Update: Though widely reported around the internet as a new deal, an AT&T representative has contacted us to let us know that this is in fact the same early upgrade offer the carrier regularly extends. Our bad. Here’s the word from AT&T:
“This is business as usual. We offer an early upgrade option for customers with an account in good standing and who purchased their current phone at least 6 months earlier.”
AT&T is doing their best to make sure iPhone sales don’t stall during the lead up to the launch of Apple’s next model, offering a discount on the iPhone 5 for early upgraders. The carrier is knocking off $200 from the unsubsidized price of the handset in what appears to be an online sale only.
The final price is still a bit steep. The 16GB iPhone 5 comes in at $450 after the discount is applied, but AT&T is hoping it’s enough to sway some folks away from the idea of waiting for an iPhone 5S. The special pricing also applies to the 32GB and 64GB models, though at higher prices respectively.
When combined with the monthly installments of AT&T’s new Next plan, it could make an appealing option of frequent upgraders.