Buying iPhone 3G online

aahitman

New Member
Bronze
Sep 8, 2007
67
0
0
Denton, TX
#1
It would appear that you can buy the new iPhone online when the time comes. This is from an email I received from AT&T.

Mr. Helms, I am afraid you have heard just that--a rumor. There are no
pre-order lists, no "reservations", and no lotteries to be first. You
must go to a store and simply purchase it. You may also purchase it on
line. I am sorry that you had to take your time up to send this
message.

You have many choices regarding wireless service providers. We
appreciate your loyalty and that you have been an AT&T customer for many
years.


This was in regards to a pre order list I had heard about.
 

dturner

Zealot
Gold
Dec 15, 2007
5,725
12
38
Louisville, Ky.
#2
Very interesting. How could you order on line if supposedly in has to be activated in the store with a signed contract?
Not doubting you, just wondering out loud.
 

aahitman

New Member
Bronze
Sep 8, 2007
67
0
0
Denton, TX
#3
I certainly can't verify that you can order it online. Just simply sharing what a CSM said. We all know how accurate they are. I would assume that it would be like any other phone bought online, when you get it you call up and activate the sim card per the instructions in the box. That's IF you can buy it online.
 

Saverino

Zealot
Gold
Jun 1, 2008
4,480
92
48
Burbank
#4
What dturner said. He's right...how can you?
And it says on Apple's website that you can buy it from an Apple Store or an AT&T Store, but it says coming soon. Im sure it wouldve said Coming Soon to the Apple Online Store, or something like that...
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#5
Very interesting. How could you order on line if supposedly in has to be activated in the store with a signed contract?
Not doubting you, just wondering out loud.
I'm doubting him. Us technophiles that scour the blogs everyday know more than the average AT&T CS rep at this point. I've posted the blog post over and over here from the dallasnews.com tech blog where the AT&T spokeswoman confirmed that the phone has to be bought and activated in store. A corporate spokesperson certainly knows more than a run of the mill CS rep in a call center.
AT&T announces voice and data prices for 3G iPhone
3:03 PM Mon, Jun 09, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
Victor Godinez E-mail News tips
From AT&T:

With a two-year contract, the price of an 8GB iPhone 3G will be $199; the 16GB model will be priced at $299.
Unlimited iPhone 3G data plans for consumers will be available for $30 a month, in addition to voice plans starting at $39.99 a month.
Unlimited 3G data plans for businesss users will be available for $45 a month, in addition to a voice plan.

UPDATE: And you will be required to activate your phone at the store. From AT&T spokeswoman Sarah Andreani:

When customers purchase their new 3G iPhone, customers will activate the device in the retail store. This is the traditional wireless activation model that our customers are very familiar with. In-store activation should take just a few minutes and customers will be able to leave with their iPhone up and running. This will be especially helpful if any questions or issues arise during activation.
UPDATE: And the only place you'll be able to buy the phone is in a physical AT&T or Apple store. The 3G iPhone will not be sold on either att.com or Apple.com.

link: http://techblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/06/att-announces-voice-and-data-p.html

notice in bold an actual quoted source. that's the one of the most credible posts that you can find with it coming from a corporate spokesperson. And Victor, the editor at DallasNews.com is pretty darn spot on with his posts.
 

atam

New Member
Jun 19, 2008
6
0
0
#6
I thought I'd throw this out there. I bought a phone + service plan from Amazon 3 or 4 years ago. When the phone came in the mail, there was instructions on how to activate it by dialing some amazon or AT&T number. There's even a process that let's you keep your old number. The activation process took less than 10 minutes.

So I don't see why they can't do online sales of the iPhone. You can look at Amazon.com right now and see lots of AT&T + phone packages.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#7
I thought I'd throw this out there. I bought a phone + service plan from Amazon 3 or 4 years ago. When the phone came in the mail, there was instructions on how to activate it by dialing some amazon or AT&T number. There's even a process that let's you keep your old number. The activation process took less than 10 minutes.

So I don't see why they can't do online sales of the iPhone. You can look at Amazon.com right now and see lots of AT&T + phone packages.
They CAN, they sold the first one online. The problem is, they don't WANT to. But this is AT&T's way of deterring people buying iPhones for the sole purpose of unlocking them. If all iPhones are to be activated in store, you have to sign a contract right there. And then, if you break the contract, AT&T at least gets the $175 ETF. It just makes it more of a pain in the ass for people to unlock and sell iPhones.

Most other phones, it's no big deal to AT&T, but with the iPhone they have a 5 year exclusive on it, and they make their money mostly off the plans, not the hardware, so they don't want people running off with them and getting a plan elsewhere. The iPhone was supposed to be a big draw to get customers to switch to AT&T
 

hoits2000

Member
Bronze
Mar 15, 2007
360
1
18
#8
hmm, i guess we will see on July 11, because no one knows for sure until then.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#9
hmm, i guess we will see on July 11, because no one knows for sure until then.

I pretty much know for sure. The source I posted above is pretty solid. I'd be willing to bet my house, my truck, my boat, my jetski, and my golf clubs on it.
 
Jul 6, 2007
1,832
7
38
26
Marietta, GA
about.me
#10
I thought I'd throw this out there. I bought a phone + service plan from Amazon 3 or 4 years ago. When the phone came in the mail, there was instructions on how to activate it by dialing some amazon or AT&T number. There's even a process that let's you keep your old number. The activation process took less than 10 minutes.

So I don't see why they can't do online sales of the iPhone. You can look at Amazon.com right now and see lots of AT&T + phone packages.
They are doing this so people can't buy them, then unlock them in mass numbers. Or at least in an easy way like the first iPhone.
 

ColsTiger

Zealot
Gold
Mar 8, 2007
5,856
2
38
Columbus, GA
#11
It would appear that you can buy the new iPhone online when the time comes. This is from an email I received from AT&T.

Mr. Helms, I am afraid you have heard just that--a rumor. There are no
pre-order lists, no "reservations", and no lotteries to be first. You
must go to a store and simply purchase it. You may also purchase it on
line. I am sorry that you had to take your time up to send this
message.

You have many choices regarding wireless service providers. We
appreciate your loyalty and that you have been an AT&T customer for many
years.


This was in regards to a pre order list I had heard about.
I think your CS rep was just confused with the original iPHone release.
 

wjp09

Zealot
Gold
Feb 25, 2007
2,559
25
48
NJ
#12
Another way I can see this going is, in order to get subsidized price you must got to Store. This will be the only way for a few months. Apple then decides to sell phone at full retail $600+ Maybe? Online or for take home.

Maybe AT&T won't allow this.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#13
Another way I can see this going is, in order to get subsidized price you must got to Store. This will be the only way for a few months. Apple then decides to sell phone at full retail $600+ Maybe? Online or for take home.

Maybe AT&T won't allow this.
thats possible, but I think that the ONLY way they are gonna sell it this time is if you sign a contract and activate it on the spot. the full retail price will only be offered up to current customers that aren't eligible for an upgrade.
 

ColsTiger

Zealot
Gold
Mar 8, 2007
5,856
2
38
Columbus, GA
#14
thats possible, but I think that the ONLY way they are gonna sell it this time is if you sign a contract and activate it on the spot. the full retail price will only be offered up to current customers that aren't eligible for an upgrade.
I agree. I think AT&T will eventually offer a full price option to current customers in good standing.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#15
I agree. I think AT&T will eventually offer a full price option to current customers in good standing.
that's what my neighbor says. He's a general manager at an AT&T store. He's got most details, but not all yet. He still doesn't know what the full price will be, but as far as activations go he says in stores only, period.
 

aahitman

New Member
Bronze
Sep 8, 2007
67
0
0
Denton, TX
#16
Why couldn't AT&T charge your account the ETF or whatever fee they decide to impose if you don't activate the phone within a certain amount of time? It's not like they don't know who bought the phone online. I believe this will accomplish what they are trying to do.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#17
Why couldn't AT&T charge your account the ETF or whatever fee they decide to impose if you don't activate the phone within a certain amount of time? It's not like they don't know who bought the phone online. I believe this will accomplish what they are trying to do.
well the only way they could really do that is if they run a credit report on everyone who BUYS an iPhone. obviously they don't wanna do that until you establish service. Sure they could try to impose a fine on your credit card, but unlockers will probably just buy it online with a credit card, report the card lost, and get a new card issued with a new number.

Not selling them online or letting people walk out of stores without activating is AT&T's most foolproof method of not allowing people to unlock without signing a contract and establishing service.
 

aahitman

New Member
Bronze
Sep 8, 2007
67
0
0
Denton, TX
#18
well the only way they could really do that is if they run a credit report on everyone who BUYS an iPhone. obviously they don't wanna do that until you establish service. Sure they could try to impose a fine on your credit card, but unlockers will probably just buy it online with a credit card, report the card lost, and get a new card issued with a new number.

Not selling them online or letting people walk out of stores without activating is AT&T's most foolproof method of not allowing people to unlock without signing a contract and establishing service.
OR they could not allow non subscribers to buy them online. Like I said they know your account number (with AT&T) and could charge you if you don't activate it. It doesn't seem that difficult to me. It would be simpler for me to just order it online. But then again I'm not looking to make a buck either, I just want the phone.
 

dturner

Zealot
Gold
Dec 15, 2007
5,725
12
38
Louisville, Ky.
#19
OR they could not allow non subscribers to buy them online. Like I said they know your account number (with AT&T) and could charge you if you don't activate it. It doesn't seem that difficult to me. It would be simpler for me to just order it online. But then again I'm not looking to make a buck either, I just want the phone.
I can see where you are coming from but I think ATT got burnt so bad with the unlocking thing that they are trying to make sure it doesn't happen to that degree this time around. Some time down the road you might be able to buy online, but at this point it's not going to happen.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#20
OR they could not allow non subscribers to buy them online. Like I said they know your account number (with AT&T) and could charge you if you don't activate it. It doesn't seem that difficult to me. It would be simpler for me to just order it online. But then again I'm not looking to make a buck either, I just want the phone.
yeah I totally see where you are coming from man, the only way I can rationalize things is AT&T doesn't want to leave any window open at all. Of course, that's not possible but they are gonna do everything they can to make it difficult for people to unlock. Like dturner said, they really got burned on the first one. I'm willing to bet there are as many iPhones running on t-mobile as there are on AT&T. They take comfort in the fact that no iPhones will be in people's hands without activation as that gives them the firmest grip on you that they can have. I mean there are programs out there that activate phones that generate fake IMEI's. Whose to say if I order the new iPhone online I can't take the new iPhone Sim, plug it into my old iPhone, run ZiPhone or some other program, make the server think the IMEI on my new phone is actually that of the old phone, and they think I've activated the new one, when in actuality I just reactivated the old one with that IMEI. Then, they think I'm on the new one, but I'm really keeping my old one. I unlock that phone, sell it to someone on T-Mobile for $750 and keep my v1 iPhone till a new one comes out next year since this one really doesn't add that many features and I'm ok with EDGE.

I'm not sure if that is possible yet, but its definitely not far fetched to think that scenario could happen.