Apple and network providers no longer sell the iPhone 4, but you may still be able to grab one from eBay or Craigslist. Wondering about the latest iPhones released by Apple? Look here to find one that best fits your needs.
The information below remains for archival purposes only.
Wondering how much you’ll pay to get your hands on an iPhone 4? The price of the iPhone depends on two factors: The cost of the phone, plus the service fee you pay every month to AT&T or Verizon. Here’s a complete list of the costs associated with buying and owning an iPhone 4.
To get the iPhone 4 for the lowest price, you must sign up for a two-year service contract with AT&T or Verizon.
New AT&T customers get these subsidized prices, as will existing AT&T customers who are eligible for an upgrade. (AT&T offers early upgrades to some existing customers; here’s how to check your upgrade eligibility.)
Verizon Wireless offers the same subsidized prices to new subscribers and those eligible for upgrades. Existing customers who are eligible for upgrades can get these prices through the carrier’s New Every Two program. Those who are not eligible for upgrades pay full price but may be able to take advantage of Verizon’s Trade-In Program.
- 16 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $199
- 32 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $299
AT&T subscribers who are not yet eligible for a handset upgrade are charged the following Early Upgrader prices. (These prices require a two-year service commitment.)
- 16 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $399
- 32 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $499
If you don’t want to sign a service contract with AT&T, you’ll pay more for the iPhone 4. The No Commitment prices are:
- 16 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $599
- 32 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $699
Verizon customers who are not eligible for an upgrade pay the full retail price for the iPhone 4. These prices are:
- 16 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $649
- 32 GB iPhone 4 (Black or White): $749
Existing AT&T customers are charged an upgrade fee of $18, whether or not they are eligible for the discounted prices. Verizon Wireless doesn’t charge an activation fee for new customers.
When purchasing an iPhone 4 with a service contract, you’ll need a voice plan, a data plan, and a text messaging plan to use the phone. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for your monthly service:
AT&T offers two options: DataPlus or DataPro.
- DataPlus is a $15-per-month plan that allows you to access 200 MB of data.
- DataPro is a $25-per-month plan that allows you to access 2 GB of data.
For a complete breakdown of these plans and how much data you’ll access with them, read AT&T’s Data Plans: All the Details.
If you’d like to use your iPhone 4 as a tethered modem (to which you can connect other devices to the internet), subscribe to the $25-a-month DataPro plan and an additional $20-per-month Tethering plan.
Verizon Wireless Data
Verizon Wireless offers three data options:
- 2 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email: $30 per month
- 5 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email: $50 per month
- 10 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email: $80 per month
If you’d like to use your iPhone as a wireless hotspot (to which you can connect other devices to the internet), select one of these data plans:
- 4 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email and Mobile Hotspot: $50 per month
- 7 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email and Mobile Hotspot: $70 per month
- 12 GB Data Bundle with Personal Email and Mobile Hotspot: $100 per month
AT&T Voice Plans
AT&T offers a choice of voice plans for the iPhone 4. All offer a certain number of nationwide calling minutes, and all offer free calling to other AT&T mobile phones.
- $69.99 per month: Unlimited voice minutes
- $59.99 per month: 900 voice minutes
- $39.99 per month: 450 voice minutes
All of the plans (except the unlimited plan) include rollover minutes, which allow you to save unused voice minutes and apply them to your next bill should you go over your allotment. Additional minutes cost between 40 cents and 45 cents per minute, depending on the plan.
Most of the plans offer unlimited free night (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend calling; the only one that doesn’t is the plan with 450 minutes, which limits you to 5000 night and weekend minutes.
Verizon Wireless Voice Plans
Verizon offers three voice plans for the iPhone:
- $69.99 per month: Unlimited voice minutes
- $59.99 per month: 900 voice minutes
- $39.99 per month: 450 voice minutes
AT&T and Verizon Text Plans
You also need a messaging plan if you want to use your iPhone 4 to send and receive text, picture, and multimedia messages, and instant messages via AOL, Yahoo, or Windows Live. Here are the options from AT&T.
- $20 per month: Unlimited messages
- $15 per month: 1500 messages (sent or received); 5 cents for each additional message
- $5 per month: 200 messages (sent or received); 10 cents for each additional message
And here are the options from Verizon:
- $20 per month: Unlimited messages
- $10 per month: 500 messages PLUS Unlimited Mobile to Mobile Messaging
- $5 per month: 250 messages
Without a plan, AT&T charges 20 cents for each text or instant message you send or receive and 30 cents for each picture or video message. Verizon charges 20 cents per text message and 25 cents per picture or video message.
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Если вы находитесь в США, вы, вероятно, знаете, что цена iPhone 4 начинается с 199 долларов с плана и 599 долларов без контракта, но знаете ли вы, что топовый iPhone 4 стоит почти 1000 долларов в большей части Европы и больше, чем в Италии? Хлоп! По крайней мере, он разблокирован …
Все цены на приведенном выше графике указаны в евро, но с евро, более сильным, чем доллар, не так сложно увидеть высокие цены. Большая часть различий в ценах связана с НДС и другими налогами, но, тем не менее, это интересно посмотреть. Лучшая сделка для iPhone 4 выглядит как Гонконг, где вы можете забрать базовую модель разблокированного iPhone 4 примерно за 650 долларов, что неплохо, учитывая, что 600 долларов в США удерживают вас на AT & T!
Графика взята с Flickr, где вы можете увидеть гораздо большую версию, спасибо за отправку этого в Рик.
iPhone 4 — четвёртое поколение iPhone. Был представлен 7 июня 2010 года и был выпущен 24 июня 2010 года в США, Великобритании, Франции, Германии и Японии. Наиболее заметное различие между iPhone 4 и его предшественниками — это новый дизайн, который включает в себя неизолированную раму из нержавеющей стали, действующую как антенна устройства. Внутренние компоненты устройства расположены между двумя панелями химически укреплённого алюмосиликатного стекла. iPhone 4 стал доступен для предварительного заказа 15 июня 2010 года.
- Размеры 115,2 × 58,66 × 9,3 мм
- Вес 137 г
- Дата выпуска 7 июня 2010
- Начало продаж 24 июня 2010
- Снят с производства 10 сентября 2013
На момент выхода продаж iPhone 4 стоил 26 990 рублей за модель с 8 Гб памяти, 31 990 рублей за 16 Гб и 36 990 рублей за топовую модель с 32 Гб памяти.
В настоящий момент цена на iPhone 4 редко превышает 10 000 рублей.
Вот несколько реальных объявлений о продаже iPhone 4.
Например за экземпляр ниже, владелец просит всего 3 300 рублей, аргументируя это тем, что аппарат в отличном состоянии, у него стоит новая передняя и задняя панель + новый аккумулятор. Также имеется коробка и зарядное устройство.
Другой пример о продаже iPhone 4. За него владелец хочет выручить 8 000 рублей. По его словам в месте с телефоном Вы получите коробку, зарядку и чек о покупке телефона. Это 100% оригинал и не разу не был в ремонте. Также вмести с ним Вы получите а подарок 3 чехла для телефона.
Ну и еще одно объявление о продаже iPhone 4, которое попалось мне на глаза. За этот экземпляр владелец хочет получить 7 000 рублей. Он уверяет, что телефон в отличном состоянии и полностью рабочий. В комплекте с нив Вы также получите старый шнур USB.
Как видите цена на iPhone 4 довольно разная, можно купить телефон буквально за копейки, а можно найти аппарат в отличном состоянии, но будьте готовы выложить за такой экземпляр несколько десятков тысяч рублей.
iPhone 4 is here, it’s awesome, and everyone wants one. But what’s it going to set you back? What is the price of the phone and what’s the cost of the new AT&T data plans? How much is it to upgrade from an existing iPhone? Can you buy one without a contract? You know that iPhone 4 availability began on June 24, and now you’ll know how much it’s actually going to cost to get in your hands. This is the ultimate iPhone 4 pricing guide, read on.
iPhone 4 pricing
The all new iPhone 4 is available in two colors, white and black, and each has two different storage capacity options that effect the price of the phone.
- iPhone 4 16GB: $199
- iPhone 4 32GB: $299
Keep in mind that in the USA, to get iPhone 4 at these prices you will have to renew or sign up for a 2 year contract with AT&T.
iPhone 4 price without contract
You’ll be able to buy iPhone 4 outside of an AT&T contract for an unsubsidized price, but it’s not cheap:
- iPhone 4 16GB without contract: $599
- iPhone 4 32GB without contract: $699
The reason for the high price is because the phone is no longer subsidized by the AT&T 2-year commitment. Suddenly that contract is looking appealing huh? But be sure to get the right data plan for your use.
iPhone 4 Wireless Data Plans pricing
If you’re a new AT&T customer you’ll have three data plans and pricing options to choose from:
- Data Plus – 200MB of data for $15/month
- DataPro – 2GB of data for $25/month, additional 1GB of data for $10
- Tethering – Requires DataPro Plan, plus an additional $20/month for tethering support
It’s really important to know how much data you use, so if you’re an existing customer be sure to check your AT&T iPhone data usage before going into a new plan.
What about Unlimited Data? Unlimited Data is no longer offered, but if you are a current AT&T customer and you are still under an iPhone unlimited data contract, you can keep the unlimited data plan for $30/month as long as you do not let the contract or plan lapse. If you let it lapse or do not renew the unlimited data contract, you will not be able to get unlimited data again on AT&T. Again, once you lose unlimited data you will not get it again!
Cost of upgrading to iPhone 4 from an iPhone 3G or 3GS
You’ll be able to upgrade to iPhone 4 if you already are in contract with an iPhone 3G or 3GS, but you’ll need to:
- Sign a new 2 year contract with AT&T
- Pay an $18 contract renewal fee
- Buy iPhone 4, starting at $199, see above
Note the $18 fee is waived for many people who’s contract expires anytime in 2010. You can check your AT&T iPhone upgrade eligibility to find out your contract eligibility and if the fee applies to you. The above applies to those iPhone 3G and 3GS subscribers who upgrade in 2010, after 2010 the price of the new iPhone goes up to $399 and $499, so if you’re thinking about upgrading you’ll want to do it in 2010.
Rebates and Credits for recent iPhone 3GS purchasers?
According to MacRumors, AT&T will be offering both rebates and credits to recent purchasers of iPhone 3GS.
AT&T will be offering bill credit rebates for users who purchased an iPhone 3GS between May 7th and June 7th, with customers set to receive $50 (16 GB) or $100 (32 GB) if they file a request with the company. The offer is good for 30 days from the date of purchase, with those in the early portion of the purchase window (May 7th through May 14th) having until June 14th to file their requests.
The same story reports that AT&T may be offering iPhone 3GS users the option to upgrade to iPhone 4 if they pay the price difference between the phones:
iPhone 3GS customers who purchased handsets between May 7th and June 7th the option to upgrade to iPhone 4, only paying applicable price differences. Customers who purchased a “closeout” iPhone 3GS after June 7th are not eligible for these offers.
This information has not been confirmed and is based on some documents obtained by a third party. It’s entirely possible the rebates and credits won’t hold true.
The new iPhone is already selling like absolute hotcakes and is continuously sold out. Apple has done it again!
In a lot of ways, Apple’s iPhone 4 announcement was short on surprises. We’ve been playing with the new iPhone OS 4 (now dubbed iOS 4) for a while, and photos of the hardware had been widely disseminated, a rarity for an unreleased Apple product. Still, Apple managed to fill in the gaps and build up the hype, and there’s plenty to know about this handset that extends beyond what you can glean from bricked hardware of dubious provenance. Follow along with us as we break it all down, including detailed impressions from our hands-on time with the device.
The iPhone 4 marks the most dramatic shift in form factor for the iPhone since the original, but it still looks pretty much exactly like an iPhone. As per usual, it’s what’s inside the phone that matters most, and Apple has made plenty of changes. For a full spec-by-spec comparison with the previous-generation iPhone 3GS, check out our tale of the tape chart, but let’s hit the main points:
The iPhone 4 is just barely heavier than the 3GS at 4.8 ounces vs. 4.76 ounces, but it’s is significantly thinner (9.3mm vs. 12.3mm) and a bit narrower (58.6mm vs. 62.1mm). It’s sandwiched front and back by aluminosilicate glass, which very scratch resistant and strong (30 times harder than plastic, says Apple), and similar in theory to the impervious Gorilla Glass we whaled on recently.
The Droid and Nexus One have popularized the once unheard-of WVGA resolution in high-end smartphones, but Apple’s doing them one better with a 960 x 640 display — a higher resolution at the same 3.5-inch size of previous iPhones, and a smaller size than flagship smartphone competitors. The size tradeoff is all about pixel density: Apple’s branding the screen with the “Retina Display” name because the 326ppi resolution is denser than what the human eye can perceive. The Retina Display is also LED backlit, and uses the IPS screen tech from the iPad for wide angles and a high 800:1 contrast ratio. Apple also claims to be doing some software tricks to enhance the quality of the screen even further, and with all this combined the company claims to be “years” ahead of the competition on screen tech, although we’re sure the competition would beg to differ. %Gallery-94640%
One of the other most important hardware improvements is the A4 processor the iPhone 4 now shares with the iPad. While Apple was happy to declare the 1GHz clock speed of the iPad, it has been less forthcoming with the iPhone 4, and it’s very possible the chip has been downclocked somewhat to conserve battery life. Either way, the chip itself is a tighter package that uses less power while running faster than the processor in the 3GS, and that’s always a good thing.
Speaking of battery life, Apple has actually managed to improve this spec over the last generation, with seven hours of 3G talk and 10 hours of WiFi data, vs. five hours of talk and nine hours of WiFi data on the 3GS. The phone is also rated at 40 hours of audio playback and 10 hours of video runtime, with a 300 hour standby time.
Apple’s added a front-facing VGA camera, as well as a new five megapixel camera around back to replace the 3.2 megapixel sensor from the 3GS. The camera is capable of shooting 720p video at 30fps, and iOS 4 now allows you tap to focus while taking video and stills. There’s also a new LED flash to help illuminate your shots. Apple is using a newer “backside illuminated” image sensor, a technology that’s cropping up in all manner of compact digital cameras and other high-end phones like the HTC EVO 4G — essentially, these types of sensor are better able to capture more light. While we appreciate Apple sticking with a lower megapixel count to enhance image quality, the real proof will be putting this phone up against the likes of the Nokia N8 and HTC EVO — Apple’s example shots are always a lot better than anything we can eke out of its sensors. Here’s a full gallery of unedited photos from the iPhone 4 — you can see they’re good, but it won’t replace your DSLR. %Gallery-94726%
The iPhone 4 supports the same theoretical 7.2Mbps HSDPA downloads of its predecessor, along with adding 5.7Mbps HSUPA uploads, and adds on top of that quad band 3G, making more of a world phone when it comes to data (though T-Mobile US’s odd 3G spectrum is still out of the loop). Perhaps more exciting for many folks is the addition of 802.11n, though unfortunately it’s only the 2.4GHz flavor, leaving out the exciting possibility of escaping runaway interference into the relatively clean 5GHz band. There’s also the usual Bluetooth and GPS hardware inside. The iPhone 4’s design is somewhat unique in that Apple is using the multi-part stainless steel band that runs around the device as a pair of antennas — hopefully this will alleviate some of the iPhone’s existing coverage woes.
Apple’s added a three-axis gyroscope to its usual complement of sensors, giving it almost a Wii Motion Plus’s level of input when paired with the existing accelerometer and compass. Unfortunately, with tens of millions of gyroscope-free iPhones on the market, we might not be seeing too many major titles putting it to good use right off the bat.
Like with every iPhone since the original, there’s no dock included — it’s $29 extra. Unlike every other iPhone, Apple’s actually building a case for this phone: the colorful Bumper, which only surrounds the sides of the phone, leaving the front and back free and clear. A bit steep at $29, however.
The essential layout of the iPhone 4 is not dramatically different from the 3GS — all of the expected parts are where you expect them to be — but there are major, substantial differences. Firstly, this thing is thin. Deathly thin. We were shocked by just how svelte and tiny it feels in your hands. That’s especially impressive when you realize that the iPhone 4 is sporting the same 3.5-inch screen size as the original iPhone, but has cranked-up battery life, a faster CPU, and two entirely new cameras.
In your hand it feels really solid, which of course belies its construction of two tempered glass slabs sandwiching a steel band that wraps around the device. In a way, the phone looks like a really thin, really sexy ice cream sandwich. Jobs said it reminded him of a “classic Leica camera,” and we can’t disagree. There’s a retro quality to the design that gives the iPhone 4 a timeless feel — like khaki pants that never seem to go out of style. It doesn’t look like it’s from the future so much as it looks like it’s from the future as conceived by Dieter Rams, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. It is an elegant, beautifully executed piece of industrial design.
The front of the phone is very much classic iPhone, save for that new high-test glass. The home button seems to have more travel and click to it, which we liked. There’s also the new front-facing camera, which is barely noticeable. Around the back it’s more smooth glass, interrupted only by the camera and LED flash. Everything is flush and smooth, and nothing feels out of place. Up top there’s the headphone jack, a new noise-canceling microphone, and the sleep / wake / power button. On the left side you’ve got those new rounded volume buttons, which are really nice and clicky, and a mute switch. On the right side there’s a small microSIM tray, and along the bottom there’s the speaker, microphone, and dock connector. There are three notches in that stainless steel band which allow antennas to reach the outside of the casing. Some people don’t care for the look of them, but we happen to like the detail.
Holding the phone is comfortable, but it takes some getting used to because there’s so much less “back” to it than the previous versions. You definitely need to shift your fingers if you’re going from a 3G or 3GS to the 4 — it’s just way thinner around and side to side. We’d also say the iPhone 4 feels slightly more hefty than a 3GS — in a good way — since it’s the same weight in a smaller package.
But the main course here is the new screen, Apple’s “Retina Display.” That 960 x 640 resolution is really quite dramatic when it’s packed 326ppi tight into the 3.5 inch display. Comparing the new display to the 3GS is stunning, but the difference is apparent even compared to more modern phones like the HTC EVO or Incredible — the iPhone 4 just kind of blows everything out of the water. It’s hard to describe without seeing it, but you cannot really see pixels on this screen (provided you’re rendering text or images at full resolution). Text just looks like printed text, images look incredibly warm and deep, and video is stunning. We’re trying not to be over the top, but it’s just a really, really gorgeous display. This is one case where Apple’s hype actually matches reality.
In short, the new iPhone design is a big step up from the previous versions, and it places the goal line — from a hardware perspective — a little further out for the competition. %Gallery-94611% %Gallery-94616%
iOS 4 overview
It’s likely you already know a lot about iOS 4 — we’ve covered it in depth in the past, when it was still called iPhone OS 4. Obviously the big additions are multitasking, folders, iBooks, along with user-defined wallpapers, Mail’s new unified inbox, Bluetooth keyboard support and some 1500 other features, most of which require updated apps in order to really shine. Here’s a quick list of the biggies — you can get most of this stuff on your iPhone 3G or higher / iPod touch 2G or higher right now if you’re a dev, and it’ll be free for everyone on June 21st:
- Background audio (think Pandora).
- Background VoIP (think Skype).
- Background location data, both with live GPS for backgrounded turn-by-turn, and cell tower-based for lower power draw.
- Orientation lock — you can set it to always stay in portrait
- Spell check (like on the iPad).
- Bluetooth keyboard support (again, on the iPad).
- User-defined wallpaper (a jailbreak favorite).
- Tap to focus when recording video, just like with photos, and a 5x digital zoom for the camera.
- Playlist creation and nested playlists
- App folders for sorting apps. You can even put an app folder in the dock.
- Enhanced Mail. You can have a merged inbox view, switch between inboxes quickly, and sync to more than one Exchange account. There’s also threaded messaging (at last!) and in-app attachment viewing.
- iBooks, just like on iPad, only smaller. You can wirelessly sync books between platforms, a la Kindle.
- Enterprise features, including remote device management and wireless app distribution.
- Local notifications. Like push notifications, but sends a notification straight from the app without needing a push notification server, perfect for an alarm, for instance.
- Fast app switching. Saves the state of an app and resumes it from where you left off, without dwelling in memory.
We’ve been using iOS 4 since it was announced on our iPhone 3GS, and it’s very much the same iPhone experience with some extremely welcome tweaks, like being able to quickly switch between apps by double-clicking the home button, and being able to lock the phone in portrait orientation. But other than that it’ll be up to the app developers to really take advantage of these 1,500 new APIs — we haven’t seen too many apps make use of the new features yet, and that’s where iOS 4 will really shine. %Gallery-90083%
Hands-on with the iPhone 4’s new features
So what does iOS 4 feel like to use on the new iPhone 4 and its A4 chip?
Well, it feels really snappy. The OS is definitely brisk in most of its tasks, and when it comes to something like the camera app, it’s a whole new ballgame. We were actually really surprised at how fast the iPhone 4 can snap pictures, especially considering the higher resolution of the camera. If you’re an impatient photographer, you’ll love the iPhone 4. The same was true for HD video capture — there wasn’t any lag in getting things done. Apps, folders, and task switching also went off without a hitch. If you think your 3GS feels tight, the iPhone 4 is like a vise grip.
The big iPhone 4 software exclusives — and likely your big questions — concern FaceTime and the new cameras, which are untested ground for Apple. We were confused at first because we expected FaceTime to be its own app, but instead it’s baked into the phone app. Here’s how it works: if you place a call to someone else with an iPhone 4, it’s able to autodetect that they’re FaceTime-compatible and you’re given the option of requesting a video call. Otherwise, you can go into the contact card and initiate a FaceTime call right from there (like sending a text message). We experienced varying levels of smoothness when we tested things out — we experienced some stuttery video and freezes when there were a lot of people crowding the demo booth and trying to make calls, but things were much, much better when the crowds died out a little. Our impression is that if you’re on your home network, this will be a really great experience, but you need to have some bandwidth — hence FaceTime’s current WiFi-only status. Of course, the real question is whether or not anyone will actually want to make video calls at all, and we’ll have to wait and see on that. There was something oddly sci-fi about using FaceTime — even though we know there are other video calling options out there, Apple’s presentation makes it all seem a little more futuristic. Apple says the FaceTime standard will be open and people will be able to create apps around it, but we haven’t heard much in detail on that front — it sounds promising, however.
At the end of the day, iOS 4 on the iPhone 4 is still fundamentally the iPhone OS you know and love (or hate with a passion). There’s little here you don’t know, and there aren’t any game-changing features. We love the multitasking, and we love the music-player controls (hopefully there’s more of this to come), but Apple is sticking to what it knows with iOS 4. That said, iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 are definitely a match made in gadget geek heaven.
How to get one
Buying a new iPhone — or any phone on contract, for that matter — can be a harrowing experience filled with legalese, unexpected expenses, nail-biting, and signatures that commit you to a solid 24 months of loyalty. Both AT&T and Apple have released all the particulars on getting a brand-spanking-new iPhone 4, whether you’re a new AT&T customer or you’re coming in for an upgrade — but in an effort to prevent any last-minute drama on the 24th, let’s break it down in one spot, shall we?
If you’re new to AT&T or you’re adding an additional line, you’ll pay $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB one, assuming you’re comfortable with signing a two-year contract. If you’d like to keep yourself out of contract so you can leave at any time you like, you’re looking at $599 for 16GB or $699 for 32GB.
What if you sign the contract and decide to ditch out in the middle of it? You’ll pay $325 minus $10 times the number of months you’ve been in the contract in penalty fees. For example, if you’re ten months into your iPhone 4 contract and you decide to jump ship, you’ll pay $225 to leave. If you bought a 32GB iPhone 4 for the subsidized price of $299, that means you will have effectively paid $524 for it (not including the cost of your monthly plan over the course of those ten months, of course).
Interestingly, this means that you could theoretically save $75 on the no-commitment price of the 16GB model by buying it subsidized and breaking your contract immediately (excluding fees), but unless you’re insistent on unlocking the phone immediately (assuming there’s a reliable unlock available) and taking it to T-Mobile to use with 2G service alone, there probably isn’t much logic in doing that.
If you’re upgrading a line of AT&T service that you already have, the situation is a little bit more complicated, but AT&T has made it about as painless as possible. The first thing you need to do is confirm whether you’re eligible for what AT&T refers to as the “new activation” price — this is the same price you’d pay as though you were a new customer coming in off the street, and it’s usually the best price a carrier offers on a phone. AT&T’s extended eligibility by six months to many of its current customers, so make sure you check! You’ve got three options:
- Visit AT&T’s website. From there, you’ll log into your account and click on the “Check Upgrade Options” link.
- Dial *639# on your current AT&T phone. In a few seconds, you’ll get a reply text message telling you what’s up — whether you’re eligible, or if not, the date on which you will be.
- Call customer service. No offense to AT&T’s call center reps, but we’d use this as a last resort.
It’s important to note that your upgrade eligibility date is not necessarily your contract expiration date — in fact, the two are only tangentially related — so you can’t assume that buying a phone from AT&T since June 24, 2008 takes you out of the game. The way AT&T calculates upgrade eligibility dates is a closely-guarded secret that involves your monthly spending, the length of time you’ve been with the carrier and other mysterious factors, but we’ve been told by an AT&T spokesman that iPhone customers who spend at least $99 a month can generally expect upgrade eligibility to come every 12 to 18 months. In this case, though, the company has pulled ahead any existing iPhone customer who’d previously had an upgrade date in 2010 so that they can get the best $199 / $299 pricing on the iPhone 4.
You may also be required to pay what AT&T calls an “upgrade fee” of $18. Like the upgrade eligibility date, the way AT&T determines whether you’ve got to shell it out isn’t publicly divulged; we’re just told that it involves the length of the contract, the customer’s payment history, monthly spend, and so on.
If you’re not eligible for an upgrade, not all hope is lost; you could either add another line of service (assuming you pass the credit check) or pay what AT&T calls the “early upgrade” price. It’s more than the new activation price, but it’s still better than the full price of $599 / $699 — the only downside is that your current contract is extended to a full two years again from the date of your purchase. This early upgrade pricing comes in at $200 more than the $199 / $299, which means you’ll pay $399 for the 16GB iPhone 4 or $499 for the 32GB version.
Regardless of how you get the new phone, you might be wondering whether you’re able to take your $30 unlimited data with you when you go in light of AT&T’s recent data pricing changes. The short answer is yes, you can — unless you want to add the $20 tethering option, which requires that you switch to the new $25 DataPro plan that includes 2GB with overage of $10 per additional gigabyte. Be warned: if you do decide to switch to DataPlus or DataPro, you’ll never be able to go back to the $30 option, so think long and hard before you take the leap.
So what’s the verdict? Well, we’re obviously holding final judgments until we have a chance to give the iPhone 4 an official Engadget review, but from the short time we spent with the device and OS, we’re definitely impressed. Apple has answered quite a few of the minor questions and issues we’ve had with the current model, and even seems to be tackling some of the bigger problems like connectivity with those new antennas. When it comes to the competition — judging by specs and OS capabilities — the new phone puts Apple ahead of the curve. It’s still got some very stiff competition in devices like the EVO 4G and Nexus One, but a gulf has been created by the combination of the iPhone 4’s look and feel, an increasingly polished OS, that insane display, superfast CPU, and solid new camera additions. It might not be a revolution tantamount to the introduction of the original iPhone (as Steve and company would like you to believe), but in terms of evolution, Apple just took a giant step forward.
With contributions by Paul Miller, Chris Ziegler, and Nilay Patel.
iPhone 4 news
iOS / Software