updated 10:55 am EDT, Mon June 7, 2010
Company likely trying to spur next-gen iPhone
AT&T has been advancing the iPhone upgrade eligibility of many subscribers in recent days, according to reports and anecdotes. Tied to contracts, the upgrades would frequently only become available several months from now. AT&T is however said to be advancing eligibility by leaps and bounds, to the point that some subscribers may already be eligible, without a new iPhone technically being ready.
To check upgrade status, people must either log into the AT&T website or call *639# via their iPhone. When there is something to migrate to, an upgrade will require another two-year contract and an $18 upgrade fee, but offer cheaper hardware prices. AT&T is believed to be adjusting dates mainly for its most profitable customers, those who have higher-than-average monthly bills. The carrier has previously said it favors people who spend over $99 a month, giving them the option to upgrade 12 to 18 months into a contract.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce the next iPhone later today, as a part of his WWDC 2010 keynote. When the device will actually ship is a matter of speculation, but it is likely to arrive on a Friday or Saturday before the end of June. One early rumor hinted at a simultaneous announcement and launch, but this is extremely unlikely, as Apple has not published the final iPhone 4.0 SDK.