How To Save $200 On The iPhone 3G, Maybe (AAPL, T)

Most of us can get an iPhone 3G for $199 when it comes out on Friday. But some AT&T customers — ones who didn’t buy the first iPhone, and who aren’t eligible for an upgrade — will have to pay an extra $200.

If you’re one those people, and you have more time than money, and you’re not worried about the consequences of tricking your carrier, here’s an ultra-complicated workaround that *might* trick AT&T into giving you the discounted price. It takes a lot of time, incredibly understanding friends, and there are absolutely no guarantees that it will work. So don’t complain to us if this fails:

  • Borrow a friend’s iPhone and remove their SIM card, replacing it with your own AT&T SIM.
  • Log onto iTunes, activate the iPhone as your own, and sign up for a plan (you have to do this fast — by Friday morning — for the theoretical workaround to work).
  • Take your SIM card out and give the phone back to your friend. It should work for him or her exactly as it used to.
  • Go to the AT&T store to buy your new iPhone. Your account should appear to have an iPhone on it instead of your old phone, which should theoretically make you eligible for the lower price.

Some people have already tried to do this, and they say they’ve succeeded so far  — AT&T’s system thinks they bought the old iPhone. But AT&T may have a plan in place to make sure that these customers can’t trick the system. We won’t know until Friday, or whenever they try buy their new iPhone.

If anyone is brave/foolish enough to try this, let us know whether it works — in comments below, or by sending us an anonymous tip.

See Also:
Apple’s iPhone Enterprise Opportunity “Larger Than Thought,” Goldman Says
Really, Last Call For iPhone Apps, Apple Tells Developers
It Has Begun! iPhone Line Forms At NYC Apple Store
That 3G iPhone Not $199 For Everyone; Bernstein Hikes Apple Estimates

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