A Few Questions about the iPhone 4S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by omegle, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. omegle macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    Hello, I've been lurking the forums for a while, but I finally registered as I am about to buy my first iPhone.

    I'm not new to Apple technology. I currently own an iPod Touch 2nd generation, and I'm typing this on a MacBook Pro.

    I have T-Mobile as a provider, and I am not interested in switching. I know that I will only get EDGE speeds, but I will usually be using WiFi if available and only use cellular data in places where I can't find WiFi.

    I am looking to buy an unlocked 16GB iPhone 4S, MD234LL/A.

    I am in the US and I have a few questions.

    1. If I buy it online, will I need to send it back if I need to return/exchange it? Or will the Apple retail store be able to handle it?

    2. I actually prefer to buy it at a retail store because the next state over does not charge sales tax. If I ordered online, they would charge me sales tax based on my address. The unlocked iPhone 4S is unavailable for reservation or in-store pickup on the site. Will they be offered in the retail stores? I tried asking Apple, but none of the reps knew (understandable since they keep the info on lockdown). I know that the iPhone 4 was offered unlocked earlier this year. Were those available in stores? Maybe that can help me predict whether the 4S will be available in stores unlocked?

    3. Is AppleCare+ available in the store?
  2. k.i.t.t.o. macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    1. Yeah, Apple treats its online and retail stores as two separate entities, so if you buy it online and you wanna do a typical return/exchange, you're gonna have to call Apple and send it back. The only exception where they'll allow you to exchange an online purchase at a store is if it's because of a defect (yellow screen, battery, etc).

    2. I don't know if you can reserve an unlocked phone at the online store for in-store pick up (although you could probably just reserve an AT&T phone since those are apparently unlocked anyway), but the retail stores should stock them.

    3. Yeah. A few weeks ago my best friend picked up his Sprint 32 GB and during the transaction the Genius asked him if he wanted AppleCare+. He agreed, she added it to his purchases, done.
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Could you please elaborate a bit more on this? Where does this info come from? Doing a quick search on the topic, I don't find any references that would prove this statement.
  4. omegle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    I guess you haven't been reading the forums enough then.

    The AT&T phones, if purchased as "off-contract" or "device only" from Apple (and ONLY from Apple) at full price, they will come unlocked. There is speculation that these phones may be locked in the future, but no one is quite sure (although you will have die-hard believers on both sides who will try to tell you otherwise)

    I'm going to get the factory unlocked one to be safe.
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I see. This becomes more of a question about interpretation then. Once you buy a phone off-contract, what relation does it have to AT&T any more? Sorry for my ignorance, here in Europe they tend to come unlocked only anyway (now, by end of 2011).
  6. Shadowbech macrumors 601

    Oct 18, 2011
    Planet iPhone
    As for #3. Apple did change the system for AppleCare+. What I mean here is when AppleCare+ came out, the site stated that those who ordered on or before October 14, 2011 (this includes those who pre-ordered on the 7th), gets till Nov. 14, 2011. Now they changed it so that regardless of when you purchased your iphone, you have one month time frame to buy it.
  7. heyloo macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2006
    This was what I thought was the case all this time, until just a few days ago when I contacted Apple Online Store CS about the return/exchange policy with the retail stores. The CS told me that Apple treats both the Online Store and Retail Stores the same, so even if you purchased your iPhone through the Online Store, you can always return them at a retail store.

    I have read a number of posts of retail stores refusing to return Online Store purchases, so I asked the rep about it. The rep replied that what the retail stores are supposedly doing is 'wrong' and if they do deny the return request, that I should call Apple CS and they'll sort it out for me.

    I guess a lot of it is YMMV with this one, but as far as Apple's official(?) responses goes, supposedly Online Store purchases and retail are the same.
  8. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    If you buy out of state, you technically are supposed to claim the purchase on your taxes and pay your state income tax...I believe. I know it's that way if you buy in Canada. I could be wrong about interstate commerce...

    But, just a word of warning I guess. I'm sure there's is basically no chance you get audited, but that's something they'd be looking for if you do
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Actually, that has recently changed. You can now pick up many online orders in the store (though not yet the iPhone), and can return items purchased online to the retail store.


    Right now, the "official" unlocked iPhone is available only online. However, you can reserve an "AT&T" iPhone at a retail store at 9:00PM the night before using the link at Apple's iPhone web page, and when you pick it up you can tell them to sell it to you "device only" and it will be unlocked.

    Yes, you can purchase AppleCare+ at the store. The rep will likely actually try to sell it to you, since their performance is measured in part on sales of add-ons.
  10. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    I wouldn't take any CSR's (from any company) word over written policy:

    Depends on the state. Not all states have income tax for one thing. I wouldn't assume that the laws in Canada and the US are identical either.

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