Do You Qualify For an Upgrade?

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Well, it’s here. The new iPhone 4 is just a few weeks away and now it’s just a matter of time before it works our way into our sweet hands. Now it’s just a matter of determining how much you’re going to pay for it.

Last year I was in line on day 2 to purchase a 3GS, just one year after I purchased my 3G. I was sure that the folks at Apple were going to tell me that I had to pay an extra $200 for the phone, yet I walked out of there paying the standard $299 and didn’t say a thing about it. Then when I went in there with my wife’s phone – which is on a family plan with my phone – we got denied.

This year is different. I went to AT&T’s site, checked out my availability and I’m good. Problem is, they don’t talk about how much the phone is going to be, as now they’re offering a few different tiers. Here’s the deets from Cult of Mac:

Well, if you qualify for an upgrade before December 31st, the 16GB iPhone 4 will cost you just $199 while the 32GB model will cost you $299. Things get a lot steeper if your upgrade is after the start of 2011, though, with prices jumping to $399 and $499, respectively. Don’t want to sign a new contract, but still want an iPhone 4? Prepare to pay $599 to $699.

Now I’m not sure why I qualify for the lower price, but I do, so I’m sticking with it. But I think the issue here is for people who bought a 3GS in the past 6 months who want to upgrade – they’re screwed.

So do you qualify for a new phone? If so, are you going for it?

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

8 thoughts on “Do You Qualify For an Upgrade?

  1. I had my 1st gen iPhone until a couple months ago when I was finally forced to upgrade to the 3GS due to a stuck reset button. I knew a refresh was coming soon but had no alternative and I was thrilled with the performance leap with the 3GS (and new ability to record video). I thought I could just be happy with the 3GS running the new 4.0 software and I probably will be.

    But as a parent of a toddler, having a better camera w/ flash and HD video is very appealing to me. And I may have to give in and cough up the extra $200 bec/ I think the hardware upgrade is definitely worth it to someone who has come to rely on the ease of pulling the phone out of my pocket in an instant to record some extraordinary moment.

    I also own a Flip Mino HD and love the camera but see it’s usefulness dwindling with a looming iphone 4 purchase. They MUST be shaking in their boots after Monday bec/ I the improvements to iPhone 4 just knocked my need for any other point and shoot (still or video) out of the water.

    We’ll see. I’m saving my pennies and will most likely pay the early upgrade ‘fee’ sooner than later.

    Great blog. I always enjoy your writing style. Keep up the good work.


  2. Upgraded from a 1st gen to a 3GS in February, so I’m going to need to be happy with my phone for a while. I love the 3GS, but I’m finding myself wishing that I had waited for a bit.

  3. I do qualify and I am absolutely going for it. I got my 3GS last year around launch too. I had the 3G before that (never had the 1st gen). It’s weird because I have been able to upgrade every year. But I am not going to complain! LOL.

    I had decided that I wasn’t going to get the new iPhone when it came out until I watched the live blogs at WWDC 10. The new camera (5MP and HD video) is the main thing that’s drawing me to the new phone. The new screen is also a huge plus. I like the squared off design. It appears it will be easier to hold. I am looking forward to the faster A4 chip also. The 3GS is faster than the 3G but at times there is still a tiny bit of lag. I’m hoping the A4 takes care of that.

    I really like the new design. My wife does not like the new look and was not impressed by the feature upgrades (at least on paper). She says she is holding off until 2011 for the iPhone 5. We upgraded at the same time last year and her upgrade date isn’t until March 2011. There is nothing consistent about it.

    I’m hoping that the new antenna system gives me a bit better reception. In my area there is no 3G, only EDGE and it is pretty rotten most of the time. I don’t get a ton of my calls. More than 50% of the time my 3GS will pop up a voice mail from someone, and the phone never rang. It gets annoying for sure!

    I’m waiting on the 15th to place my pre-order! Now my only problem is whether to go with the 16GB as I have now or upgrade to the 32GB since there is now HD Video to take up the space. Currently I have 131 apps, 837 songs, 296 photos taken from iPhone only, and 0 videos and only have 6 GB left. I’m worried that with HD video and higher resolution pictures, that space will be quickly used in the new iPhone 4.

  4. I’m on Verizon right now. Sadly I think I will actually be making the jump this year to AT&T because iPhone 4 doesn’t look like it will be on Verizon. So, I will be getting the black 16GB for $199.

  5. I’ve been hanging on with my 1st gen iPhone and my contract was up several months ago. I will be getting the new iPhone.

  6. I actually go my 3GS the day they came out, and I do not qualify. It seems to be because I am on a family plan – your renew date is effected by how much your line bill is. Because I only spend $10/mo on the minute plan, my renew date is around 20mos, instead of the normal 18mo.

  7. I upgraded to a 3GS two months ago because my 3G battery was dying. I have a friend that is interested in buying my 3GS. Here’s what I’m wondering…can she buy the iPhone 4, sign up for a contract, sell it to me as I sell her my 3GS and we swap SIM cards? Will that work?

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