With Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) only a couple of weeks away, the excitement is building over the new iPhone 4G. We pretty much know what will be in the new phone; what we don’t know for certain is if the leaked prototype iPhone is what will actually be sold. With that said, Walmart is giving us something else to be excited about right before the new iPhone launches. Yesterday, they started selling the 16GB iPhone 3GS in the US for $97.00 with a 2 year contract from AT&T.

Matthew Tilmann of MacLife writes about the sudden lower price:

“Of course, one could only think that the price reduction is because of the upcoming holiday weekend.

“It is our commitment to always lead on price,” according to Mehrdad Akbar, the senior category director for Walmart.”

I don’t believe this has anything to do with the holiday or a commitment to lead in lower pricing. It has to do with the fact that Apple is no longer producing the 8GB iPhone 3G, and Walmart has replaced it with the 16GB iPhone 3GS. This was pretty much a given with the way Apple has been using the previous year’s iPhone as the $99.00 iPhone.  This is a great way to place the iPhone in every price point.

However, if you are currently in a contract with an iPhone 3G, and you are thinking about getting the 16GB iPhone 3GS, and you want to terminate your current contract by  paying an early termination fee, you will need to do this before June 1st.  Why before June 1st?  Well, AT&T is instituting a new policy on early termination fees for smart phones.  Currently you can pay $175.00 for the ETF.  After June 1st you will have to pay $325.00 for the ETF.  Unfortunately, AT&T suffers from a lack of transparency when it comes to how much you are paying them back for a subsidized phone.  So it’s hard to say if AT&T is sticking it to us, or they are recouping their losses.  I guess we’ll never know.

Apple is truly making the iPhone affordable for everyone by placing themselves in every price point.  I would like to see AT&T follow suit in this regard, by making the prices for their plans more competitive.  Unfortunately, this may not happen until the iPhone is on more than one carrier.  Personally, I would like to see AT&T adopt Sprint’s all inclusive plan for $79.00 a month.  For $79.00 a month you get voice, data, SMS, and MMS texting.  You can’t beat that plan.

Photo Credit: iPhone 16GB 3GS Black (Back)

Article Via MacLife

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