Prepaid & Unlocked iPhones - I Need Help

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ImaVeggie, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #1
    I currently have a Android 4G phone on TMobile's $30 Monthly 4G plan. My speeds are about 2-4 MBps.

    I would love to finally get an iPhone with a prepaid plan. The current options are Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile and TMobile, because they're $45 and under.

    I'd love to get the right unlocked model iPhone that would allow me the most options to change cell companies in order to get the best service in my area, which is on Long Island.

    Which one do you think would give me more flexibilty?
    1. Straight Talk iPhone 5 through Walmart - A1429 - $649
    2. iPhone 5 through Apple Store - A1428 - $649
    3. iPhone 4S through Virgin Mobile - $450 ---> is it unlocked?



    Please help me finally get an iPhone :)
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    Get the one from Apple store. The others are not sold unlocked.
     
  3. madsci954, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    The one the ST sells uses Verizon (CDMA) network, so if Verizon has poor coverage where it will be used, that will be a problem.

    The factory unlocked one Apple is GSM and can be used on ST or T-Mobile.

    Only get the VM if they have good coverage where you live, and I believe it's locked to them.

    I would say either buy from Apple, or check CL/eBay for cheaper iPhone 5's. If you live in an area where T-Mobile refarmed their network, go with them so you can have 3G. If they haven't refarmed, you would be stuck on Edge. If you don't want Edge, go with ST.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    Curious. For u folks who want to do this...

    Subsidized: $70/mo * 24 + 200 = $1,880.
    Unsubsidized: $45/mo *24 + 650 = $1,730.

    Is - $150 total worth the hassle?

    Honestly asking.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #5
    Plus additional fees for texting (although there are other free options such as GV) and taxes are little higher because there are different taxes for prepaid and post-paid. For instance, I don't pay any tax on my $30 T-Mo plan. :)

    ----------

    If you want to stick to prepaid plans, ST iPhone probably gives you the most option since they are known to be GSM unlocked so you can technically use them with Verizon (only through ST), AT&T (3G only), and T-Mo (Edge unless refarmed). However, I heard ST iPhone can't be used directly with Verizon, if you ever choose to do so. With that said, I would just wait for VM to starting selling the iPhone 5 (I personally wouldn't buy iPhone 4S, unless money is an issue). Since VM just introduced LTE phones, you should be able to use LTE on the iPhone 5 in the future (if your area has LTE, of course).
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    Where are you getting $70 for subsidized monthly pricing from? AT&T and Verizon share plans start at like $100 per month just for 2GB of data.

    $100/month * 24 + $200 = $2600

    That's a pretty significant $870 saved per year. Plus you don't have to worry about $15/GB charges for overages either.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    AT&T still has the old individual plans.:rolleyes: See their website.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Christian 5G

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #8
    I'm on virgin right now, they cut data at 2.4 gb :/ ... Hopefully i5s comes out and I wanna try tmobile 30$ plan.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #9
    Thanks for the replies.

    Verizon supposedly has really good 4G coverage throughout my area (Long Island).

    Would anyone know whether I would get 4G with the Straight Talk iPhone 5 through Walmart or would it be just 3g?
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #10
    3G only through ST Verizon service.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #11
    Thanks for the reply. 3G only... but I have a feeling that it might be equal or even a bit better that TMobile's 4G I've been getting.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #12
    Your 4G must be horrible. I get 10-20 Mbps on my S3 with T-Mo $30 plan. You will get ~2 Mbps max with ST (Verizon).
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #13
    Checked them out. Looks like $70 would only net you 450 mins, no texting, and 300MB of service. That's unusable to most smartphone owners. You pretty much have to get the $20 texting or risk being charged for every individual message and with LTE you would zip through 300MB in no time.

    I think $90 would be the cost to net you a comparable plan to what the prepaid or other carriers offer so it is still worth it to use them over AT&T if concerned about price.

    Looks like the minimum would be $90 on an individual plan
    $40 for 450 minutes
    $30 for 3GB of data
    $20 for unlimited messaging w/ unlimited mobile to mobile

    Not to mention that on AT&T with a postpaid plan you are subject to more fees and taxes on your bill while prepaid users only have to worry about sales tax.

    For the original topic creator, I would recommend you try to find the AT&T compatible ST sim on their website. If not available then look at T-Mobile prepaid (but only if you're in a refarmed market). Getting the Verizon compatible ST iPhone 5 would be my next choice because of the slow 3G speeds of CDMA carriers. Virgin is even slower 3G because it uses Sprint's network and coverage is much worse than Verizon.
     
  14. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #14
    Is Tmobile service better for unlocked iPhones nowadays in NY?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #15
    Just did Speedtest... 3.12 Mbps on my Samsung Galaxy Exhibit.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #16
    When using the unlocked phone from the Apple Store with Tmobile prepaid, would I be able to use 4G or would it be 3G?
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #17
    I think you should go with the Straight Talk iPhone 5 or 4S. Verizon 3G is good on Long Island. You're trading off a lack of Verizon 4G for a lower monthly bill, which sounds like something you're willing to do. The phone can take an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM if you want to change to one of them (or their MVNOs) in the future.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #18
    Thanks for the reply. I made that decision last night; at about 1:30am when I couldn't sleep because I had iPhone 5 on my brain :) Now my predicament is do (can) I wait for my local Walmart to get a white one in; they only have black in stock.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #19
    You could also order online @ http://iphone.straighttalk.com and use site-to-store.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #20
    You have to buy it in the store in order to get the no interest financing.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #21
    I bought the black one at Walmart and an Otterbox Defender - Reflection at Best Buy with $15 in rewards . Beautiful Aqua & Teal colors. Adds a ton of bulk but it's so pretty.

    Thanks to all who replied. I finally have an iPhone!!! :)
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #22
    Congrats! What kind of data speeds are you getting from the speedtest app?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #23
    Quite slow I think. I've been lucky to get 1.3 MBps a few times. Usually it's about .8 download and as slow as .05 upload.

    So of course I am questioning the options I have. Should I try to get a nano Sim card from T-Mobile? Should I just return the iPhone back to Walmart? Should I try to get a Straight Talk AT&T Sim card to try? Will any of these options work with this Walmart straight talk iPhone?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #24
    Congrats! All those options should work except ST AT&T is not available right now AFAIK. You can still get NET10 AT&T sim. Also ST T-Mo sim should work. Remember that if your area hasn't been refarmed by T-Mo, you'll only get Edge speed.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    ImaVeggie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    #25
    Does refarmed mean that there's 4G in my area instead of 3G or Edge? I currently get 4G on my android phone with T-Mobile's 4G monthly; it runs around 3 to 5 MB per second.
     

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