Purchasing iPhone 3G Second Hand-Advantages?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by docprego, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816

    docprego

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    #1
    If I buy an iPhone 3G second hand when I go to AT&T to get service is there anything specifically I need to be aware of? Will I have to sign the same contract as anyone else? Being that I bought the phone outright and fully own it does that give me any advantages over getting a new phone at the subsidized price?

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Vandam500

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #2
    AT&T sell used iPhones? I know they can swap out a defective one for a refurbished but I'm pretty sure they wont sell you a used one from the get go.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #3
    A existing customer who owned an iPhone for at least 1 month before either canceling their contract or moving on to a different phone, gets to keep their old iPhone outright. They would have the ability, for example, to privately resell it if they wish.

    To the OP:
    When you go to the AT&T company store, open a new "SIM only" account, and tell them you're bringing your own compatible phone with you.

    Since you're not getting the purchase subsidy, it should be possible to sign up for service without committing to the same 2-year service term that subsidized customers would commit to. However, the iPhone's specialized data plan is probably not going to be optional.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #4
    Even if AT&T doesn't make you sign a two year agreement with a used phone I'm not sure that is such an advantage. It costs $175 to end your contract early if you need to($175 at most, it goes down $5 for every month you're in contract I believe). Plus, why is it so bad to have a contract anyway? You need *someone* to provide service and I don't think anyone else's plans are any cheaper.

    The only other network the 3G could theoretically work on is T-mobile and there isn't an easy unlock for the 3G right now--though I understand its coming.

    I'd just get a new iphone--unless someone is selling you the 3G at the subsidized price *they* paid for it--or less. I don't see any advantage.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #5
    The advantage is knowing that there will be absolutely *zero* penalty to get out of the service early if your circumstances ever change to the point where you can no longer afford to maintain service.

    $175 penalty, or $0 penalty. Pretty clear advantage, if you honestly think there's a strong probability of a change in financial circumstances.

    As well, last time I researched the topic, there were no technological measures in place which would prevent the iPhone from working with an AT&T SIM card registered to a prepaid account. If one of prepaid pricing options meets your fancy, that might be an attractive alternative.

    Of course in that configuration, after the MEdia Net Unlimited offer expires, AT&T will not carry any unlimited data plans which could be used in conjunction with its prepaid service. So unless you shut off data entirely (either using WIX BLOCK or by configuring phony APN settings) it might get pretty expensive.

    (Unlike AT&T's postpaid terms of service, which has a section dealing specifically with mandatory data plans on the iPhone, AT&T's GoPhone terms of service doesn't have anything to say about mandatory data plans, no matter what brand of phone you're using.)
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #6
    The used iphones I see on ebay are going for about $500 or more(16gb)--so instead of paying that $175 *if* you need to you'll simply be paying it up front, where are the savings?

    If your buddy is selling you an iphone at a deal it *might* be a little cheaper I guess.

    However, the iphone is a luxury item--clearly. If one's financial situation might change so dramatically that you'd have to cancel the contract why get one to begin with? That's one less thing you'd have to worry about if you lost your job right?
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #7
    If you don't already have a contract with ATT, they will not give you service without a contract (1-2 years).
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #8
    The options may not be advertised online, but it is definitely possible to do it if you sign up in-store.

    http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=25390

    Some special promotional rate plans might not be available without a term commitment, but in general it is possible to buy service on a month-to-month basis.

    As referenced above, you can:
    1) Buy a phone at a full price and go on a monthly service plan.
    2) Bring your own compatible GSM phone with you and just buy a SIM card, attacted to a monthly service plan.
    3) Buy one of the GoPhone prepaid plans.

    (The announcement linked above didn't mark any new policy with respect to the possibility to purchase monthly service plans - those options had always existed. The only "new" information announced in that press release was the availability of pro-rated ETFs for those service plans which were on term contracts.)
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #9
    Hmm...interesting.

    Still, the sticking point is if you bring an iPhone to the plan. I am sure ATT would be prepared to raise hell, especially since if it's a 3G it wouldn't be unlocked.

    Best bet if you wanted to try that might be to buy a random cheapo unlocked phone, pop the SIM into the iPhone, hacktivate it, and live without visual voicemail. Under no circumstances tell AT&T you are using an iPhone, because even if you could eventually fight for a contract free month to month plan it might take you two years to do it!
     

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