There seems to be some confusion, and some confliction (hey, if Colbert can invent words, so can I) about whether or not upgrading to a 16 GB iPhone while in the middle of your current AT&T Mobility iPhone contract will require that you sign a new two-year dealie.
The website iPhone Atlas reports that one of their readers said this is the case. The site also cites an Apple discussion board thread in which a poster seems to confirm the necessity for a new two-year.
William Panes (who seems to be experiencing a mindset not unalike his surname) posts:
The Apple Store told me I could just plug the new phone in and it would be activated on the old contract. But iTunes and AT&T insist that I have to establish a new contract. I’ve tried both the old and new SIM cards.
I called AT&T and was told by rep and then her supervisor that it was not AT&T policy to allow upgrade without a new 2 year contract and that other information on the web and at the Apple Store was incorrect.
Then Apple Board poster sanfran96 writes:
I just came from the ATT store where I fully intended to buy the new 16GB iPhone (I have had an 8GB iPhone since day one and have loved it, though I think ATT isn’t the best service provider). However, when the sales agent explained that I would have to re-up for another 2-year committment from ATT, I decided not to buy the new phone — at least at this time. The sales agent said that my original 2-year plan would end the day I activated the new phone and a new 2-year plan would be initiated!
Some other posters contradict sanfran96's info. In fact Panes updates:
Today’s adventure with ATT: Prior to returning the phone to the Apple Store, I called the ATT service number one further time to verify last night’s information. Today, the rep on the ATT-Apple iPhone help line called his contact at ATT. She stated on a 3-way call that there would be NO extension of the contract (still expires 6/2009) and that she would put a note to that effect in my account record. She gave me her name as well. Trying to activate the new phone now.
How this registers with me is that in light of the lightning-fast 16GB iPhone earlier this week, an incomplete list of instructions was sent down to Apple's and AT&T's retail channels when the 16 GB was announced- and in the absence of such specifics, store managers have had a tendency to make up their own rules.