"So buying an iPhone 3G may cost $200 less than before, but paying the monthly bill will set you back $240 more over your 2-year contract with AT&T, for a total of $1,680 in subscription fees over the 2-year contract instead of $1,440 (previously, the lowest monthly voice+data plan cost $59.99 per month). How exactly is that cheaper?"
"Wait, it gets worse! Om Malik, in an interview with Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility, learned that SMS messages are no longer included in the data plan either, so you'll have to pay extra for them. Previously, the data plan included 200 SMS messages per month. AT&T's Messaging 200 plan, which includes 200 SMS messages, costs $5 per month, so it would seem likely that the iPhone 3G's SMS plan would be similar."
"So now the minimum monthly cost of an iPhone 3G is up to $75, raising the cost across 2 years by another $120, to a total of $1,800, and bringing the total cost of ownership and service of an 8 GB iPhone 3G to an even $2,000. That's $160 more than the total cost of ownership and service for an original 8 GB iPhone (after the first price cut), which totals out to $1,840."