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iPhone 4: For Those Salivating, Here’s the Skinny on Eligibility

by Ian Huckabee on June 10, 2010

iPhone 4Just got off the iPhone with my friendly AT&T customer service rep. When the new iPhone 4 was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, I had to know if I was eligible for the upgrade. The new iPhone 4 comes in two configuration, 16 gig and 32 gig, and is available for $199 and $299, respectively, for those who are eligible.

Here’s the deal. AT&T says that typically you would have to be at least 21 months into your current 2-year contract to purchase the new iPhone for the prices listed above. However, they’ll also consider your monthly recurring charges; if they’re high enough, you can upgrade sooner than the 21 months.  When you upgrade, you’ll begin a new 2-year agreement.

Your plan and plan charges will stay the same. But here’s an important little piece of information: If you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited data plan, hang on to it. If you ever decide to downgrade to AT&T’s 2 gig or 200 MB plan, you’ll never be able to go back to an unlimited plan. AT&T no longer offers one. Subscribers lamentably attest that AT&T wireless network can at times be excruciating slow, so AT&T is taking measures to reduce activity. (Hopefully they’re also taking measure to increase capacity.) If you have an unlimited data plan, consider yourself lucky. With the new FaceTime video phone and multitasking features, you’re going to want that bandwidth.

There is a one-time $18 upgrade fee, and AT&T offers new insurance plan called Mobile Protect for $13.99 per month. You can purchase this insurance within thirty days of your iPhone 4 purchase, and it covers you if your iPhone 4 is stolen, lost, flushed down the toilet or left at a Silicon Valley bar.

Check out Apple’s infomercial for the iPhone 4:

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