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iPhone 101: Eight 3G iPhone Plan Pricing Details You Need to Know

Thinking about signing up for iPhone 3G service? Here are some pricing details you'll want to know about.

1. You have to pay $18 or $36. A one time $36 activation fee still applies to 3G plans, the way it did for the first generation iPhone. If you're a current AT&T subscriber, this fee is only $18.

2. Data costs more. On the original iPhone plans, unlimited data cost $20/month. The new iPhone 3G plans cost $30/month.

3. Exchange costs $15/month more beyond that. The normal 3G iPhone data plan costs $30/month. Enterprise data costs $45/month. This buys you access to all the standard Exchange features. If you need to get Exchange mail, or access data inside your firewall, you're an enterprise user. AT&T isn't saying they'll disable ActiveSync and Exchange on normal iPhone plans for non-corporate users so we're unsure how they'll police this policy. Our Christina speculates that the enterprise plan sets up the server to accept exchange support; you could do IMAP from your exchange account but if you want non-MobileMe push, you gotta be on the enterprise tier plan.

Follow the jumps for more plan pricing details.

4. SMS isn't included. 200 Text Messages a month start at $5 and go up to $15 for 1500 and $20 for unlimited SMS messages.

5. You can buy SMS a la cart. SMS messages cost $0.20 each if you aren't on one of the monthly plans. This is a bit pricey. Late last year, I was still paying $0.05 for AT&T SMS a la carte. Then they jumped to $0.15, and now $0.20.

6. Voice minutes still start at $40/month. There are no prepaid contract free Pay as You Go plans available for the 3G iPhone. $40/month buys you 450 minutes. Price plans go up from there to $200/month for 6000 minutes.

7. International plans are available. You must activate International Roaming before leaving the US and set up a plan. Call 866-331-0500 to find out more about international roaming and long distance. Keep in mind this consideration is true of nearly all smartphones from AT&T and not just the iPhone.

8. There are no 3G-less discounts. If you live in an area that doesn't have 3G service, you're still going to pay at least $30/month for data. AT&T no longer offers the original $20/month data plan. Many people consider the $20/month plan an incredible bargain.

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