Real Cost of iPhone 3GS: About $218 More Than You Think

Already the 3GS is incurring fanboy wrath: For 3G owners not yet eligible for a new phone, the 32GB costs $499 and the 16GB costs $399—and even more without contract. Three tiers of official pricing below:

How do you qualify for the announced pricing? New customer, new line of service, presumably contract renewal, that sort of thing. Update: AT&T confirms that most iPhone 3G owners will be eligible for the good upgrade price after 18 months. Last year, people who owned iPhone Numero Uno got a shoo-in, but apparently that's not the deal now. To add insult to injury, you'll even have to pay an $18 upgrade fee to jump from 3G to 3GS.

Here's the skinny, sent straight to us from AT&T:

iPhone 3G S: Device Pricing
• iPhone 3G S will cost $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB) for new and qualifying customers.
• If you are not currently eligible for an upgrade but still want iPhone 3G S, early upgrade prices are $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB)
• No-commitment pricing: $599 (16GB) and $699 (32GB)

iPhone 3G: Device Pricing
• iPhone 3G will cost $99 (8GB) and, while supplies last, $149 (16GB) for new and qualifying customers.
• If you are not currently eligible for an upgrade but still want iPhone 3G, early upgrade prices are $299 (8GB) and, while supplies last, $349 (16GB)
• No-commitment pricing: $499 (8GB) and, while supplies last, $549 (16GB)

Upgrade eligibility varies with each customer, but in general, you will become eligible the longer your tenure in your service agreement. Customers can find out at www.att.com/iPhone or in one of our stores if they are upgrade-eligible.

We received this from reader Alon, who went through the sign-up process:

Real Cost of iPhone 3GS: About $218 More Than You Think

We also just saw these crazy insane prices on Apple's website, thanks to commenter mrwizzz, but we can't see how those numbers are final—at least, we hope to hell they're not:

For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).

[Wirelessinfo.com; David Chartier on Twitter; other various tips and sources—thanks!]