Advice on Purchasing an iPhone and Plans?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by obafgkm, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. obafgkm macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    I am likely to purchase an iPhone later in 2016, after the iPhone 7 is released. I have never had a smartphone. I have been using an Audiovox 8610 (look it up!) on Virgin Mobile on a pre-pay plan since 2006 (18 cents a minute) and never had a problem with coverage. Heck, I haven't even had to change the battery in all that time. With the Virgin Mobile plan, I don't use the phone much, though that is likely to change with a smartphone.

    I am familiar with iOS; I have an iPod Touch and an iPad Air that I use frequently.

    I would prefer to buy a non-subsidized phone and find a plan that is low-cost. I have become used to paying $80/year for my Virgin Mobile phone pay-as-you-go plan. I know I will not find something so cheap with an iPhone, but I would like to spend as little as possible for a plan. I have never texted (and do not intend to), but plan to use the phone as a telephone and for apps while away from home. I doubt I will do much streaming on the iPhone.

    Is there an online tool that can help me sort out what plan is best? Or what things should I consider over the next few months? I know things will change between now and this fall when the iPhone 7 goes on sale, but I like to be able to sort out options with plenty of time.
  2. timeconsumer macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2008
    Since you'd prefer to buy a non-subsidized phone I would recommend buying directly from Apple and make sure you get the factory unlocked phone so you can take it to any carrier.

    The least expensive iPhone plan that I am aware of is the $30 plan from T-Mobile. For this it will give you 100 minutes, unlimited text, 5GB data (then throttled after that).

    However it sounds like you'll need more minutes based on your post, all carriers offer their version of prepaid or pay as you go type options. Here's the best I could find for the "top 4" carriers in the US.


    Since you are on Virgin Mobile currently you can also check with them to see what they offer for iPhone/smartphone users if you're happy with their service.

    Also to note, your usage may change once you're using a smartphone as you'll have much more functionality from the device. So while you're only paying a certain amount now, you may see the added value of the additional functionality/features of the smartphone.

    Hope this helps!
  3. MephistoZap macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2016
    Well instead of spending $700 on a iPhone, cricket is selling brand new iPhone 5s for $200. They have plans for $35 month with unlimited talk text and 2.5 gb of data. It runs on atts network so it's overall much better network then sprint is. I've been using cricket for a well over a year now and love it. They also sell the iPhone 6s with a $100 off the original price.
  4. timeconsumer macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2008
    Would the 5S be locked to Cricket/AT&T? Only asking in case the OP doesn't like the service with them. Also, if I'm not mistaken the 5S would be limited in carrier options in comparison to the 6 or 6S. I believe the 6 and 6S if unlocked will work on any US carrier whereas the 5S had different versions for each carrier. Of course if the OP likes Cricket/AT&T this wouldn't matter, but I try to avoid recommending a device that's tied to a certain carrier.
  5. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    That $30 T-Mobile plan is the one I use, and it's great. As long as you don't talk on the phone too much, it is the best deal you can get on a plan currently. Plus it is prepaid so you don't have to get locked into a contract or payment plan like Jump or AT&T Next.

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