Remember the chatter about how Android smartphones are set to hit the market at prices under $80? Remember? It was only a few days ago. Well — if you’re in the market for a cheaper smartphone, why not get yourself a slice of the premium experience — an iOS 4-compatible iPhone 3GS for just $49 from AT&T.

That’s right, AT&T will start selling the iPhone 3GS for $49 starting Friday to customers who buy it with a two-year service contract and data plan. This is the deal you’ll get from both AT&T and Apple.

What could it mean? That Apple’s ramping-up a price war, maybe? That At&T is shifting stock in hand as it preps the ground for a Verizon iContender? That AAPL plans a new iPhone sooner than expected?

“We want to deliver the best, most complete package for our customers — from price, to speed, to worldwide access and more,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Combined with our new, lower monthly data plans beginning at just $15 a month, this new price brings even more value to one of the most popular devices in our leading lineup of smartphones. We’re very excited for more people to experience iPhone on the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network.”

There’s lots of potential for gossip at this news on the 2009 iPhone. But at these prices for a phone this good, I think Android handset makers will be hard-pressed to match Apple’s offering on either features, or price. Speak up below!

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