updated 06:20 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011
ATT raises iPhone 3GS price up from free
AT&T in an unusual decision raised its price for the iPhone 3GS on contract. Previously free on contract like Apple set, the entry iPhone now costs 99 cents. The company didn't have an explanation for the hike, but in a statement didn't expect demand to change.
"iPhone 3GS is still available at an incredibly low price and we're confident consumers will agree that this remains one of the best deals for a leading smartphone," it said.
The price increase might be to curb demand. AT&T's wireless chief Ralph de la Vega warned of sellouts and shortages for the now 2.5-year-old iPhone, most of all after it dropped to free. The extra revenue from the 3GS would be small given that the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 are still more popular as a whole, but it might discourage those who look for the first available free phone.
No other carrier in the US sells the iPhone 3GS because of its GSM-only nature, letting AT&T raise the price without fear of competition.