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Old Aug 10, 2013, 10:39 PM   #1
Squilly
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What's so good about buying an iPhone outright?

Don't carriers still get their full contract prices but the difference is you can leave whenever you want? ie. Sprint's simply everything plan is $99 a month for one line under contract. Isn't it still the same if you buy it outright? Other than the fact that you don't have to wait two years to leave?

Side note: if I sold my current phone under contract, could I deactivate it, buy another, and add it to my current contract or am I subject to a cancellation fee?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:01 PM   #2
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Don't carriers still get their full contract prices but the difference is you can leave whenever you want? ie. Sprint's simply everything plan is $99 a month for one line under contract. Isn't it still the same if you buy it outright? Other than the fact that you don't have to wait two years to leave?
Right. Usually full price = no contract. This gives some people the freedom to leave whenever, and it gives people with perks under their current contracts that don't exist on new contracts (i.e. unlimited data) the ability to get a new phone without having to switch to a new contract with crappier terms.

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Side note: if I sold my current phone under contract, could I deactivate it, buy another, and add it to my current contract or am I subject to a cancellation fee?
Cancellation fee goes with the line of service. If you signed a contract for a line of service, you can't cancel that line of service before two years without having to pay the ETF. You should be able to switch phones anytime you want, you just can't cancel that line of service without a fee.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:01 PM   #3
Mrbobb
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A big reason for buying outright is that people can explore/buy the other type of plans, like pre-paid which can lower your monthly, but you HAVE to know your monthly usage (call minutes, #of texts, megabytes).


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Side note: if I sold my current phone under contract, could I deactivate it, buy another, and add it to my current contract or am I subject to a cancellation fee?
The carrier really doesn't care what phone u have as long as you are paying the monthly for your plan. So yes, move new phone to old plan should be fine.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:15 PM   #4
Squilly
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So for the side note, I could just deactivate and do an esn swap?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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Except for Tmobile, the phone plan is the same price whether you buy your phone outright or take the subsidy. So on the other 3 carriers it's pretty pointless to buy your phone outright. Just take the subsidy since they will charge you for it anyway in the high rate plans.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:18 PM   #6
aristobrat
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So for the side note, I could just deactivate and do an esn swap?
If you're on Verizon, they have a web page tool (in My Verizon) that guides you through it.

No clue how Sprint works.

If you're on a GSM-based carrier (like AT&T/T-Mobile), all you do is put your SIM in your new phone. They don't use ESNs.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:19 PM   #7
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if you have plans to travel internationally and just want to flip a sim card in, or don't want to be tied down to a carrier, buying it outright directly from apple means you get an unlocked unit and is the only way i'll buy any phone.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:52 PM   #8
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if you have plans to travel internationally and just want to flip a sim card in
This is the unlocking part. In the U.S., that's not a reason to buy unsubsidized. The U.S. carrier, after a couple of payments will unlock it for you for International travel, but NOT unlock for domestic, direct-competition carriers.

And then third-party unlock seems easy and cheap enough.

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or don't want to be tied down to a carrier
I really don't buy this, for most people. So how many choices of carriers do you have, and every carrier has goods and bads. U like a carrier, u tend to stay with it. You make it sound like switching fast good outlets.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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Verizon gives you no choice unless you want to get rid of unlimited data.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:01 PM   #10
12vElectronics
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I never saw the point of buying an unlocked phone outright. It's not like I switch my carriers every 6 months. In fact, I don't get why people are so scared of contracts.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:03 PM   #11
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People are afraid of commitment, therefore they pay full price on phones. I don't understand it. My carrier provides fantastic service in my area. I have no reason to switch.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:14 PM   #12
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I never saw the point of buying an unlocked phone outright. It's not like I switch my carriers every 6 months. In fact, I don't get why people are so scared of contracts.
Maybe because many customers are not American (I assume your providers are pretty rubbish/archaic)? Maybe because you're not a savvy shopper? Maybe because you can't afford/don't want the initial expense?

In the UK, I'd only ever buy a phone off contract. Subsidised contracts have got worse and worse since smart phones have got better and better (ie. average joe can and does use them. There's nothing wrong with 'contracts', it's simply the price you pay that's the issue. A payg, monthly rolling or multiple year contract is largely irrelevant, total cost of ownership and meeting your feature requirements is what you should look for.

Many people I know quite happily pay ~40 a month, locked to a two year contract and have their handset given to them at no cost, and think that's good value and 'the norm'. Someone that can google can quite easily get a totally unlimited, sim-only yearly contract at ~8 a month (or ~10 for a monthly rolling contract) - for anyone that can do simple arithmetic, it's a no brainer
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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Someone that can google can quite easily get a totally unlimited, sim-only yearly contract at ~8 a month (or ~10 for a monthly rolling contract) - for anyone that can do simple arithmetic, it's a no brainer
Could you let me know which Uk carrier you can get totally unlimited usage for those prices? I thought I had a pretty good deal with 3 but the prices you're quoting are half what I'm paying
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:43 PM   #14
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People are afraid of commitment, therefore they pay full price on phones.
We all pay full price for phones. There's not a company on the planet that gives away phones for free.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:50 PM   #15
VoR
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Could you let me know which Uk carrier you can get totally unlimited usage for those prices? I thought I had a pretty good deal with 3 but the prices you're quoting are half what I'm paying
Funnily enough, it's 3
I've just took out a 3 contract with the following :

Heavy User:
THREE- 15.00 (12m) 2000m, 5000t, Unlimited Data + Tethering
-CASHBACK @ 63.00= eff/9.75pm (quidco)

And you're probably aware that 3 are currently the only provider that's confirmed unlimited data on 4g (and applies to existing contracts)
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 02:51 PM   #16
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I never saw the point of buying an unlocked phone outright. It's not like I switch my carriers every 6 months. In fact, I don't get why people are so scared of contracts.
It's not just that.

There are people who will lose significant benefits if they sign a new contract (like unlimited data on Verizon), or need their phone unlocked instantly (for international travel -- AT&T will not unlock your iPhone until after you've finished your two-year contract).

Folks in those situation have no real choice but to buy their phones outright. And even though they're paying an extra $400 to buy the phone outright, they're likely saving in the long-run compared to if they had purchased the less-expensive subsidized version of the phone and lived with the restrictions (i.e. paid more every month for a larger data plan, or paid the carrier's exorbitant international data/voice fees vs. using a local pre-paid SIM).
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:04 PM   #17
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Funnily enough, it's 3
I've just took out a 3 contract with the following :

Heavy User:
THREE- 15.00 (12m) 2000m, 5000t, Unlimited Data + Tethering
-CASHBACK @ 63.00= eff/9.75pm (quidco)

And you're probably aware that 3 are currently the only provider that's confirmed unlimited data on 4g (and applies to existing contracts)
Ah, I didn't think about using one of those cashback schemes, I've been with 3 since the 4 and get a pretty good deal on my monthly contract...and you're right, they're the only true unlimited carrier...although they have a theoretical limit of 1000Gb per month I've struggled to use more than 200 in a month ;-)
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:07 PM   #18
VoR
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People are afraid of commitment, therefore they pay full price on phones. I don't understand it. My carrier provides fantastic service in my area. I have no reason to switch.
Again, not sure if its different in the US and you've got less (suitable?) carriers to choose from than other countries, but loyal customers always get screwed when it comes to contracts - Many people don't understand the simple logic, but the best offers are always for new customers. Companies want new customers, existing 'loyal' customers are already theirs and there's absolutely no incentive to give them anything.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:10 PM   #19
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Maybe because many customers are not American (I assume your providers are pretty rubbish/archaic)? Maybe because you're not a savvy shopper? Maybe because you can't afford/don't want the initial expense?

In the UK, I'd only ever buy a phone off contract. Subsidised contracts have got worse and worse since smart phones have got better and better (ie. average joe can and does use them. There's nothing wrong with 'contracts', it's simply the price you pay that's the issue. A payg, monthly rolling or multiple year contract is largely irrelevant, total cost of ownership and meeting your feature requirements is what you should look for.

Many people I know quite happily pay ~40 a month, locked to a two year contract and have their handset given to them at no cost, and think that's good value and 'the norm'. Someone that can google can quite easily get a totally unlimited, sim-only yearly contract at ~8 a month (or ~10 for a monthly rolling contract) - for anyone that can do simple arithmetic, it's a no brainer
Let me explain a little further. I don't know what your situation is in Europe, nor do I care. My post was referring to US based customers.

----------

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Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
It's not just that.

There are people who will lose significant benefits if they sign a new contract (like unlimited data on Verizon), or need their phone unlocked instantly (for international travel -- AT&T will not unlock your iPhone until after you've finished your two-year contract).

Folks in those situation have no real choice but to buy their phones outright. And even though they're paying an extra $400 to buy the phone outright, they're likely saving in the long-run compared to if they had purchased the less-expensive subsidized version of the phone and lived with the restrictions (i.e. paid more every month for a larger data plan, or paid the carrier's exorbitant international data/voice fees vs. using a local pre-paid SIM).
Understandable on the wanting to keep unlimited data part.
Lets be real.. the average joe buying an iPhone is not traveling all their lives.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:15 PM   #20
VoR
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Ah, I didn't think about using one of those cashback schemes, I've been with 3 since the 4 and get a pretty good deal on my monthly contract...and you're right, they're the only true unlimited carrier...although they have a theoretical limit of 1000Gb per month I've struggled to use more than 200 in a month ;-)
Quidco is great for these sort of things. Find the contract you want, sign into quidco, click the link for three.co.uk, buy your contract and a month later you've got the cashback in your bank account - gone are the days of sending in every other receipt or stupid fault-prone methods!
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:21 PM   #21
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Ah, I didn't think about using one of those cashback schemes, I've been with 3 since the 4 and get a pretty good deal on my monthly contract...and you're right, they're the only true unlimited carrier...although they have a theoretical limit of 1000Gb per month I've struggled to use more than 200 in a month ;-)
What about giffgaff?

In response to the OP, don't know why you would in the US. But in other countries, it works out cheaper over 2 years.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:21 PM   #22
VoR
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Let me explain a little further. I don't know what your situation is in Europe, nor do I care. My post was referring to US based customers.
Comes off a little isolated and arrogant? I don't know your situation there too well either, I'm trying to help - Maybe you should read my posts carefully, because as I stated getting a great deal on a phone contract isn't 'the norm' for everyone outside of the US, it's the exception - Truth is, most people don't know how to shop (or even that these deals exist). I pay less than a quarter of what the vast majority of my friends do, and get far more. I normally get 'searching for a deal or getting cashback is too much effort' excuses, but for anyone that posts on a tech forum, we're literally talking a few minutes for potentially 100's of savings.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:22 PM   #23
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In the US it probably does not make sense because you guys get so ripped off.

But in Europe and the UK pay as you go makes a lot of sense, you can put a tenner in your simcard and talk for a whole month, unlimited.

The beauty of pre-paid is no obligations or contracts, you're in control! Don't feel like paying? Don't.

Pre-paid nature of carriers also encourages competition because since there is no contract holding you, you can switch carriers any time you want.

Finally, if you do the calculations, it works out cheaper.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:29 PM   #24
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We all pay full price for phones. There's not a company on the planet that gives away phones for free.
Unfortunately in US, those who pay full price, pay twice for it. First you have initial cost. Then you have the same monthly payment to Verizon, AT&T, etc, for service as those who bought it with a subsidy. So those who got it for $199 with contract come out ahead on the cost of the phone. Sure with full price you can walk away anytime and go to a different carrier, but you pay the same price on a month to month basis. Then you have incompatible LTE between the carriers, so if you want to switch and have LTE, you have to sell your current phone, and then pay full price again.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:36 PM   #25
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What about giffgaff?

In response to the OP, don't know why you would in the US. But in other countries, it works out cheaper over 2 years.
Giff gaff doesn't offer true unlimited with tethering
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