$150 iPhone Rebates: Result of Private Consumer Survey?

Remember the controversial Cingular iPhone ad that I claimed was used in a private Pinecone Research consumer survey to test price points for the iPhone? Well the results of that survey may help explain today’s news that AT&T might offer $50 to $150 iPhone rebates.

An analyst’s research notes appeared today on AppleInsider displaying this quote from American Technology Research firm’s Shaw Wu:

We are hearing rebates of $50-150 that will be offered by AT&T to lower the price points for iPhone (currently $499 for 4 GB and $599 for 8 GB) and to entice customers to sign longer term voice and data contracts,” the analyst wrote. “From AT&T’s perspective, a rebate is a great marketing tool and small sacrifice to make to entice a customer to sign up for 2-year voice and data cell phone plans that cost about $75-100 per month (before taxes and fees), meaning $1800-2400 in ‘guaranteed’ bi-annual revenue.

The February Cingular consumer survey ad I revealed showed $299 and $399 prices for the iPhone and asked respondents what they would be willing to pay for the phone. The possible $150 rebate on the iPhone would bring the iPhone prices down to $350 and $450, from the announced $500 and $600.

These prices may reflect the responses of the consumer survey. If so, most consumers must have said they would be willing to pay more than $299 and $399 respectively for the 4GB and 8GB iPhone.

Recent news of price adjustments for the phone further suggests that analysts have for months been correct in their speculations that the iPhone price is bound to drop.

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