Advantages of Where You Buy Your Phone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Fabienne, May 27, 2010.

  1. Fabienne macrumors 65816

    Fabienne

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Some super-sexy place in the Midwest
    #1
    I can only buy an iPhone in two places in My Fair City: The Apple Store (where you have to buy a plan from AT&T with it), or AT&T. Is there any advantage to where you buy the phone? It seems like 6 of one and half dozen of the other but what have you seasoned iPhone veterans got to say?
     
  2. RRmalvado macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    #2
    When I got my 3GS last year, I was offered a case and a car charger at the AT&T store. I didn't go into an Apple store so I'm not sure if it was an offer only available at the AT&T store.
     
  3. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    #3
    Apple store has much more stock, AT&T will sell out quickly on launch day if it's anything like previous launches. Apple store is usually a quick, straight-forward process if you have a regular account. If you have a corporate account or any discounts, it's many times a smoother process at the AT&T store.
     
  4. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020

    LSUtigers03

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #4
    If I'm simply upgrading my account like I did last year for the 3GS I got to Apple since it's easy for them to handle. This year I'm using my sister's upgrade so I'm going to go to AT&T since it's a bit more complicated than just upgrading my account.
     
  5. tuna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #5
    I was told by AT&T store employees that you can't port your number from another provider is you start a subscription at the Apple store.

    A couple months after the 3GS came out, my family was shopping to bring two lines from Verizon over to AT&T and get two iPhone 3GS 32GB models. The Apple store employees said, 'That's great. You'll still pay full price for everything no matter what you buy'. The AT&T store was very willing to haggle. "you're buying two iphones, alright we'll waive the $36/line activation fees. You're buying Applecare and MobileMe for each iPhone, we'll give you a car charger, pack of screen protectors, and your choice of any case in the store for each iPhone for free. You're buying all that stuff, we'll give you a third new phone for another user in your family that has a two-year contract price of $199, for free, with free activation".

    So yeah, at least when supply strengthens, you'll probably be able to haggle free activation and maybe some accessories depending on what you buy and what your phone plan is. At the Apple store you will not. However, I will say that my choice of the "best iPhone case in the AT&T store" turned out to be useless. They don't carry any higher end cases. The Apple store is much better at stocking higher quality, albeit more expensive, accessories. But they won't give you any of them for free.
     
  6. ynotm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    #6
    This is not true.
     
  7. teddyofindy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #7
    doesn't Bestbuy also sell the iphones?
    when did they normal have the iphones in instock after the previous launches?
     
  8. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Apple has much more stock and is easy if you want to add a line or upgrade phones. But if you get more technical with business stuff or opening a family plan, AT&T is the best route because they know everything they are doing. Downside with AT&T stores is that they have much less stock.
     
  9. rburly macrumors 6502a

    rburly

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    Quite right. I went to an Apple store near me in the afternoon, hoping the lines would be short, which was the case, and bought a new 3Gs since my upgrade date with my 3G was March 2010. They put my SIM in the new phone, I gave my son the 3G and all was good.

    The Apple store had a great supply and I was in and out of the store within 30 minutes.
     
  10. jbennardo macrumors 6502a

    jbennardo

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #10
    Bought my 3G way back when at the Apple store - ported two numbers from T-Mobile. No problem.

    Maybe I'll try Best Buy, they are so well informed and helpful there :D
     
  11. tuna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #11
    We're clearly talking about different things. I'm talking about porting a number from another provider. You're talking about changing numbers from within AT&T.

    I'm not 100% sure that its true, all I'm saying is that its what the AT&T store told me and when I asked about it at the apple store they said that I would have to set up my subscription with AT&T but that I could then come in and buy the iPhone from them. Which was an unnecessary inconvenience when the AT&T store was offering me ~$300 in free swag anyway if I bought from them.
     
  12. ngenerator macrumors 68000

    ngenerator

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    May 12, 2009
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    USG Ishimura
    #12
    This is the sentence that made you lose all credibility, sorry
     
  13. elephunkman macrumors 65816

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    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Good job. I am referring to the business side of the account because there's a comma after that statement, not a period. Apple can do sh*t about fan discounts or anything like that.
     
  14. ngenerator macrumors 68000

    ngenerator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    USG Ishimura
    #14
    Eh, I had no problem adding a FAN discount to my plan after getting the phone at the Apple store. It still took 3ish or so weeks to set it up anyways (due to AT&T's stupidity), so it wasn't like I lost time having to do it days after I bought the phone.
     
  15. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    For me, Apple removed my discount after the 3GS. No idea how, so I just go to AT&T now since they can readily do it in their system. That's what I meant because they have the resources to do so.
     
  16. ngenerator macrumors 68000

    ngenerator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    USG Ishimura
    #16
    Hmm, weird.. Well at least your AT&T store staff seem to use their brains! :)
    I'm jealous, I've had about 5 too many problems at my local stores to ever want to step foot in them ever again
     
  17. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    Oh I know where you're coming from. I was just speaking from personal experience with my store. They know their stuff and what they're talking about. But I have been to other AT&T stores where you think they were just hired with no experience whatsoever.
     
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #18
    I went to an Apple store, bought an iPhone, and ported my number to it from a T-Mobile account.

    That was 2 years ago, so it may have changed. But I would have thought there'd be a news story here if that had happened and I don't recall seeing one.

    But who knows. I can't say for sure. I can only tell you that they USED to be able to do it.
     
  19. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    It's really funny how the policies change every year for an iPhone release on iDay but returns to normal after a month or two. So we will have to wait and see what AT&T wants to do this time.
     
  20. rkswat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #20
    In my experience the lines are shorter at at&t stores but they have less stock. People also start lining up at the apple store the night or days before. At launch of 3gs I got to the at&t store an hour before they opened and I was number 16. People that showed up at the store after going to apple store said there were several hundred. If you don't mind waiting and want the "cool" experience go apple store. IF you want fast to the point but maybe don't get an iPhone experience go at&t. Of course going apple store doesn't guarantee a phone. Pre-order and go apple store FTW.
     
  21. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    Depends on the store. I had the same experience @ an Apple store for the last 2 launches.
     
  22. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    Can't wait for the iPhone meetups section to open soon.
     
  23. rkswat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #23
    No lines? Lucky you. Of course your store may very but the Aspen Grove store in Co. gets a loooong line.


    Sweet, yeah that wouldn't happen at the store I typically go to. There is one in a mall about 10min further up the road but I've never been there on a launch day. I'm gonna be smart and pre-order this time round.
     
  24. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #24
    There was a line, but I got there an hour beforehand and after the divied up the pre-order vs non pre-order lines, I was 4th or something like that. I was in and out very quickly.
     
  25. Sketchr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #25
    If I buy it, I'll buy it at the Apple Store. The process is slick and the guys know their equipment.
     

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