The iPhone 4 drops today.
At least, for those lucky enough to reserve one before AT&T’s Website crashed and Apple ran out of stock last week.
But if you’re throwing down for a new iPhone, buyer beware: AT&T, still the iPhone’s exclusive U.S. wireless network, is going to wrap you in their tentacles tighter than ever before.
Effective June 1, 2010, AT&T has increased the early termination fee for netbooks and smartphones (including the iPhone), from $175 to $325. (The change only affects new two-year contracts, and AT&T will reduce the fee by $10 for every month of the contract you complete). Still, $325 is steep.
The increased early termination fee is just one more line item in the real cost of an iPhone.
But why’d they do it? Perhaps AT&T knows something we don’t. For example, maybe the age-old rumors will materialize and Verizon or another carrier will also offer the iPhone soon. Either way, based upon many customers’ disgust with AT&T’s service of late, it’s no surprise the network will go to lengths not to keep customers happy, but to keep them trapped.
What do you think? Are you buying an iPhone 4? Do you care that AT&T can basically make you pay whatever they want you to pay? Share your thoughts.
Emily Cesta contributed to this post.