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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:20 PM   #1
braddick
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Why does AT&T & Verizon allow Smartphone upgrades on non-smartphone accounts?

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful they do, but never understood why the services offer upgrades on non-smartphone lines.

For example, my second line- one that my wife uses- is for a non-smartphone (and is set at $9.95 a month with AT&T).

This line recently qualified for an upgrade, allowing us to purchase an iPhone5- at $199., sell it on Craigslist for $750. and with the $500. profit, pay for her line easily for another two years. It's like getting free cell phone service with a little extra bank tossed in.

If AT&T would only allow smartphone lines (those that pay the additional fee for internet and such) to qualify for subsidized smartphones they would earn extra money for their shareholders (of which I am not).

I am sure I must be missing something in all these calculations and thus this thread.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:23 PM   #2
90miles
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Who would buy an i5 for $750 when you can get it unlocked from Apple for $650, not doubting, just wondering...
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
Applejuiced
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There's no such thing as non-smartphone account.
Its just telephone lines that you can use to get an upgrade. Any kind of phone you want.
Then you can sell it, trade it, gift it, burn it etc..
Its yours.
If you want to go back to using a nonsmartphone you can.
As long as you stay with them for the next 2 years.
You dont need to carry the iphone data plan on your account if you're not using an iphone any longer.
If you just use a regural flip phone or nonsmartphone you can remove it obviously. Its only logical.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:24 PM   #4
DeuceDeuce
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Your story has some holes...
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:35 PM   #5
braddick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90miles View Post
Who would buy an i5 for $750 when you can get it unlocked from Apple for $650, not doubting, just wondering...
Purchased and sold before Apple was offering their unlocks.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:47 PM   #6
wordoflife
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"Upgrades" are subsidized either way. For non-smart phone you might get for free, it might actually cost $180-$250 without a contract. But, you're getting it for free. Same thing with the iPhone. Now they got you in a 2 year contract, and if you want to end it before then, you'll have to pay $350 early termination (base) price (since you used an upgrade on a smart phone) instead of the $180 early termination price that comes with a dumb phone.

They make up their money either way, really. It just depends if people mind using the same dumb phone for years. Most want something new.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 05:01 PM   #7
90miles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braddick View Post
Purchased and sold before Apple was offering their unlocks.
They could buy it from the carrier for $700 contract-free, buying the Verizon version it would be unlocked, am I missing something ??
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 05:29 PM   #8
Applejuiced
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90miles View Post
They could buy it from the carrier for $700 contract-free, buying the Verizon version it would be unlocked, am I missing something ??
Yes, you're missing a lot.
Before the wait for the i5 was up to 4-6 weeks so people would pay a few hundred extra to get it today.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 07:38 PM   #9
Mrbobb
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So when they upgraded you they did not allow you to stay on the 9.95 plan did they? You are now paying more like $70/month? Do the math.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 07:53 PM   #10
Leonard1818
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I'm pretty sure that if I add a line to my verizon acct for $9.99 or whatever, I would need to buy a data plan for that line if I wanted a smartphone.

Though Verizon has switched to data share plans so the only savings for a non-smartphone is $10 ($40 for a smartphone and $30 for a non-smartphone)
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:44 PM   #11
Johnny Alien
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With Verizon you don't get the data charges added until the phone is activated. So if I have a standard line for $10 and upgrade the phone with a smartphone but never activate it on that line than I will never get charged the $30 monthly data fee.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:02 PM   #12
Arnezie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90miles View Post
Who would buy an i5 for $750 when you can get it unlocked from Apple for $650, not doubting, just wondering...
Launch week they were going for $800-1000!!!!!!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:52 PM   #13
aneftp
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OP. What u did was maximize profit for yourself. Congrats on selling subsidized secondary line upgraded iPhone and switching back to non data plan $9.99 for that line.

Keep in mind ATT and other carriers know exactly the game. And that's why they are pushing shared data plans.

Remember in the USA family lines make up over 60% of all lines. Carriers have seen their profit margin decrease especially on secondary lines cause of iPhone subsidies.

So OP. great question. Carriers like att and Verizon have answered your question. They want to move all people to share data and charge at least $30 extra a month even for flip phones. That's how they are responding.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 02:13 AM   #14
Jordan921
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All lines are the same. Just depends if you have data on the line or not but they all get upgrades come 2years.
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