A Little Perspective on Unlocking & Why It's In YOUR Best Interest To THINK!

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by bella92108, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. bella92108 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    What's funny is that people talk about unlocks like it's the most amazing thing ever.

    Put it this way...

    $400 = $299 + Tax & Gas to Apple Store to buy an iPhone 4 32 on 2 year contract.

    $2,655 = Price you pay for normal iPhone + Text + Smallest Voice Plan over 2 years.

    That means the cost of owning an AT&T iPhone for 2 years is $3055


    Now, if you buy a UK Factory Unlocked iPhone 4 like I did, it costs $867 (and if you actually go to the UK like me, you get about $100 VAT Refunded, but let's assume you don't)....

    $867 = $867 to buy a 32 GB iPhone 4 FACTORY UNLOCKED

    $2,655 = Price you pay for normal iPhone + Text + Smallest Voice Plan over 2 years. Even though I quote the price, you are free to leave ANYTIME since you can get a month to month plan on AT&T since you have NO CONTRACT.

    That means the cost of owning a FACTORY UNLOCKED iPhone for 2 years is $3522

    Owning a factory unlocked phone costs you $467 more over 2 years, than signing your life over to AT&T, being forced to stick with them or pay their $325 Early Termination Fee, and having to deal with the BS of waiting for jailbreaks and unlocks and baseband issues, and not being able to just upgrade.....

    .... All this hassle for $467, which equates to 15% more in total cost of ownership, which you're going to probably make up half of when you re-sell the device because factory unlocked devices sell for more.

    I spend $1300 a year at STARBUCKS like many people. The US Cellular Companies have done a great job distracting you from the realities of cost of owning cellular service by hiding behind contracts, locked phones, and blurring the total cost be subsidizing a tiny piece of the total cost to make it look like you're getting a deal.

    Be a smart consumer.
     
  2. forcetactic macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    And yet, if you plan on sticking with At&t, buying an unlocked phone does you nothing but spend an extra $467
     
  3. coasterswim macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2008
    #3
    $467 over the contract is $20/month. People screamed at the top of their lungs when AT&T said they'd charge $20/month for tethering, so obviously that amount of money means a lot to people.
     
  4. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Very true. This is in a thread dedicated to unlocking the phone though, so clearly some want an unlocked phone, or every day someone wouldn't be posting a new thread asking for unlock update :) I have no intentions of leaving AT&T, but I travel globally all the time and enjoy being able to pop in a sim anywhere I go. I have prepaid sims from about 10 countries, and paying a couple bucks for a week of iPhone data sure beats being STUCK with AT&T's $20 a MB "deal"

    EDIT: People screamed over $20 for what they felt they were entitled to.

    To each his own... it just gets rather annoying to see people continually complaining about unlock taking so long, and how terrible AT&T is... and yet aren't willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Bottom line is if $400 is a big deal, then one shouldn't be signing a 2 year contract with AT&T anyhow. If things are so tight, then they're not prepared to pay the $325 early termination fee should they lose their job and be unable to continue their iPhone subscription. :)
     
  5. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I'm actually w/ Bella on this and had considered doing it for my iPhone 4 but wasn't going to the UK soon enough.

    I don't really care about jailbreaking my phone, but I do it so I can unlock when I travel overseas. yes, it costs a little more but if you're the kind of person who likes to pay for convenience (I am), it's not a bad plan. The unlocking process is getting much harder and having to wait to upgrade your OS for an undetermined amount of time can get frustrating. (No disrespect to the Dev Team, they work very hard to provide this service and I appreciate their efforts.) Also, the resale value of the phone will be much higher when you're ready for a new one.

    This plan isn't for everyone as you'll need a UK address to register it with, if you have any probs, I don't think you can go to US Apple store to get it fixed, etc. But for some, it's a worthwhile investment.

    I found this article as well: http://www.allaboutiphone.net/2010/01/how-to-get-the-cheapest-officially-unlocked-iphone-in-the-uk/
     
  6. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Mar 1, 2006
    #6
    If buying with a credit card they don't make you have a local address in the UK. I bought mine at Regents Street. If you're buying to have shipped then yeah, you need a buddy in the UK :)
     
  7. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    #7
    LOL..yes, that's what I mean. I would have had to have it shipped to my friend but she was also traveling on a job and I wasn't heading over there soon enough to buy in person...I was antsy for the iP4. haha.
     
  8. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I believe in Canada they're selling them unlocked right now too... my point was more general about how the "deal" you get from signing 2 years of your life away with AT&T is a little bit "smoke\mirrors" :)

    When I signed up, I signed a 2 year contract, but with the highest resale value free-phone I could, which got me $200 on ebay, and my ETF is $150, so I was up $50 from month 1 and each month I am up $5 more, hehe.

    Gotta think with your noodle :)
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #9
    The strange thing is it seems you have to pay the "subsidise a phone" monthly payment whether you are actually subsidising a phone or not!

    Here in the UK, you can get a sim-only contract with many providers that gives you a substantial discount over getting a subsidised phone on contract.

    On O2 in the UK (other carriers are probably the same), you pay the total cost of the phone by paying the subsidised phone price + a bit extra every month for your contract.

    If you don't want a phone you just pay a lower monthly payment.

    The total cost of ownership over 2 years for an iPhone in the UK is exactly the same whether you buy it unlocked with a sim-only contract or buy it subsidised over a 2 year contract

    You also have the flexibility of taking a month-by-month contract (i.e. cancel at any time), or you can save even more by signing up for a 12 month contract at a time.

    In the UK, I would never buy a subsidised phone again - I'd much rather buy my phones unlocked and have the flexibility to change it when I want
     
  10. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #10
    I have been w/ AT&T for about 10 years and I never planned to leave them when I bought my iPhone so I saved almost $500 (that's the cost of an iPad right there :rolleyes::)) Also, I never planned to sell mine, but give it to my mom's....
     
  11. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    #11
    Like I said above, this plan is not for everyone. If you don't travel outside of the US & use other SIMs regularly or have no problems sticking with AT&T, then don't do it.

    For others who do need an unlocked phone for overseas travel or to use on T-Mo here in the US, then there is an alternative.
     
  12. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Mar 1, 2006
    #12
    And you can't have 4.2.1 and go to Bangkok tomorrow and London next week and pop in a DTAC SIM in Bangkok, then an O2 SIM in the UK.

    I can.

    DTAC 1 week unlimited Data = $3

    O2 1 week unlimited Data = $10

    AT&T Data Roaming to download 200 MB (about 40 songs, or 300 web pages), $200.

    Not sure about you, but to me, I saved $4,800 over your setup. :)
     
  13. MikeTheRocker96 macrumors member

    MikeTheRocker96

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    #13
    Really?
     
  14. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Have you gone through the "Hacks" forum? Half the posts are asking for updates on unlocks, lol
     
  15. Grolubao macrumors 65816

    Grolubao

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    Dec 23, 2008
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    London, UK
    #15
    Or if your company pays your phone bill then it even makes more sense to buy factory unlocked. I have to say it's really nice not to worry about unlocks, basebands, and all that crap. I just jailbreak my phone and that's it.
     
  16. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Yeah... jailbreak is nice, but it's REALLY cool to be able to watch the keynotes and see the "cool new features available today" with the software update and not have to worry about days, weeks, or months without being able to update due to reliance on unlocks.

    ... queue the flamers telling me updates aren't worth it... lol
     
  17. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #17

    I must say I agree and it certainly appears that unlocks are getting more and more difficult. My 3GS is unlocked on 4.1 and 5.13 and i intend to stay there until the next version of the iphone is released in June/July 2011 and will then get an unlocked one in either Canada or UK. I think an ATT locked phone is suitable for many people who do not travel but like the thread starter I have a box of sims that I use when travelling and would find it difficult to go back to a locked phone.

    The one thing about US carriers I have never understood is why they charge the same monthly rate for service irrespective of subsidy on phone. This is very unusal and one can only hope will eventually change.
     
  18. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I think change is coming... especially with LTE. It WONT be driven by the carriers, because they'll resist the change, it'll be driven by the handset manufacturers who have caved to the carriers' demands for years because the US market has been so huge. Now the world market is running the show, and the US is secondary, so we'll finally be able to reap some of the benefits the world market has built up for so long ... or so I hope\think\want... hehe
     
  19. labman macrumors 604

    labman

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    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #19
    1+ my interest in the unlock comes in to play when it's time to sell. since people want the phone jb/ul and willing to pay more for it. I also understand there is less desire to hack a unlock becoming more difficult and fewer carriers lock you in. AT&T locks you in even if you pay for your phone 100% hopefully that will be fixed sooner rather then latter.
     
  20. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    A factory unlocked phone will ALWAYS fetch a premium over a soft-unlocked phone because it's guaranteed to always be unlocked. Check out ebay, prices are 25-50% higher for Factory Unlocked vs Jailbreak Unlocked.

    I have a nickname for anyone who argues there's not benefit to a FACTORY UNLOCKED iPhone ... "AT&T's Slave For LIFE" :)
     
  21. Carlanga, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

    Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #21
    I can too! I use an overseas SIM card 2 months of the year in Central America ;) Since I like to jb, keeping a lower BB for me is way easy, 3GS untethered 4.2.1 w/ old BB and w/ $500 more in my pocket:)!
     
  22. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Old technology will always be cheaper :) I could drive a 1990 Toyota and have $30k in my pocket too, lol, or take the boat when I fly to Bangkok and have $4000 in my pocket.
     
  23. Carlanga, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

    Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #23
    I didn't buy the cheaper 3GS that is currently being sold, I bought mine the week it came out...
    I don't get it, you assume a two year contract in your OP calculations, mine is a 3GS and is still only 1.5 years old into my contract (oldest possible for it) so the old tech saying wouldn't apply on this thread for the 3GS since is still under the 2 years contract. Is not like you bought an unlocked 3GS and then an unlocked 4 and calculated that into your OP for the two years contract time... :rolleyes:;)
    Your iPhone 4 will still be under the two years time when the 5 (or whatever it's name) comes out for your OP calculations to be valid... The 3GS & the 4 have the same pricing on release day so a long term calculation be it starting two years or finishing your two years is both valid and relevant...
     
  24. bella92108 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    You're trying to get way too literal and read way too much into it.
     
  25. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    PDX
    #25
    It's easy to say buy an unlocked phone, but Texas is too far away from Canada. Throw in the cost of a round trip ticket to Canada and the premium for an unlocked phone is more than you propose.
    If I could buy a factory unlocked phone in the US, I probably would.
     

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