Halp! I Can’t Figure out the iPhone Contract.

Update: This post could easily have been all about the failday (or iPocalypse as Gizmodo is calling it) Apple and AT&T had. Not since Firefox 3 download day have we seen a fail of these proportions.

No one was exempt: those waiting in line, those updating a 2G iPhone, those trying to activate iPhones for hours. Except for those of us who installed the leaked update yesterday (thanks Eddie!). I think that is still working, if you have a 2G and can’t get the firmware to update through iTunes.

This has been bothering me all week, and I can’t believe I forgot to include it my last post about the iPhone 2.0 firmware.

It’s the corporate discount. You know, the iPhone is for business now, so corporate discounts are supposed to apply.

This is confusing, and I don’t claim to have all the information. Here’s what I know:

  • Oracle employees qualify for a discount with AT&T.
  • As of July 2007, when I bought my iPhones, that discount did not apply to iPhones. Bummer.
  • Recently, AT&T changed this policy, ostensibly for 3G iPhones.
  • I called AT&T last week and was told that the corporate discount did in fact apply to “iPhones” no delineation on which versions, but only if the iPhone was not the primary phone on the account. Major bummer.

So, this means that either 3G iPhones are treated differently that 2G ones are or we’re all in the same boat. Either way, I’m screwed. Honestly, I really hope I’m not paying the early adopter tax again for buying a 2G iPhone too soon.

I also really hope that this is the correct interpretation of “supporting” the corporate discount. If so, it’s a laughably narrow interpretation.

So, help me out here? Anyone have information about this pickle, Oracle employee or not?

I guess can wait. Apple and AT&T have their hands full today. Techmeme is dominated by stories about the activation servers failing. A friend of mine waited three hours in line to get a 16GB iPhone and got nothing; there’s speculation that Apple and AT&T are manufacturing demand for the devices by refusing to sell more than an allotted quota each day.

Apparently, the 2.0 firmware push is borked too. Not to worry, you can do it yourself if you’re brave. I did.

But hey, at least Twitter is up so everyone can vent.

Update 7/14/08: I called AT&T again today and was told flat out that 2G iPhones weren’t eligible at all for the corporate discount. Thanks Apple and AT&T! So far, no word from anyone yet about the 3G iPhone. Stay tuned for more.




  1. How's that? I still don't have a straight answer about the discount. Do you have any insight into that?

  2. Jake. Sat in line for 2 hours today and got my very first iphone. While in line, I borrowed a phone from the apple store to confim that I was eligible for the discount. Talked to the “guy” and he said “well you are eligible but you have to remove your corp. discount”. I said “fine do that then”. He said “wait let me check again”, after being on hold for 5 min he came back and said i was good to go. I was very impressed with the efficiency of getting all of that worked out while I was in line.

    An hour later, when I finally get in to buy my phone they told me that I couldn't get service b/c they couldn't process my ORCL plan. After going around a few times explaining how silly that was since I had already called, it became clear they were not going to budge. I said fine, give me the phone and I'll go work it out with AT&T, they responded saying that I couldn't purchase from they b/c they had to get the phone setup and I couldn't buy from the AT&T store down the street b/c they ran out. In otherwords, thanks for enjoying the line outside our store for 2 hours, you can go home now…!

    At which point I lost it with the guy and signed up for a whole new contract to include a new phone number. Now I expect I have a few hours in my future in the AT&T store trying to get everything straightened out but otherwise they were not going to let me leave with a phone. I attempted to get a more logical outcome but it was clear that I had two choices, get a new plan or go home. Too strange.

    I'm very interested to see if anyone got this working more painlessly. Please do send me a link to the group, I will be joining for sure.

  3. Wow, sounds like you had a fun Friday like a lot of other people. It really is perplexing how Apple can continue to do no wrong. They seem to be the Teflon company. Very much like Twitter for me.

    I guess the bottom line for me is their stuff works really well and is awesome.

    As for the contract, I really hope we can get it sorted soon. That's a nice chunk of change when your bill is iPhone-sized.

    You can find the group in Connect. It's public.

  4. I had the same problem with the iPhone 2G, I was lucky then because I was allowed to buy it and activate later, so I could keep using my old phone and constantly call AT&T and be passed round departments until somebody could remove the ORCL corporate plan from my account and activate my phone. It took about 5 calls and 2 days (because of course several of the departments are open 9-5 Eastern time only!!). Good luck!

  5. Check out the iProcurement page on wireless service. It has been updated to include lots of iPhone goodness: details of the discount, how to order, what is covered, etc. The best part is that they overnight it to you for free! Mine arrives tomorrow.

  6. The word on the street is that 2G iPhones do in fact qualify, but it might take some doing to get the discount applied.

    I'm going to try out the process recommended to me tomorrow, wish me luck. Oh wait, you don't care b/c you have a 3G one. Drat.

  7. I still wish you luck.

    I have to say that the process of getting the 3G through Oracle was a lot easier than if I was going to get it on my own (as I originally planned.) Order it through the premier site, wait 24 hours, find you AGPS location. Viola!

  8. Rich was planning to go that route too. I think Meg might be wishing she had as well. Sounds pretty painless compared to Friday's madness. The funny thing is they probably lost 24 hours anyway due to the server fails Apple had.

    I have no intention of “upgrading”, i.e. dumping my 2G iPhone, which is perfectly good and not nearly amortized yet. I have noticed that several of the apps in the App Store are tied to 3G and fail over Edge 🙁

    Maybe if Apple offered a trade-in, but not otherwise, I'm not prepared to waste that kind of money.

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