How AT&T Decides If iPhone 3G Owners Get A Subsidized iPhone 3G S

How AT&T Decides If iPhone 3G Owners Get A Subsidized iPhone 3G S

After AT&T announced that select iPhone 3G owners would be eligible for a fully subsidized iPhone 3G S the Internet let out a collective sigh of relief. We were told that early adopters would get the better deal and that eligibility status would be updated on the 18th. Well the 18th came, and many 3G owners, including those who bought on day one, were disappointed.

So what’s the deal here? How exactly does AT&T determine if you get a fully subsidized iPhone 3G S? Well I spent most of this morning trying to figure it out and here’s how it works:

Your upgrade eligibility is based on a few factors, the most important being when you purchased your iPhone 3G. If you bought your iPhone 3G in July, August, or September, move on to question two. You might be eligible, depending on the next questions.

The next most important factor is how much money AT&T gets from you each month. If you pay AT&T $99 or more in revenue, then it’s likely that you’re eligible for the subsidized price. Bear in mind that this number doesn’t include taxes or other fees. If you pay $101.27 after taxes and fees, that’s not gonna cut it. AT&T needs to have seen at least $99 go into their own pockets for a majority of your contract. If they’ve been getting less, you will not be eligible. This is where most people run into trouble.

The last factor is whether your account is in good standing. If you miss a lot of payments or do anything else to make AT&T angry, you may not qualify for the subsidy even if the other qualifications have been met.

And there you have it. The best way to tell if you’re eligible is to check the AT&T upgrade eligibility checker at

If you have more questions, comments, complaints, whatever, feel free to post them below!

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