Not Pre-Ordering iPhone 3G S? ATand T Offers Purchasing Tips

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2009-06-15
 
 
 

Apple's new iPhone 3G S goes on sale this Friday, June 19, on the AT&T network, but as of June 8 it has been possible to pre-order the smartphone at www.att.com/iPhone or by going into an AT&T retail location.
 
"A great option is for people to pre-order on the Web, then the device gets shipped straight to their home... Right now, you'd be looking at about a week for delivery," an AT&T spokesperson told eWEEK.
 
For those holding out until Friday, AT&T has posted a checklist of considerations and explanations on its Website to help speed things along. After all, AT&T has confirmed that supply will be limited, and too much option-weighing at the counter will only add to what are sure to be long lines.
 
To consider? Only one iPhone 3G S can be pre-ordered per person, so will it be the 16GB in black or white for $199, or $399 with an early upgrade? There's also the 32GB in black or white, at $299 for new activations and $499 for early upgrades.
 
Next there are accessories - an AppleCare extended warranty, a backup battery, a Blootooth headset, etc. - and then a rate plan. The least expensive personal plan is 5,000 night and weekend minutes for $69.99 per month. Unlimited data, e-mail, Web and visual voicemal will run $129.99 per month, with texting charged separately.
 
New customers will undergo a credit check - if it turns out lousy, the checklist implies, "a deposit may be required" - and need to bring a photo ID and supply their social security number. A two-year contract is required, and a $35 activation fee will be billed to your account.
 
Existing customers will be charged an $18 upgrade fee and are warned to check existing voicemail messages, which will be lost when service on the new phone is activated.
 
On June 19, in addition to the AT&T site, the iPhone 3G S will be sold at Apple and AT&T retail stores, as well as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
 
Regarding the limited number of available devices, Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research who focuses on Apple, recalled that when the iPhone 3G went on sale last July, it sold out very quickly.  
 
"While Apple had stocked more than a million units, the company must have known it would sell out," Gottheil continued.
 
"I think it makes sense. If you have very few devices on hand on the first day of sale, you're just announcing too soon, but if you have a substantial number and they sell out, you can claim to have a hit product."
 
On June 17, iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available as a free software update through iTunes 8.2 or later, and iPod touch customers in the United States will be ale to purchase a software update for $9.95. 

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