Although this policy has been in place for almost a year, most iPhone users have no clue that adding a family member to their existing plan or starting a new plan is simple and painless.
I recently added wifey to my family plan using my old iPhone 3G for an additional $10 a month plus $30 for unlimited data (with a $36 activation fee).
Walk into any AT&T store with an iPhone in hand and you can expect to pay $39.95 for a base service plan of 450 minutes a month plus $30 for unlimited data. All contract free.
Apple is selling new iPhone 3G models starting at $499 or a 3GS for $599 16GB and $699 for a 32GB model without a contract. I've seen used 3G iPhones sold on Ebay for as little as $203 plus shipping.
Purchasing a new iPhone 3G from Apple or AT&T at the discounted price of $99 or $199 for a 3GS is what requires initiating a two year contract, because AT&T picks up a bulk of the cost for the device.
This news should be enough motivation for anyone to start badgering friends and family members to give up their old iPhone 3G devices that are collecting dust. You can always cut a great deal on a 3GS model when everyone upgrades to the next-generation iPhone coming sometime in June.
A hand-me-down iPhone makes a pretty sweet gift when you can enjoy it contract free.