Doing some quick math in the aftermath of today’s iPhone 3G announcements, we’ve uncovered a cute loophole in AT&T’s pricing.
At $599 for the 8 GB model and $699 for the 16 GB model (with no contract), it is actually cheaper to sign up for AT&T service (on a 2-year contract), wait a month, and then pay the Early Termination Fee (ETF).
$199 / $299 for the iPhone 3G + $36 Activation Fee + $175 Early Termination Fee + $70 One Month AT&T Service = $480 / $580 respectively.
AT&T has said that if you cancel within the first month, you are required to return the iPhone 3G to an AT&T retail store. However, by canceling at the very end of the first month, one can pay the ETF, and still be ahead of the cost of an iPhone 3G without any contract.
In practicality, this is likely an option that will be most used by hackers looking to start tackling iPhone 3G from day one. This means that hackers will be able to get iPhone 3G up-front from day one, at the same price that will be offered without contract at a later date.
It also means that there will be many people looking to buy an iPhone 3G on launch day… just to sell it on eBay.
22 responses to “Oops: iPhone 3G Cheaper with Early Termination Fee”
AT&T’s ETF is $175, not $200. $25 cheaper yet!
Right you are, thanks for the correction.
That’s dumb on AT&T’s part.
What would stop someone from going into the ATT store and getting it at the 399/499 price point for non upgrades (early upgrades) and then going back in the next day and buying it again to resign up for 2 years the next day ect ect then turn around and sell the phone thats no longer on your account (first iphone) on ebay.
I wouldn’t be surprised if “Surprise! Oh by the way, iPhones now carry a $250+ ETF. Would you like a bag?”.
[…] an iPhone without a contract? Don’t buy the $599 or $600 models. Instead pay an early termination fee. It’ll come out about a hundred bucks cheaper. You just have to do it after the first month, […]
DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY THE DATA FEES IF YOU CONTINUE USING THE PHONE
Beams, I don’t see how that falls into this equation. It has been well reported (on this site and just about everywhere else) that AT&T has increased data rates on postpay accounts for iPhone 3G.
And if you pay the early termination fee, don’t suppose they will unlock it for you.
Hey guys! Okay so i want to do this very thing you all are talking about and ive got a question! I just signed up for a family plan and purchased 3 iphones each woth their own contract. Do i have to wait a month before I terminate? The reason I want to terminate right now is bc im going to europe and I bought these as gifts for some family memebers. what happens if i dont wait until a month after?
just to add to my other post – im not worried about it working bc i called at&t and they said i can pop in the SIM card from the european carrier for the iphone over there – they will just have to take the SIM lock off which apparently wont be tough.
Agnes, nobody in AT&T has the unlock codes for iPhone 3G… at least not at the customer service level. Nobody has successfully unlocked an iPhone by “calling AT&T”.
Now, that will work for just about any other phone, provided you meet AT&T guidelines. Sorry, but whoever you spoke with at AT&T really misinformed you.
OKay but my real question is about the 30 days and termination of the contract. do I need to wait 30 days or can i terminate now?
i did call at&t, complain I don’t get 3g neither edge. They checked and the cell tower is 7 miles away from my location. In order to cancel she told me I have to return the iphone. So be aware, you may cancel your plan, pay early termination but they want your iphone back. They will not let you walk away with the iphone and no plan attached to it. That is the way I understood from this ATT rep. And she was very inquisitive, I bet a lot of people trying to get away with a iphone and detached att’s costly data plan.
Hi guys, i wanna to ask: I need to buy iphone with contract, without contract termination fee – what will they do if i don’t pay for monthly plan. I want to take it to Russia. Will i have any problems with year tax refund in april/march. What the promblems may i get?
AT&T hasn’t said what the requirements will be for buyers purchasing at the no-contract price. That pricing isn’t available yet.
However, you will probably have to have a postpay plan of some form to buy it at that price. I suspect AT&T will wait an even longer period before formally offering iPhone 3G on prepaid plans.
There’s no real reason to do this with the US version of the phone unless you want to stay with AT&T –whose plans aren’t so cheap regardless on prepaid (if that’s what people are going with). Using the turbosim or any other sim-piggyback like solutions to unlock the iPhone (temporarily) are buggy and require you to reboot your phone regularly –it’s some people’s only option when roaming abroad I realize that. The best way to get an iPhone 3g without a contract is to get an unlocked handset from Hong Kong –which come unlocked out of the box.
what if you dont use the service are they still going to charge you the $70 dollars ?????
[…] PhoneNews.com has reported since early July, the price points are skewed to be higher than the costs incured by signing up for service, and […]
can some1 please tell me if I cancel the contract after 1 month and pay all the early termination fee. Do i still have to have the data plan ?
And I believe that the IPhone is mine and not giving back to the store.
I have a question guys,
Can a regular at&t customer buy an iphone then after a while say it was stolen and take another one?
how much would that cost?
please let me know if u know.
I am planing to buy an iPhone (most probably 3GS 16 GB) at the end of June 2010. What are the current deals for iphone? I have heard that there will be a new tech so called 4G will be released soon. I dont know weither this info is correct but I would like to get your opinion from where to buy an iPhone with a good deal (no conctract).