Do you have to buy a 2 year plan with iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sam10685, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. sam10685 macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    i don't need or want another cell phone but i would love to get this just for the ipod and the internet features. does anyone know if it is required that you purchase a 2 year plan with it?
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #2
    Unless you want to pay $800 for it then yes. Plus I don't think they will sell it without the contract.
     
  3. shunpike macrumors regular

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    Nov 17, 2006
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
  4. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    Where have you been in the past month?!

    You will not be able to buy it unlocked at all.
     
  5. MattyMac macrumors 68000

    MattyMac

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    #5
    Obviously you've been somewhere we haven't!

    ...its only been released for about a week and a half.
     
  6. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #6
    As previously mentioned, if you're willing to part with $800 for it, you can skip the contract part.

    You can buy the iPhone and service, and then cancel the service, paying a $200 cancellation fee. If you cancel service within 14 days, they may even waive the fee, as this is their usual policy, but the fee waiver may also require you to return the iPhone. No one knows for sure yet.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    No, it has not been released at all. It has only been introduced.
     
  8. MacCheetah3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Goodyear, AZ
    #8
    Hi
    Not even canceling will do you much good as it is locked to Cingular.
     
  9. The Past macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    #9
    Didn't they say something like the price indicated in keynote includes the two year contract? Or did I get it wrong?
     
  10. MacCheetah3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Goodyear, AZ
    #10
    Hi
    Prices are "with" a two year contract, not "includes". Not confirmed but 99% likely requires the signing of a new 2 year contract and not within a 2 year contract.

    Either a new customer of Cingular / AT&T or, like in my case, renewing for another 2 years at the end of your current Cingular contract.
     
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #11
    If you don't care about the phone features, what it is or isn't locked to doesn't really matter. Further, as soon as someone solves how to unlock it, even that won't matter. It is illegal to enforce SIM locks in the United States (though not illegal to use them).
     
  12. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a

    Sutekidane

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #12
    It's still way overpriced even with the 2 year contract.
     
  13. MacCheetah3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Goodyear, AZ
    #13
    Hi
    It will probably be unlockable sometime but it's going to be tougher than doing a phone from Nokia, Motorola, ...

    Seems senseless to me to purchase such a device if you don't plan on using all / most of the features, after all, the primary function is a phone.
     
  14. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #14
    I agree, but the OP seems to have a different view. Rather than tell him it would be silly and overpriced, I thought it best just to give him the information he requested and let him decide for himself whether it would be worthwhile.

    I'd pay $600 for one and keep my own, separate phone for a couple months rather than be forced to switch to Cingular, but $800 is pushing it.
     
  15. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    if i get the iphone and the contract then cancel it, it'll end up costing about 800 dollars anyway... wont it?
     
  16. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #16
    Yes. There's no way to pay $800 outright for it. You have to buy it for $599 (or 499) and pay the $200 cancellation fee.
     
  17. jmsait19 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    MO
    #17
    though unlocking it and using it with a different service will negate the whole visual voicemail thing... cingular is having to make some changes to accomodate this phone, and other networks won't have made those changes (because the phone is not made to run on their networks.)

    unlocking the iphone, while good in theory and good if the phone is sold as unlocked, doesn't seem too practical in this instance.
     
  18. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    As with most contracts, the iPhone unit will remain the property of Apple/Cingular until you have paid the 2 years contract - at which point it will become yours. If you cancel, you will have to return the phone (and get your $500 back).
     
  19. MattyMac macrumors 68000

    MattyMac

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    #19

    You know what I meant...thanks.
     
  20. MattyMac macrumors 68000

    MattyMac

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    #20
    No...unfortunately, but realistically you have it wrong. You have to sign a 2-year contract with Cingular in order to buy the phone for $600, maybe even buy the phone at all.

    $600 for that phone and two years of service with Cingular and those features would be an absolute steal...NOT going to happen:cool:
     
  21. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #21
    I'm not sure what kind of contracts you're signing, but when you buy a phone, it's yours. The carrier may only require you to return the phone and accessories if you cancel in the first 30 days (thereby waiving the cancellation fee). Your contract is a service agreement, not a financing agreement for a purchase; the phone is not the property of the carrier. If you exercise an option to terminate your contract and you pay the penalty for doing so, they have no further financial obligation to collect from you.
     
  22. jmsait19 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    MO
    #22
    this si what i know to be true... i've never thought my phone could be repo'ed by the phone company... thats what i paid the money for... the only extraneous charge they can get me for is the cancellation of the contract that states you must buy their service for 2 years.
     
  23. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #23
    This may be the case in the USA but not in Britain. Here, if you get a phone contract (with monthly line rental fees and limited free minutes/texts/data), the phone is usually free. That's a £300 ($500) phone for nothing. But the minimum contract is 12/18 months and if you terminate before the contract, you have to return the phone. Otherwise you would get a free phone.

    More expensive phones (only top of the range usually) may cost £49 or £79 plus the line rental, but it is still being subsidised by the contract. So it is a finance offer.

    If the iPhone comes out at £400 up-front cost, PLUS a line rental fee for 2 YEARS, it will not sell well. If it does come out with only a 2MP camera, no video calling or 3G capabilities (for mobile TV options), IT WILL FAIL.

    As an aside, if you don't want to enter a contract, you can buy a cheap and crappy phone for £50 (with no features except calling and a colour screen), and then PAY AS YOU GO by paying for every minute/text at a certain rip-off rate (no free minutes). These phones are therefore unlocked.

    If you are unhappy with a contract, there's not much you can do outside of the standard 14 day cooling off period (which is basically a refund - you get all money back minus what you used in credit and have to return the phone). Most UK phones, however (except T-mobile and Orange I think) are unlocked though - so you could swap out the sim and use another. But you'd still have to pay for the remainder of the contract so it would be pointless. But after the 12/18 months is up, you are free to buy a sim-only card for your phone and enjoy PAY AS YOU GO on your phone. At this point (once the contract has reached its minimum term of 12/18 months), your contract will remain but you can stop it at any time. The phone is then yours, because you have paid for it over the previous 12/18 months. (Usually the phone company offers you an 'upgrade' which allows you to upgrade to the latest model and then once again starts you off on another 12/18 month minimum term, thus guaranteeing them regular income.)
     
  24. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #24
    johnnyjibbs, cooling off period is "a reasonable time", doesn't have to be 14 days. Could be 3 days, or 6 months. Also, phones in the UK can now, by law, be unlocked. You could unlock before but it was never in writing so service providers would block/blacklist your IMEI, not so anymore.

    You are right abut contracts in the UK, the phone is property of the service provider until your contract runs out, and then you usually get the phone for free. In the contract period, it is not your phone so unlocking it would be a no no. Unlocking afterwards is a cool idea though. There are also penalties in place if you do give it up, this can be very expensive.
     
  25. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #25
    And therein lies the fundamental difference. There are no free phones in the United States. Some phones are free after instant or mail-in rebates, but apart from those loss-leaders to get people onto contracts, cell phones are purchases.

    This is why when the iPhone launches in Europe, I would expect more favorable pricing if there are carrier ties, but perhaps more likely would be Apple simply selling unlocked and unbranded units for use with any carrier (you could switch to the iPhone in the middle of your contract if you wanted). There are many superior conventions in place in the global cellular market that simply do not exist in the United States.
     

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