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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:10 AM   #1
nanchen242
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Apple Store refusing to sell the iPhone 5 full contract free?

So, hey guys. My birthday is coming up and i thought i would treat myself this year by buying the iPhone 5. I'm with t-mobile right now so i wont be able to buy it on contract. So i've been calling all the 5 apple stores here in NYC and they told me they won't sell it to me without a contract. . Is this true or once i go in, they'll sell it to me anyways? thanks for the support
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:12 AM   #2
mattopotamus
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Usually for the first month, they only sell the phone tied to a contract.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:13 AM   #3
nanchen242
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Usually for the first month, they only sell the phone tied to a contract.
yea, but i've been reading the forums here and it seems like everyone else is getting it contract free for 650...darn
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:15 AM   #4
Avalonjay
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I bought my IPhone 5 on launch day with no contract. I would say try to go into the store anyway and try.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:17 AM   #5
mattopotamus
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yea, but i've been reading the forums here and it seems like everyone else is getting it contract free for 650...darn
I noticed that too, I think they are getting them from somewhere like best buy or maybe if you can walk into apple and buy one they will let you buy it off contract. The reserves/pre-orders are contract only.

----------

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I bought my IPhone 5 on launch day with no contract. I would say try to go into the store anyway and try.
this kinda works toward my bolded point.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:24 AM   #6
aDRock1154
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I bought my 64GB contract free on the 22nd from Apple.

It wasn't an issue at all.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:27 AM   #7
mattopotamus
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I bought my 64GB contract free on the 22nd from Apple.

It wasn't an issue at all.
in store though right? Not a pre-order/reserve. People have even posted they reserved one with an upgrade and when picking it up tried to pay full price....apple would not let them
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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in store though right? Not a pre-order/reserve. People have even posted they reserved one with an upgrade and when picking it up tried to pay full price....apple would not let them
Wow really? Yeah, I bought mine in store launch weekend before they started doing the 10 o' clock reserve. That's crazy they won't let you give them more money lol
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:31 AM   #9
ninethirty
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I walked into an Apple Store on Sunday and bought the phone for full price.

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Originally Posted by mattopotamus View Post
in store though right? Not a pre-order/reserve. People have even posted they reserved one with an upgrade and when picking it up tried to pay full price....apple would not let them
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:32 AM   #10
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I'm confused on why some stores won't sell them unsubb'd and some will?
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:40 AM   #11
JodyK
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NYC stores have so many resellers looking to send the iPhone into the Asian markets that daily lines were often reaching around the block. This is why they are refusing to sell device only in NYC in particular.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:44 AM   #12
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NYC stores have so many resellers looking to send the iPhone into the Asian markets that daily lines were often reaching around the block. This is why they are refusing to sell device only in NYC in particular.

Nooooo! My own kind...why u ruin my birthday gift :/....lol o well thanks for the feedback. im heading to 5th ave to 2x check wish me luck
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by aDRock1154 View Post
I'm confused on why some stores won't sell them unsubb'd and some will?
It may be because of low stock levels for SIM free iPhones.

Generally speaking, phone retailers allocate some of their stock to pay as you go, some of their stock to contract, and some of their stock to SIM free. The pay as you go and contract phones are usually the same thing, but phone retailers obviously want to sell more phones on contracts so they allocate accordingly.

The SIM free iPhones, however, are actually different from the others because they come unlocked. It is very possible that Apple has provided more stock of phones locked to AT&T and other US networks than phones unlocked for use on any network.

That's just speculation but it would make sense.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 08:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 0dev View Post
It may be because of low stock levels for SIM free iPhones.

Generally speaking, phone retailers allocate some of their stock to pay as you go, some of their stock to contract, and some of their stock to SIM free. The pay as you go and contract phones are usually the same thing, but phone retailers obviously want to sell more phones on contracts so they allocate accordingly.

The SIM free iPhones, however, are actually different from the others because they come unlocked. It is very possible that Apple has provided more stock of phones locked to AT&T and other US networks than phones unlocked for use on any network.

That's just speculation but it would make sense.


That seems to make a lot of sense. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 08:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 0dev View Post
It may be because of low stock levels for SIM free iPhones.

Generally speaking, phone retailers allocate some of their stock to pay as you go, some of their stock to contract, and some of their stock to SIM free. The pay as you go and contract phones are usually the same thing, but phone retailers obviously want to sell more phones on contracts so they allocate accordingly.

The SIM free iPhones, however, are actually different from the others because they come unlocked. It is very possible that Apple has provided more stock of phones locked to AT&T and other US networks than phones unlocked for use on any network.

That's just speculation but it would make sense.
Yes this is just speculation ... There are only 3 models of the iPhone 5. The three iPhone 5 models include: GSM model A1428 that supports LTE Bands 4 and 17; GSM model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, and 5; and CDMA model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25.

The CDMA version comes unlocked out if the box. All the GSM flavors can be sold device only or unlocked. This is done through Apple's system. All they have to do is sell it as device only and instantly Apple puts the IEMI number into their server as device only (unlocked) and when you go to activate it registers as unlocked and let's any carrier / SIM card.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 09:00 AM   #16
nanchen242
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Just got out of 5th ave, out of stock :-( . They said their only selling it to the people who reserved it with a contract.....

Last edited by nanchen242; Oct 10, 2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:15 AM   #17
bigjnyc
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If all else fails walk in with someone who has an AT&T account. Since you are getting it contract free their account wont be affected. and many reports have said that the contract free AT&T iphone 5 is unlocked out of the box.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:40 AM   #18
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If all else fails walk in with someone who has an AT&T account. Since you are getting it contract free their account wont be affected. and many reports have said that the contract free AT&T iphone 5 is unlocked out of the box.
oo smart idea, but doesnt the att person have to buy the iphone for you then? if anyone tried this, can someone tell me if it worked
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:46 AM   #19
rockyroad55
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They will sell you a contract free iPhone ONLY if you are not eligible for a full or early upgrade (for now). So just go with someone that's not eligible and get them to buy it, not going to affect them anyway.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:49 AM   #20
pitterpat
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Buy it w/ contract then cancel the contract. When U add it up U save $50.... No contract is $699 correct & contract is $299 + $350 (cost to cancel contract)= $649.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 10:59 AM   #21
jlp2979
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I reserved an AT&T iphone 5 online for pick up the next day at Apple Store. I signed up for new AT&T service and paid the $299 w/ 2 year contract. I went to Apple Store to pick it up yesterday and they did a return of the phone and re-sold it to me for $750 and contract free. I was told that the return of the phone canceled service with AT&T automatically (not sure about that one) so I was free to use it with T-mobile if I wanted to. The person gave me a new AT&T sim card aside from the one already in the phone to take to an AT&T store in case I wanted to use AT&T (and I am using AT&T for now, just don't want a contract).

So although they aren't selling "unlocked" phones, they will sell you "contract free" phones, is my experience.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:00 AM   #22
ProudLoz
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Buy it w/ contract then cancel the contract. When U add it up U save $50.... No contract is $699 correct & contract is $299 + $350 (cost to cancel contract)= $649.
Don't forget that you have the pay the first month's usage, so it turns up to be a little bit more than just $649.

I suggest the OP tries to get a friend with an AT&T or Verizon account to buy one for them if he wants it early. This should be relatively easy to do, and since you're doing it for your birthday I'm sure you're friend will be willing to do it as your birthday gift haha.

I'd be willing to help you out OP if I lived in NYC, but I sadly don't.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:03 AM   #23
vladzaharia
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It may be because of low stock levels for SIM free iPhones.

Generally speaking, phone retailers allocate some of their stock to pay as you go, some of their stock to contract, and some of their stock to SIM free. The pay as you go and contract phones are usually the same thing, but phone retailers obviously want to sell more phones on contracts so they allocate accordingly.

The SIM free iPhones, however, are actually different from the others because they come unlocked. It is very possible that Apple has provided more stock of phones locked to AT&T and other US networks than phones unlocked for use on any network.

That's just speculation but it would make sense.
That would be true, except that it's the exact same phone. The unlocking happens on Apple's servers, and gets transmitted to the device during the activation/restore process. The device-only phone still has an AT&T SIM card in it.

In the US, there are two models, a GSM AT&T one, and a CDMA Sprint/Verizon one. No difference between device-only and normal.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:13 AM   #24
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They told me its only being sold to people with reservations. But when you reserve it, dont you have to sign up for a plan?
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:36 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by vladzaharia View Post
That would be true, except that it's the exact same phone. The unlocking happens on Apple's servers, and gets transmitted to the device during the activation/restore process. The device-only phone still has an AT&T SIM card in it.

In the US, there are two models, a GSM AT&T one, and a CDMA Sprint/Verizon one. No difference between device-only and normal.
I'm guessing they just allocate most of their stock to contract only then.
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