Every day 100′s of people walk into an AT&T store, lay down $399 and sign a 2 year contract for an iPhone.
Those people are stupid. (no offense if I just described how you purchased your iPhone)
And here is why: The iPhone is an unsubsidized phone. This means that Apple and AT&T don’t care that you are signing a 2 year agreement; they won’t give you any kind of discount on the phone. But they will give you a discount on any other phone they sell.
Here is how you can shave up to $275 off the price of the iPhone:
Walk into the AT&T store and pretend you don’t want an iPhone. Have the sales clerk sell you the most expensive phone, for the least amount of money. The Palm Centro is a good example of a phone that you can get for around $100 in store. Take the phone, sign the 2 year agreement and leave the store. Do not open or use that phone (and don’t mention that you’ll be buying an iPhone later). I’ve read reports of people getting the Palm Centro for $50 with a $50 rebate, essentially making the phone free.
Now go to the Apple store and purchase an iPhone for $399. Take the iPhone home and insert the SIM card intended for the phone you got in the AT&T store into your new iPhone. When you open iTunes to activate the iPhone you’ll select the option for "existing AT&T number". This will change the plan you purchased in the AT&T store to a shiny new iPhone plan.
Now list the unopened and unused Palm Centro on Ebay (or Craigslist). It’ll sell for around $275.
Lets look at that math:
|New Palm Centro||$100|
|Sale of Palm Centro||-$275|
|Net price for the iPhone||$244|
Want to make it even cheaper? Ask the AT&T or Apple store if they have any refurbished iPhones in stock. These 8Gb refurbished phones sell for $299. With a little creativity you could get your (almost) brand new iPhone for $50!