June 11th, at the World Wide Developer’s Conference, Steve will give a keynote. One of the things he will talk about is the iPhone. In his speech, he will give all the details we haven’t heard so far – the AT&T cellular service deals you can get with the phone, and the date of release: June 20th.
Then Steve will say oh, there’s one more thing. We have iPhones for any attendee who wants to purchase one, right here, right now! Sign up and pick up your new phone right now out in the hall. Hundreds of attendees, and some press who attended the keynote, will go home from WWDC with new, working iPhones. Others can get them on the 20th.
Not only does the crowd go wild, but this gets lots and lots of advance reviews into the public a few days before the main launch. Press will print columns, developers will blog, the public will read.
Apple will do this because they know the reviews will be very, very good, especially with this crowd. And, it will get wide publicity for the new service plans and system they have set.
You will be able to get a 2 year contract with your phone. You pat full price with the phone, but the iPhone service and data plan, with unlimited messaging and data, will run about $150 less than the equivalent existing AT&T plan. You will also be able to get a no contract, pay as you go plan. With that plan you again pay full price for the phone, and there are per voice minute, per data kilobyte, per SMS message charges.
Why a pay as you go plan? This way, people can pick up an iPhone even if they have an existing phone and service with another carrier. They can simply use the device as a widescreen video iPod and Wi-Fi web browser, without even using the cellular system. Or they can make a call or send an EMail here and there from the road. When their old contract is up with their other company, they can switch to a contract plan with AT&T.
And WHY will they want to switch? Aside from falling in love with the phone, those pay as you go charges will make your eyes water. Did you know AT&T now charges up to ten cents per SMS message, and a cent per KILOBYTE of data? And that iPhone will suck up data faster than a tick on Dracula. Once you start using the phone, you are going to want to switch to the contract deal.
That’s my speculation. What’s yours?