The safety razor is a classic example of business marketing: Sell people the handle cheap, and they’ll keep coming back for the pricey blades. Thanks to a series of posts over at Apple Insider, we can see that’s exactly what AT&T is doing to the iPhone. Sure, the the hotter-then-hot iPhone price has been dropped to a wallet-pleasing $199. But even as they lowered the price of the handset, they raised the price of calling plans. Now an iPhone calling plan with unlimited data costs $70 a month, and they took away the free 200 text messages (I’m not a text messager, but I’m told that they’re all the rage with the whippersnapper set), which costs an extra 5 bucks.
So that’s $15 a month more per month than it was with the first generation iPhone, plus you have to pay a $36 upgrade fee. Given the mandatory 2-year contract, that means the plan costs $396 more then it used to own an iPhone ($276 if you think text messaging is unhealthy). So the savings from the 8GB iPhone price cut from $399 to $199? Poof, they’re gone.