Advice on Purchasing an iPhone and Plans?

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

  1. obafgkm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    #1
    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 65816

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #2
    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). https://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/other-prepaid-plans

    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.

    Verizon: http://www.verizonwireless.com/prepaid/
    AT&T: https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/gophone-plans.html
    Sprint: https://www.sprint.com/shop/plan-wall/?INTNAV=LeftNav:Shop:Plans#!/?plan=individual
    T-Mobile: http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-as-you-go

    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

    MephistoZap

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    #3
    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 65816

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #4
    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

    Flow39

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    At the Apple Store
    #5
    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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