Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

Two reasons AT&T should grant early upgrades for early adopters:

 

1) AT&T negotiated hard for the exclusive rights to the IPhone in 2007. They did this because of the enthusiasm Apple devotees have for Apple products, the IPhone was a revolutionary product,  AT&T benefited from the prestige of being associated with a "best in class" company like Apple, and the per-subscriber revenue from the IPhone owners was significantly higher than that of standard cell phone users. As a result of this deal, AT&T has seen a wave of new subscribers flock to their service generating record new subscriber numbers and record profits. This came with difficulties as well, Apple fans are notoriously demanding (they flock to Apple products because of Apple's uncompromising design and customer service), they are frequently described as "emotionally attached" to their Apple products. Also, data traffic has at times overwhelmed AT&T's network. NONE OF THIS SHOULD BE NEWS TO AT&T. After enjoying the benefits of exclusivity from 2007 to 2011 and allowing these Apple devotees to upgrade early with each new release of the IPhone not to mention the positive PR created from the now Iconic images of lines of people curving around the block in front of both AT&T and Apple stores on release day, it is unsurprising that those same people are now angry that AT&T would suddenly change this practice and continue to be so flippant with their customers.

 

2) This will be brief. Concerning the "contractual upgrade cycle", we should remember that contracts are not unilateral instruments. They can be amended with the consent of both parties. If AT&T wants to relent they can change this policy for anyone or everyone who requests it. It does seem petty to make the very people who gain so much enjoyment from being one of the first to own a new Apple product wait an additional month or six weeks when allowing them to upgrade would generate continued feelings of good will. IPhone owners have every right to complain, cajole, and threaten termination under their contract to communicate their displeasure with this AT&T policy. They should continue to do so. It is up to AT&T to decide what course of action to pursue.

 

I for one hope to be in line on October 14th.  

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Message 1 of 16
Professor

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

I would say by their silence so far on the issue, ATT has made their choice.
Message 2 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

True, contracts are not unilateral instruments. However is seems pretty reasonable that if someone doesn't like the terms of a contract the proper time to try and negotiate it is before the contract is entered into. Not after you have already agreed to the terms. It isn't like AT&T hides the fact that their standard hardware upgrade cycle is every 20 months. People had ample notice that if they purchased an iPhone 4 on release day that they would be likely unable to purchase the next one on its release day at the lowest price.

Which is why AT&T has a 3 tiered pricing structure. The lowest price for new accounts and accounts that are upgrade eligible. The middle price for existing accounts that are not upgrade eligible. And the highest price for those not wanting a contract at all. They've had that structure in place for years at this point. But yet, every year people seem surprised about it.
Message 3 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

All I can say to that is: the very reason many IPhone users were able to upgrade to the iPhone 4 was that Att had, generally in the past and specifically for that upgrade cycle, allowed iPhone owners to upgrade early. If any notice was given as to the expectation of upgrade availability, I think notice was given through att's treatment of iPhone owners up to that point. (allowing them to upgrade on release day) I don't think it is unreasonable that iPhone owners expected att to continue this policy. Also, I don't know of any instance where att was open to negotiation of contract terms at signing... I do however know of many instances where att has adjusted how they enforce contractual terms at the request of an individual or because of popular sentiment.
Message 4 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

Because many of them act like entitled children?...

Message 5 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

Maybe... but I think the "emotional attachment" people have to these devices is in many ways irrational and child-like. That isn't the point. Early adopters are pursuing their interest to continue to enjoy the ability to be on the cutting edge of technology. I think it is disingenuous of AT&T to be so matter of fact about changing what has become standard practice. They have benefited from this "irrational" impulse of their subscribers to own new Apple products for the last four years. They have built AT&T into one of the most successful wireless providers in the world largely on the backs of Apple devotees and because of the IPhone. 

 

Again, if enough people demand it, AT&T may think better of upsetting an important segment of their business.

Message 6 of 16
Professor

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

AT&T is not making anyone wait to buy the phone, at least not past its release date.  Anyone can buy a phone at any time; they just have to pay the appropriate price for it.

 

The contract is for phone service, not for physical devices.  AT&T chooses to offer subsidies on the price of phones that are compatible with AT&T's service.  It is their choice to make that offer, and their choice as to what a person has to do to qualify for the offer.  The customer's choice is to accept AT&T's offer or reject AT&T's offer.  The customer is not given the opportunity for a counter-offer. 

 

Both parties are expected to uphold their end of the contract.  AT&T gives customers a way out by setting an early termination fee (ETF).  If the customer no longer wishes to receive service from AT&T, he can pay the ETF that is outlined in the contract.  If the contract states that there will be a period of time where the contract party cannot resume service with the carrier under a new contract, this can be enforced, as well.  Both parties agreed to it when the contract was initiated.

 

The bottom line is that if you want a new phone, then buy a new phone.  No one is stopping you, but yourself.

Message 7 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

You are correct, anyone can buy the IPhone at anytime on or after release.

 

You are partially correct, the contract is only for phone service. The contract is for phone service, and to establish the rights and responsibilities of the parties including remedies available to the parties, venues available to resolve controversies arising out of the contract, just to name two. The contract also establishes the standard for upgrade of physical devices available under the subsidization program. (This is somewhat fluid as you can read about in other areas of this forum) Admittedly this all relates to AT&T phone service but it covers many additional issues that may arise out of the contractual relationship between AT&T and the subscriber.

 

You are wrong that the subscriber can not request an exception, amendment or other alteration of the terms of the contract. This can be done with the consent of both parties. Yes, there is a termination clause. Yes, all terms of the contract can be enforced by the party with the right to enforce. But the title of this discussion is "Why Iphone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades". My position is that they (early adopters) should and will continue to ask for the treatment they have come to expect from AT&T. AT&T may not grant this request but I don't understand why people have a problem with the request to continue of a former policy.

 

 

Message 8 of 16
Expert

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades


Loyal4Now1 wrote:

You are correct, anyone can buy the IPhone at anytime on or after release.

 

You are partially correct, the contract is only for phone service. The contract is for phone service, and to establish the rights and responsibilities of the parties including remedies available to the parties, venues available to resolve controversies arising out of the contract, just to name two. The contract also establishes the standard for upgrade of physical devices available under the subsidization program. (This is somewhat fluid as you can read about in other areas of this forum) Admittedly this all relates to AT&T phone service but it covers many additional issues that may arise out of the contractual relationship between AT&T and the subscriber.

 

You are wrong that the subscriber can not request an exception, amendment or other alteration of the terms of the contract. This can be done with the consent of both parties. Yes, there is a termination clause. Yes, all terms of the contract can be enforced by the party with the right to enforce. But the title of this discussion is "Why Iphone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades". My position is that they (early adopters) should and will continue to ask for the treatment they have come to expect from AT&T. AT&T may not grant this request but I don't understand why people have a problem with the request to continue of a former policy.

 

 



you can request all that you want, they or any company can continue to say no, as mentioend by their silence it looks like the decision was made - it may change, but then again why should the iphone user be the only one that gets this type of perk from the company, it is unfair to the majority of the subscribers who choose not to slect the vaulted iphone. what about the early adopters of teh Focus for when the Foucs S comes out or the Galaxy S now that the Galaxy S2 is out, should they not be entitled to the same perks according to your statements? After all, it is only fair and just

 

Curious are you going ot use the same arguement if the myhtical Iphone 5 gets release in the near future?

Message 9 of 16
Scholar

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

I can certainly understand your frustration. I can see why it is irritating that AT&T is doing what they are doing. However, I have waited since February to upgrade to the new iPhone at a discounted rate. I fulfilled my contractual obligation with AT&T and my reward is the ability to log on tomorrow moring when I wake up and purchase my new 16 GB iPhone for $199. That is MY perk for being a loyal customer. I don't think it's fair for you to get the same price that I get when you haven't waited the full 20 months.

 

It may be true that in the past AT&T has 'bent' the rules and allowed peopleto upgrade early, but they were doing a service to their customers at that time. To now bash them for abiding by the original contract makes no sense. What motivation does AT&T have for bending the rules again in the future? Certainly, if I were an executive with AT&T, I would look at this as a bunch of ungrateful crybabies that didn't deserve to have the rules 'bent' in the first place. Without question, it would never even cross my mind to do it again.

 

I work at a coffee shop and I equate this to someone coming in one day and me giving them a coffee for free. Then they come in the next day and I make them pay for it and they start complaining that I gave it to them yesterday for free, so why not today. The obvious solution is to never give anyone coffee for free again. Long story short, people got the hook up before. That hook up is now gone. You can live with it, cry about it or move on. One thing you can't do, is tell AT&T how to run their business and expect them to listen. With 92 million subscribers, a few hundred thousand that leave thinking any other phone company is going to treat them any differently won't even raise an eyebrow.

 

Again, I understand your frustration. But I don't think this is a battle worth fighting. If you decide to dig in on this one, best of luck to you. I feel that this particular situation screws me out of my benefit and I'm going to be on the side of AT&T at this point.

Message 10 of 16
Scholar

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

So you are ok with people who do get the update early, but not with us who is trying to get it when we should be ? You get to have perks but we shouldnt is that what you are saying ?
Message 11 of 16
Professor

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades


Loyal4Now1 wrote:

 

The contract also establishes the standard for upgrade of physical devices available under the subsidization program.

 


The terms of the contract for wireless service are shown here.  Phone subsidies are not guaranteed or even discussed in the contract.  This is why I said that AT&T can choose to offer a subsidy, or choose not to.  The customer can choose to enter a contract with AT&T Mobility, or choose not to.

Message 12 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

Thank you for the correction. It's probably good to have a link to the service contract in as many places on this site as possible. The terms of the upgrade program are:

 

"With the AT&T Upgrade Advantage, you can upgrade to any device every 20 months."

 

Upgrade Advantage Program: See rate-plan brochure and Wireless Customer Agreement for full terms applicable to selected rate plan. Customer eligibility may vary based on credit history, payment history, payment status, customer type, and other factors. Two-year service agreement required. Upgrade fee of $18 applies. Subscriber must live and have a mailing address within AT&T's owned network coverage area. For further details regarding AT&T's Return Policy and Early Termination Fees, including Cancellation of Service, please see ourreturn policy. AT&T may change the terms and conditions of the AT&T Upgrade Advantage Program at any time without notice. All other charges apply. Some dealers impose additional fees. Coverage not available in all areas. 

 

Even better. As a program offered by AT&T and under the terms above, AT&T reserves the right to "change the terms and conditions of the AT&T Upgrade Advantage Program at any time without notice". This means they can discontinue the program across the board (although I think they would have even more problems with their customers) or they can offer an upgrade to any subscriber or group of subscribers, at any time, without notice. It is purely a policy question for AT&T and we need not reach any questions of contract. 

 

All I have said from the first post on this thread is that IPhone early adopters will continue to ask for the treatment they have received in the past. It is of course up to AT&T to decide if this is a battle they want to stand firm on. Last year they decided that the downside of not offering the upgrade was greater than the upside of refusing to making the subsidized price available to IPhone owners.

 

We all have the ability to influence companies we do business with and IPhone owners, as a group, appear to wield some power as a group. I'm not sure why this produces such antipathy in other people.


Message 13 of 16

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades

I think this is all just a huge mess.. along with several friends I purchased my iphone 4 at the start(like every iphone from day 1) I have never had a problem upgrading at the 12 month mark and some of my friends are still getting the 4s upgrade for a mere 18 dollar fee(incl reg iphone price). Where I as well as others are getting charged full pricing until november, I am the sole person on my account and have unlimited everything so this im not understanding. Im hoping this is a big mix up as ive talked to several reps who said it is.. as well as several who stick to the you cant upgrade theme.

 

Either way for me its a bit crazy to know that its cheaper to switch cell phone carriers, or open up another line and cancel it and pay a cancellation fee and you will still be paying far less for your iphone 4s! Both are options several people I know are doing, I on the other hand am delaying my decision(so no preorder for me) in hopes AT&T figures something out, if not they are gonna have A LOT of extra paperwork on their hands and for what really? Robot Indifferent

Message 14 of 16
Professor

Re: Why IPhone Early Adopters Will Continue to Request Early Upgrades


Loyal4Now1 wrote:

 

We all have the ability to influence companies we do business with and IPhone owners, as a group, appear to wield some power as a group. I'm not sure why this produces such antipathy in other people.



 

I'm surrendering!  Don't hold me to it though... Smiley Wink

 

I'm an iPhone 4 early adopter who couldn't care less about my upgrade date.

 

You have your cause, which is the ability to use a full upgrade early to buy the iPhone 4S.  My cause is completely unrelated.  I want AT&T to offer a lower monthly service price to customers who bring their own devices or pay full retail price for the device from AT&T (with no contract, of course).  I wish you luck with your cause.  You are more likely to be successful with getting AT&T to see things your way than I will be.

 

Message 15 of 16
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