AT&T iPhone upgrading pricing upsets consumers

After WWDC by Apple, showcasing their latest addition to the iPhone family, the iPhone 3GS, AT&T announced it will be rolling out upgrading pricing for consumers who want to upgrade from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS.

New AT&T customers will be able to purchase the new iPhone 3GS for $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB model in either black or white, while current AT&T customers will need to pay double that just to upgrade from the 3G to 3GS. Pricing for the upgrade will cost $399 for the 16GB and $599 for the 32GB model. The reasoning behind his is that AT&T subsidized the pricing of the original iPhone, but not the iPhone 3G, which gave them the ability to sell the device at a lower price and lock users into a two-year contract. However, this change has sparked outrage in many AT&T customers, already creating petitions, spreading word through Facebook and Twitter.

The angry consumers have a good reason to be, after AT&T announced it won't be supporting MMS or tethering when iPhone 3GS releases and has said customers will simply need to wait for their infrastructure to support it, or pay an additional fee.

One outraged customer even wrote about stopping payment to AT&T until they agree to lower the upgrade pricing:
"For those loyal AT&T customers, remember to change your account setting to stop all automatic payments to AT&T before getting the new phone. It is your money, AT&T has no rights to steal from you unless you are satisfied with the service they promised to provide. This should be a fair business trade, not a robbery," Agent Provocative wrote.

While this practice is somewhat standard in US cell phone sales, this change from the previous iPhone upgrade program could backfire for new customers, if Apple releases a fourth generation iPhone next year, as they have been releasing a new iPhone every year for three years now.

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