months after I have had my old one instead of the 2 year contract rules. So I don’t know who to believe.

sndfreQ's avatar

Actually, I don’t know if you’re contract has expired yet, I was just sharing the same information I got while standing in line for 7 hours at the Apple Store when the iPhone 3G came out on the 11th; you didn’t specify in your question that you currently owned an iPhone (although now that I ck’d out your profile I see your an expert on iPhone, but I digress)...

As for the details of the signup, I too had a 1st gen iPhone, and since that one was not subsidized, you and I paid full price for it up front (along with the $100 rebate, which was a one-time deal); therefore, you (like me) do not have to pay the premium for upgrading, nor do you have to wait for the contract to expire.

The whole point of a subsidized phone is that as an “incentive” to the customer and as a way for the carrier to ensure they have a customer for at least 2 more years, they pull this “discount up front” nonsense by giving you the illusion that you’re getting a discount, which you’re not; in the case of the iPhone 3G, you’re actually going to be paying an additional $15 per month for data fyi.

Describing this arrangement, I would liken it to the case of buying a new car from an auto dealer, except the car dealer would always give you the option to pay cash in full at the point of sale. In this case, it would be somewhat analagous to the car dealer requiring you to put a 50% down payment, and requiring you to finance the difference for the next two years (a two-year finance contract, with the data bump basically being the interest).

Apple and AT&T aren’t giving you that luxury of paying all in cash , insisting that when you upgrade, from that day forward, you will be AT&T’s customer for the next two years. That’s why their saying that even though you’re in a 2-year data plan, you can upgrade to the iPhone 3G (the current 2-year plan you’re on doesn’t include a subsidy for the iPhone you currently own).

Hope that helps.

swimmindude2496's avatar

I am not saying I have an iPhone I have a Sony Ericsson w580i!!!! I never had an iPhone!

PupnTaco's avatar

I think you’ll get your best answer to this question by going in to an AT&T store and talking to the manager. Bring a parent if you’re under 18.

sndfreQ's avatar

Oh…well, in that case, you need to find out if your current Sony Ericsson was subsidized, or if you paid full price for it when you bought it. Chances are if you bought it in-store at AT&T, and it was offered at a discount, then they subsidized it.

If that is the case, you’ll need to deal with them direct. Before all this iPhone biz, I had a similar situation, and they allowed me to upgrade before the contract expired on my previous phone (I had a Motorola 5151 (?) and wanted to upgrade to a Blackberry Pearl). Since the current contract with the Moto only had 6 months left, the agent at AT&T basically “rolled over” the remaining cost differential of what I owed on the Moto into the new contract with the Bb. Again, this was something I had to negotiate at the AT&T store, but basically I don’t trust anyone there anyways.

It did help me to go to an authorized AT&T service store (not a 3rd party store). If you go to AT&T’s website, you can locate an authorized AT&T-owned retail store and you may have some luck getting what you want there.

Good luck and stick to your guns!

PupnTaco's avatar

Or maybe you could find an iPhone expert and ask them…

eambos's avatar

I thought he was an iPhone expert…

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