Who doesn’t want a free iPhone, even if it is two generations out of date? No one, it seems, because the new free-on-contract 3GS deal is creating “tremendous, tremendous” demand at one US carrier, AT&T. I suspect this demand is happening throughout the world.
Price has always been seen as a factor holding iPhone sales back (not that it seems to have had that much of an effect, judging by Apple’s market position). Now, however, there is no excuse for not choosing an iPhone over an equally free Android or Windows phone.
Let’s face it. The phone is incidental to the joy of becoming part of the iOS eco-system. And the 3GS isn’t a bad little phone at all. I know many friends who are happy with their “old” phones, even some still wedded to the 3G, and see no reason to upgrade. It looks good, iconic in fact, and there’s no stigma in getting one out on the bus. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the free 3GS is a classic.
While we are paying far too much attention to sales of the 4S, let’s not forget the 3GS and, even, the un-Siri’d iPhone 4 that is also still selling in huge numbers. By keeping older models in circulation, Apple have created a whole product family which will appeal to the widest possible market. An iPhone is an iPhone is an iPhone.
And don’t forget, once hooked on a humble, free 3GS and sucked into the App Store, these new iPhoneistas will be listening to the siren call of Siri. Their next phone will be a 4S.