No early upgrade pricing from AT&T for the iPhone 4S*

*unless you are within 6 months of the end of your current contract.  Read on:

Looks like I won’t be qualifying for early upgrade pricing from AT&T until at least a month after the new iPhone 4S launches.  This is due to AT&T’s policy of not allowing special (and by ‘special’ I mean slightly less ass-rape-free-money-for-at&t-fee) pricing until you are within 6 months of the end of your contract.

Even though the iPhone 4S took a little longer to bake in the oven (putting us closer to end-of-term for the iPhone 4’s 2 year contract), all of us original iPhone 4 adopters still aren’t eligible for the cheaper upgrade price until November 25th (and that’s if you bought the iPhone 4 on launch day):

$250 extra if you want the iPhone 4S on launch day.  Well, that sucks.  And, it’s a total bonehead move from AT&T.  You can never capitalize on launch day fever if you make people wait an extra month to buy a product.  Why make us wait AT&T?  All you are going to do is make people salivate over other carriers, or worse, your customers cool off so much they decide they don’t need to upgrade at all… and then in 6 months they are free from your artificial shackles.

If AT&T were smart, they’d move that early upgrade date to October 7… the day the iPhone 4S is up for pre-order.  There is only upside in doing that, and you don’t need an MBA to know why.  You lock in your customers for another 2 years, you kill any chance of buyers remorse, and you don’t give customers the opportunity to think about early termination.

But as it stands right now, all AT&T can do is lose customers.  And with Sprint and Verizon waiting for AT&T refugees (especially now that the iPhone 4S is a world phone), it really makes you wonder what genius is guiding AT&T’s decisions.

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6 thoughts on “No early upgrade pricing from AT&T for the iPhone 4S*

  1. Personally, I’ve emailed not only AT&T, but every form of media, local and national, that I could think to email. AT&T allowed early upgrades from the 3GS to the 4, so why not this time? Are those 45 days AT&T wants us to wait really going to hurt?

  2. It is stupid for them to wait. i am one of those early adapters, impulsive buyers. I would order on the 7th. But after 45 days, and after i have a chance to read all the reviews from users and hear that the new features are not that impressive, I may not upgrade and let my contract run out. I can then move to Verizon.

  3. It’s an extra $250 to upgrade as of now, but only $130 to terminate (if you bought in June). That is not smart because people will just cut their losses with AT&T.

  4. My upgrade date for the 4S is in Feb. 2012. The customers service rep explained that even as an early adopter (having pre-ordered the iPhone 4), I’d have to wait 20 months. I mentioned that many people are posting there upgrade is in Nov. 2011 (as you did). There was no explanation why this date in only 17 months from day one of the iPhone 4 release. I have a friend who got the best discount on the 4S even though he pre-ordered the 4 the same time I did. Only thing I can think of is that he pays over $100/month on an individual plan and I pay $68/month after my corporate discount and lower minutes plan. Special treatment for the 1%?

    Having been with AT&T since it was Cingular (and every iPhone except the 3G), means nothing to them. If Verizon had a unlimited data plan available now, I’d jump ship now. But right now both of the carriers are acting like the Netflix of wireless carriers!

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