So long story short, I’m one of those unlucky folks who owns an iPhone 3G and wasn’t eligible for the subsidized pricing from AT&T. I bought mine on 3G Day last July just like all the fanboys and re-upped my contract like a good customer. I owned the first iPhone and prior to that I […]
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How To: iPhone 3G S when you aren’t eligible

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So long story short, I’m one of those unlucky folks who owns an iPhone 3G and wasn’t eligible for the subsidized pricing from AT&T. I bought mine on 3G Day last July just like all the fanboys and re-upped my contract like a good customer. I owned the first iPhone and prior to that I owned a bunch of other devices. I guess I just don’t pay AT&T enough a month to qualify or something… but at the end of the day I was one of the folks who couldn’t get the 3G S at a decent price until next March (yes 2010). Well, I thought long and hard about it, and I wasn’t going to upgrade until I like a dumbass stopped into the Apple store today to pick up a mini-to-VGA adapter for my Macbook.

So, after playing with the 3G S and feeling the improved speed of bouncing between apps – it became obvious that this was going to be a worthy upgrade. Keep in mind I live on my iPhone. Not on the ‘phone’ … but on the ‘i’ part of iPhone. I’m always on the web, twitter, games, notes, email, etc… so the speed increase is a big deal. So, the next thing I ended up doing was going to AT&T to wear my bleeding heart on my sleeve to see what they could do for me…

As it turns out, my bleeding heart wasn’t really needed at all. First, let me say that the gentleman I dealt with at the AT&T store was a pleasure to work with and I’ll be telling AT&T just that when my deal is done. Let me also say that Chase buying Wamu really screwed up the ability to use my credit card… which was slightly embarrassing. Nothing like having a card declined especially when you know you’re a long way from the limit. But, that was my fault and thankfully I had other resources. Back to the story.

So, here’s part one (of two parts) of how to score an iPhone 3G S for under the ridiculous price they are quoting you. Cry. Just kidding. For me getting a fully subsidized iPhone 3G S worked out to nothing more than me walking into the store, finding the right person and explaining very clearly that I am on a family plan. My daughter is on the plan and her line is eligible for an upgrade, mine is not. I explained that I wanted to use her upgrade to replace my 3G since I bought destroyable phones for her on eBay. I also explained that I didn’t want to use her number… I wanted to keep my number and my iPhone plan. To my surprise, I found out that doing such a thing was perfectly valid and they were doing that quite often with iPhones. The guy told be the system used to re-up both contracts, but that appeared to no longer be the case, so I could order a new 32GB iPhone 3G S for $299 and not affect my contract at all. WOOHOO!! When the phone comes in (7-10days) I go and pick it up, they work some computer magic and my daughter’s line remains my daughter’s line with extra charges.

Ok, so what do you do if you aren’t on a family plan? What if you don’t have an upgrade due? What do you do then? Well… a little birdy told me a secret. Keep in mind I HAVE NOT tried this secret all the way through purchase, but I have to say I read most of the fine print and I see no reason why this wouldn’t work. So what’s the secret? Bing.

Unless you’ve been under a rock lately you know Microsoft released a “new” search engine a short while ago. Well like all things new, the best way to get people to use your new thing is to give them some incentive to use it. What better incentive than discounts at major online retailers? Let’s do something. Let’s go to bing.com and search for ATT WIRELESS.

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See that? See that 35% discount?!

So, that was my backup plan if wearing my bleeding heart on my sleeve didn’t work out. I recommend you read through the fine print and see how it all works, but long story short – you buy online, you wait 60 days (so Microsoft can make sure you don’t buy and then return once you get your credit) and then after those 60 days you get a check from Microsoft for 35% of the purchase price! So, without a subsidy you’re discounted price through Microsoft for your 16GB Apple iPhone 3G S is roughly $260 instead of $399! How cool is that?

Now again, make sure you read through the fine print. I can not be held responsible if this doesn’t work, but I thought keeping it to myself would just be a jerk move. If you do end up buying through the Bing trick (or you already have), make sure you come back and let us know if it really works. Happy iPhoning!

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