Apple’s chosen wireless carrier for the United States revealed pricing details for the iPhone 3G models, set to debut on July 11, according to information posted to the company’s website. New customers signing a two year service contract with the Dallas-based phone company can purchase the new phones for $199 and $299 for the 8GB and 16GB models respectively. Current AT&T customers who are eligible for an upgrade will also be able to purchase at the fully subsidized pricing while those not eligible for an upgrade will pay $399 and $499 for the two models. In typically cryptic AT&T style, the company’s upgrade eligibility requirements are not made public but only to logged in users requesting information specific to their account. The company’s generic message on upgrades reads “Device offers are made available from time to time based on a number of factors: service tenure, spending levels, payment history, usage practices and other factors,” though existing customers nearing the end of a two-year service contract cycle will presumably be able to purchase a new iPhone at the fully subsidized pricing with a commitment to a new two year contract.
In a somewhat puzzling development, AT&T issued a statement today saying it will sell the new phones “in the future” without a service contract for $599 for the 8GB phone and $699 for the 16GB model. Previously, neither Apple nor AT&T had indicated any intention to make the phones available without a service contract. Customers seeking to purchase phones on and near the July 11 launch date will be required to activate AT&T service at either an Apple store or an AT&T outlet, unlike the original iPhones released one year ago, which users could activate for service from their home computers. Existing AT&T customers will pay an $18 activation fee to get service on new iPhones; new customers will pay $36 for service activation.