Whiners of the World: Shut Up About the iPhone 3GS' Upgrade Price

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So you bought your heavily subsidised iPhone 3G with a two-year contract and now you are upset because AT&T wants to charge you full price for the new iPhone 3GS, right? Well, stop whining. You have no arguments.

I have the iPhone 3G—by the way, I paid an extra $500 deposit on top of the price tag because I didn't have US credit history back then—and I don't qualify for a subsidised upgrade. I have to finish my contract first, then renew to qualify for the subsidy. If I was in Spain or anywhere else in the world, it will be the same.


But I am not whining. Not because I am a fanboy—I hate AT&T with a passion—but because there are no logical arguments to support the whining.

Sure, it sucks to be me and pay almost-full price for the iPhone 3GS, but that's how life is. You don't get a reduced price on your new notebook just because you bought the old model a year ago. You don't get reduced price on cars, or anything else.

The fact is that the $199/$299 price tag for the iPhone is the result of AT&T's—or any other carrier, since the situation is the same all around the world—subsidy. Without subsidy—and tying you to a new two year contract—the iPhone is not different from something like the Nokia N97, which is $700 unlocked. Or the contract-free, unsubsidized iPhone 3G itself: The iPhone 3G costs $770 and $877 unlocked for the 8 and 16GB versions.


I hate to defend AT&T or any other carrier. I hate their guts. All of them. Their monthly fees are highway robbery, yes. Their roaming charges are unjustified and just outrageous. And while you—and I—may think that you are entitled to a discount because of those fees, that doesn't make much sense. I'm afraid that, this time, they are right. And on top of that, your carrier is actually giving you a discount already. Tiny, but compared to the full price of the unsubsidized iPhone, it's there.

You better get used to this too. These smart phones are really computers. And as applications get more and more complex—especially games—you will want to have the latest and fastest, whether is iPhone, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile, or Blackberry. Just like you upgrade your notebook or desktop computer or video game console.


With all of those brands, the situation will be exactly the same. Without a subsidy, you will keep paying full price for these tiny and wonderful machines. All of them. And that price will stay at around $600 for a long time to come. It happened before, and it's not going to change.


In other words: Drive through, people. Nothing to see here. If you are not happy, get a Pre. And when Pre 2 appears, jump back to the iPhone. If you must have something new because your ADD has got you tired of last year technology, then get Android, Pre, or whatever. But don't expect any company to give you discounted hardware when the next generation of Smartypantsphone X comes.

Or better yet: Don't buy a new phone. Who cares about "new." Does your iPhone 3G work now? Yes? Then get the free iPhone OS 3.0 and enjoy the speed boost from optimization and the rest of the apps. In this economy, you will do yourself a favor. This is exactly what I am doing.


Click to viewIn the meantime, do the rest of the world a favor and stop whining about what you are entitled to. We don't live in your pretty me me me ME world.