Price slide: AT&T poised to slash the iPhone plan rate soon

This one's still in rumor mode right now, but even all the experts say it's nearly a sure thing: TheStreet.com, says that AT&T is probably going to cut the price of the monthly iPhone usage plan by $10 this summer as Apple wheels out the phone's new model. That means the current, insultingly off-putting $69-a-month rate (combining the phone plan with data usage) will become a more moderately offensive $59 a month, which is a 14% price drop.

Space that $10-a-month savings over the lifetime of a two-year contract, and users will be saving $240, which is more than the $199 price of the most "basic" (hardly the word) iPhone. If customers can start thinking of the subscription price cut as paying for the device itself, lots more iPhones stand to get sold. Just ask early adopters of the iPhone, who paid $400 for their units, how they feel about the fact you can get one for half that now. Also ask Apple, which saw sales leap from 4 million to 17 million in one year after that price drop went into effect.