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AT&T loves the Apple faithful, after all. Since we're more than likely getting an iPhone refresher unit this summer (sooner than you think: June is only three weeks away!), AT&T is priming and prepping its upgrade eligibility conditions. Earlier this morning, MobileCrunch received an email from a reader stating the following:
Not sure if anyone [..] has noticed this same thing, but my Upgrade Eligibility date on my AT&T account switched from 11/21 to 6/21 in the last day or so. I bought a 3GS on launch day last year, and my upgrade date read 11/21 since then. A few other folks in my office have noticed the same changes happening to their accounts as well.
If this is indeed true, then it may be that AT&T is gearing up for the next iPhone launch and allowing new adopters and iPhone faithful to buy back into their contract five months earlier.
As for any speculation to why AT&T bumped it up exactly five months back, the company has stated:
There has been no change in policy around eligibility dates. Our existing policy aims to allow customers to upgrade to new devices as early as possible – exact timing is based on a variety of factors (length of contract, payment history, etc.) unique to each customer’s account. We constantly update our systems based on these factors, meaning some customers become eligible earlier than they anticipated.
Regardless of the real truth behind all of that, we definitely welcome earlier eligibility for subsidized phones. iPhone 3G and 3GS users will be able to get the new 4G iPhone without any issues--and a discount.