If you are an existing ATT customer, it seems that they don't really care about encouraging you to join the bandwagon and become an iPhone user.
I have been with ATT for as long as I've had a wireless/cell phone... and that's about 8/9 years.
Because I upgraded (!) my phone in January (my phone died and I got a new one, which I guess in their world qualifies as an upgrade), I am not eligible to get an iPhone at the "new customer" prices until SEPTEMBER 2009!
well, I could get one... it will just cost me $200 more than if I was some fair-weather cell phone user looking for a deal. That is TWICE as much!
I'm glad they appreciate my loyalty!
I realize here that it would cost me less to break my contract and cancel my service; and then sign up as a new customer! than it would to purchase and use an iPhone as an existing ATT customer.
Its really hard for me to believe that in this world of serious commercial competition on wireless carriers that ATT is so lackadaisical about keeping their existing customers. Its actually insulting.
Way back when, I wrote an entry here about the cell phone carrier management philosophy... which was about offering incentives to get new people but not rewarding the existing; glad to see the cell phone carriers are maintaining their end of my analogy!
but before I go, lets just think about one other concept.
Fine, I'll pay the extra money... for an UNLOCKED iPhone! that's how much the "no-commitment" phones cost; no commitment means no commitment to ATT, right? so you think they will give me an unlocked iPhone for the extra $200??
I'm betting the answer is a resounding "no"... and if they are so concerned about monopoly, then I can only do that which any customer/consumer has the power to do - not join the bandwagon, not give them my money, boycott the frenzy!