Real Cost of iPhone 3GS: About $118 More Than You Think

It's hardly been in the open for 3 hours and already the 3GS is incurring wrath among iPhone devotees: An upgrade may cost you $US399 for the 32GB or $US299 for the 16GB, if you're not eligible for a new plan.

How do you qualify for the announced pricing? New customer, new line of service, presumably contract renewal, that sort of thing. Last year, people who owned iPhone Numero Uno got a shoo-in, but apparently that's not the deal now. To add insult to injury, you'll even have to pay an $US18 upgrade fee to jump from 3G to 3GS.

Verbiage from some customer mailing:

As a valued AT&T customer, AT&T can offer you an early iPhone upgrade with a new 2-yr commitment and an $US18 upgrade fee. You may qualify for a standard iPhone upgrade on 07/12/2009.
$US299.00* - 8GB iPhone 3G (black)
$US399.00* - 16GB iPhone 3G S (black or white)
$4US99.00* - 32GB iPhone 3G S (black or white)

We also just saw these crazy insane prices on Apple's website, thanks to a commenter mrwizzz, but we can't see how those numbers are final—at least, we hope to hell they're not:

For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $US499 (8GB), $US599 (16GB), or $US699 (32GB).

[Wirelessinfo.com; David Chartier on Twitter; other various tips and sources]