Corporate Discounts and the iPhone

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Yesterday, quietly, AT&T announced a plan for corporate users to get an iPhone with their corporate account discounts. This is something that has been asked for, sought after, and finally won by the business users that wanted to utilize the iPhone (and one more step for Apple in the business market). Since the University has a corporate account with AT&T, I thought I would check it out and see what the discount looks like.

Well, it looks like the discount for the plan saves you around $9.00 per month for any plan with any phone (sans one). So you are probably thinking, "Great! I'm all over it!" Well, before you get too excited, you have to look at the iPhone Enterprise Data plan. For the basic plan (everything, with only 200 SMS messages), it's $45.00 a month. Compare that with the iPhone individual upgrade of only $20.00 a month for the same plan. So, you are being charged an extra $25.00, just because you have a corporate account.

I suppose they assume that corporate users are going to integrate more applications and utilize the data bandwidth more, so that's why the price is higher. Unfortunately, since there is no discount for the iPhone itself, this means that it would be cheaper for a business user to get a private account for the iPhone, instead of the corporate account.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. Perhaps, should the iPod Slate be announced sometime soon, or a 3G iPhone even sooner, I will rethink it.