Like I’m sure many people did yesterday, I checked the upgrade availability for the new iPhone 5 on Apple’s site, but I was surprised to see that unlike previous years, there is no early access. Instead, what I found was that I am “eligible” for the unsubsidized price until May which is obviously disappointing.
I have no intention of paying $649 for the 64GB phone or even $449 for the 16GB option. I can’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation as I bought the 4S when it was initially released. Not sure what this might do to those anticipated holiday sales, but it’s likely to slow a large portion of the potential upgraders into next year as a result.
Now would be a great opportunity for another carrier (hello, VZW, Can you Hear me now?) to swoop in and offer a competitive switch opportunity. It could generate a great deal of good will, brand love and of course a new base of recurring payments on the network. This is common in car sales where a competing brand might offer a dealer incentive to get you out of another car’s lease early. I don’t believe there is any precedent in wireless for this, but hey no time like the present!