AT&T announces iPhone rate plans

AT&T finally announced three iPhone service plans, which start at $59.99. Each of the plans includes the same suite of "unlimited" data (email and Web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile. The plans are distinctive because of the number of minutes: $59.99 buys 450 monthly minutes; $79.99 buys 900 monthly minutes; and $99.99 buys 1,350 monthly minutes. There is also a one-time activation fee of $36. The carrier also mentioned that family plans are available for iPhone users.

"We want to make choosing a service plan simple and easy, so every plan includes unlimited data with direct Internet access, along with Visual Voicemail and a host of other goodies," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

Visual Voicemail is the feature both AT&T and Apple have been hyping the most for the handset, so it's logical to make it an included service. iPhone users will be able to "immediately and randomly" access voicemail messages that interest them the most--just like email. The iPhone costs $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8GB model. The iPhone goes on sale Friday at 6 PM on the east coast.

For more on the iPhone rate plans:
- read this Apple press release

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