AT&T squeezes wannabe iPhone upgraders

AT&T will charge current US iPhone 3G customers a hefty fee for the privilege of upgrading to an iPhone 3G S before their two-year contracts are up, and American owners of the soon-to-be-second-rate 3G model are none to happy about it.

AT&T has announced new pricing for existing iPhone 3Gs, plus rates for the upcoming iPhone 3G S, scheduled for release on June 19th. Pricing for the new phones are in line with what the telecom giant charged for the 3G, and pricing for the 3G has dropped.

iPhone 3G S will cost $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB) for new and qualifying customers.
iPhone 3G will cost $99 (8GB) for new and qualifying customers.
The 16GB iPhone 3G will be available for $149 while supplies last.

Add to that the required $30 per month data plan, the aforementioned $18 upgrade fee, another $18 for a “One-time AT&T Upgrade Fee,” plus the over-and-above charges for text messaging (200 messages per month, $5.00; 1500 messages per month, $15.00; unlimited messages, $20.00), and existing AT&T contract holders are facing the withdrawal of a serious chunk of change from their checking accounts.

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