*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.