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AT&T considering $10 drop in iPhone plans?

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Thu May 7, 2009

AT&T cutting iPhone rate?

A "strong possibility" exists that AT&T will lower the cost of its base-level iPhone plan, according to Cote Collaborative's Michael Cote. The analyst cites evidence such as disappointing iPhone 3G sales through Walmart, which typically markets to poor or middle-class demographics that may not be able to justify the $69 monthly minimum for an iPhone, on top of a one-time $197 hardware cost. Once completed, the two-year AT&T contract alone costs approximately $1,880.

Cote suggests that AT&T will lower the monthly fee by approximately $10, reducing the lifetime subscription price to $1,640. The cut would not only serve Walmart shoppers but the US as a whole, which remains reluctant to spend on luxuries when jobs and the economy are recovering from a recession.

An official announcement is predicted no earlier than June 8th's WWDC event, when Apple is also likely to reveal new iPhone models. Supporting Cote's claims are comments earlier this year from Apple executives Tim Cook, Peter Oppenheimer and Phil Schiller, who mentioned that the company was considering "different pricing/price points" in 2009.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still not enough

    Still a lot more than I can afford. It sucks bad enough to have to spend $20 every two months on my pre-paid phone.

  1. carloblackmore

    Joined: Dec 1969


    tough dilemma

    On one hand you could say, STOP targeting poor/lower-middle-class customers and let them focus on more important things like quality food, transportation, and a home computer. On the other hand a quality mobile device can really empower a person to be anywhere more important things may demand them to be.

    Perhaps Apple, Walmart and AT&T should work on a special plan that doesn't charge for the first month when the phone is purchased. And offers a much cheaper plan for the subsequent months = $39/month seems like it would be the magic number for lower income customers. But just limit the texting and data service instead of making it unlimited.

    And the iPhone is smart enough to either block the phone from going over that limit or present the customer with a visual/conspicuous option to pay extra for going over.

  1. lennynero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "typically markets to poor/middle class" ????

    So, Walmart = GoodWill, now?

    Walmart typically markets to populations, not just "the poor". I would agree that the middle-class is their biggest customer, but I highly doubt many poverty stricken Americans are buying CD's, HDTV's, game consoles, and expensive cell phones.

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data Limits?

    I bet that if ATT offers a lower priced data plan for lower income people, it will place a limit on 3G downloads. The limit will be low enough that middle-class people like myself will go ahead and spend the extra $10/mo even though we think $69 (plus $5 for SMS) is a lot of money to spend each month for a cell phone.

  1. gramos

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huh? What?!

    Upper-class, middle-class, lower-class, and no class...who cares?

    Bottom-line: if no one buys, then lower the price! (supply-n-demand...)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    data plans

    Maybe if Apple let them sell it without the prerequisite data plan, more people would buy. Not everyone needs "always on" access, at the cost of $720 over 2 years.

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poverty Stricken

    " I highly doubt poverty stricken Americans are buying CD's, HDTV's, game consoles, and expensive cell phones"

    I've known people who didn't have enough money for health insurance, or new shoes for their kids, but kept premium cable. You've never seen a run down trailer with a new satellite dish on top? Just because you're poor, it doesn't mean you never splurge on stuff you can't afford...

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    free gift to existing

    This is a great free gift to existing customers, but is not the price point that will make the difference.

    I can tell you I heard it was $10 less, I was thinking, well at least they got it under $50 per month, then I read on...its was $69 per month??!!?? It's now just dropping to $59 per month?

    WOW, expensive and still expensive.

    I use prepaid phones, like the earlier commenter, I pay $20 every two months.

    I've used an iPhone, and an iTouch, and while its fact fantastic...its not worth $50 per month to use it.

    Not when I have cell phone connectivity for $10 a month, my prepaid plan has unlimited incoming texts, which I use to have my work database server send me status messages...obviously at no cost, and I have high speed internet to do my computing.

    The iPhone is going to get another pass from me.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    free gift to existing

    To those that think poor people cannot afford iPhones....ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    The answer to that is, 'it depends'.

    Some people are truly poor and can afford only one or two luxury items in a month...if they choose an iPhone, they'll have to give up cable.

    Other people are just classified as poor, but they have invisible income. Child support is not reported, not taxed, but is spendable on anything you want.

    Earned Income Credit...thousands.
    Reduced cost housing, the difference between your reduce cost and the real market cost, is not reported as income, but it amounts to income because money is fungible.

    The fact is, if you work with the poor you will see many people with brand new cars, all the options turned on for their cable tv, etc.

    Then again, some people are truly poor. They cannot work, so no earned income credit, childless, so no child support, turned down for SSI disability income...

    then you have a person trying to figure out how to eat, and won't consider the iPhone.

    Its a real big 'depends'...but most, yes I said MOST people classified as poor have quite a bit of invisible income, including unreported tips, and sometimes just plain illegal income.

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