Any tips for upgrading to next iPhone while still under contract?

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,083
20
I have a VZW 64GB 4S and have never really been happy with the screen size, I always wanted it to be bigger. I'm not so sure I like the tall look of the rumored next iPhone, though I'm thinking of ditching my 4S to get it when it comes out, which would put me at only 1-yr into my 2-yr contract.

I know I will pay some early termination fee (not sure how much), and I'm guessing I'd have to pay full price for a new iPhone. I'm also guessing I could sell the 4S for around $350-400. Are there any ways to get VZW to discount an upgrade mid cycle?

Thanks.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,572
3,507
I have a VZW 64GB 4S and have never really been happy with the screen size, I always wanted it to be bigger. I'm not so sure I like the tall look of the rumored next iPhone, though I'm thinking of ditching my 4S to get it when it comes out, which would put me at only 1-yr into my 2-yr contract.

I know I will pay some early termination fee (not sure how much), and I'm guessing I'd have to pay full price for a new iPhone. I'm also guessing I could sell the 4S for around $350-400. Are there any ways to get VZW to discount an upgrade mid cycle?

Thanks.
I'm sure a Verizon customer will be able to chime in but I can confirm this has been an option to AT&T customers for the past few years. Instead of the regular subsidized price available for those eligible for upgrades, they have been pricing the iPhone about halfway between that price and the full retail.
 

Want300

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2011
1,194
2
St. Louis, MO
I know I will pay some early termination fee (not sure how much), and I'm guessing I'd have to pay full price for a new iPhone. I'm also guessing I could sell the 4S for around $350-400. Are there any ways to get VZW to discount an upgrade mid cycle?
Sometimes, it is about talking to the right person who can make that happen. And AT&T has an early upgrade, you can ask for something like that...

You wont have to pay termination fee if you buy the phone outright.
 

batting1000

macrumors 604
Sep 4, 2011
7,224
1,397
Florida
This is what I do:

1. Buy the new phone outright whether it be from a store or ebay / craigslist
2. Sell your old phone to make most of what you paid to get the new phone.

If you buy from craigslist or ebay, you can do an ESN swap which won't reset your contract but if you buy from the store, it'll give you a new two year contract. You could probably get around 500 - 600 for your 4S, ESPECIALLY if it's 64GB.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,305
3,481
Another thing to consider...do you currently have the unlimited data plan? If so, you have to buy the phone at full retail price to keep that plan. Best bet is to buy the phone at the full retail price and sell your old one to make up the difference like someone else suggested.

Also what the second poster said, you only pay ETF if you cancel your contract. If you get a new phone you are not penalized.
 

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,083
20
Thanks everyone for the replies. I do have unlimited 3G.

1.) If I get a phone somehow at a discounted price I will lose my unlimited data?
2.) I guess we do not know for sure yet if the new iPhone is 4G, though anyone know if VZW is grandfathering unlimited 3G plans to unlimited 4G plans?
3.) Will I even care about unlimited 3G anymore when I get a 4G phone?

Thanks!
 

Want300

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2011
1,194
2
St. Louis, MO
Thanks everyone for the replies. I do have unlimited 3G.

1.) If I get a phone somehow at a discounted price I will lose my unlimited data?
2.) I guess we do not know for sure yet if the new iPhone is 4G, though anyone know if VZW is grandfathering unlimited 3G plans to unlimited 4G plans?
3.) Will I even care about unlimited 3G anymore when I get a 4G phone?

Thanks!
If the new iPhone is 4G LTE, you will have to buy the phone for full retail price with no subsidy in order to keep your Unlimited Data plan.

Also, if you can get them to Carrier Unlock your iPhone 4S (assuming Verizon has this service, I have AT&T, so I have never needed to know), you will be able to get more $$$ out of it.
 

Mrg02d

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2012
1,103
1
This is what I do:

1. Buy the new phone outright whether it be from a store or ebay / craigslist
2. Sell your old phone to make most of what you paid to get the new phone.

If you buy from craigslist or ebay, you can do an ESN swap which won't reset your contract but if you buy from the store, it'll give you a new two year contract. You could probably get around 500 - 600 for your 4S, ESPECIALLY if it's 64GB.
Deffinately not with sprint or tmobile. I used to work for sprint and can say that buying a phone outright will NOT renew your contract. It doesnt make sense for it to, so I doubt ATT or Verizon would either. Get any discount on phone price and you sure will though.
 

Want300

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2011
1,194
2
St. Louis, MO
In terms of eBay, this is what helps me:

I always list my items for International shipping. This usually will get me a couple more bids, driving the price up. I set it up Free Shipping as priority mail (USPS) for inside the US. I list Canada and Mexico (as a minimum) for $15-$20 for international shipping.

If you do not ship with original iPhone Box, you can fit everything in a Small Flat Rate Box without a problem. For the rest of the world, take the time to find out how much it would cost (a flat rate kind of thing). If your phone is unlocked, international shipping will drive up the price for sure.

Also, I always take my own picture of the item I am selling, and I usually put it on top of white paper with my eBay user name and the start date of the auction written on it in black marker. This usually helps me hit the higher end of what that items sells for on eBay.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
681
15
Also, I always take my own picture of the item I am selling, and I usually put it on top of white paper with my eBay user name and the start date of the auction written on it in black marker. This usually helps me hit the higher end of what that items sells for on eBay.
Amazing. As if this couldn't be done with photoshop ;)

-t
 

Want300

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2011
1,194
2
St. Louis, MO
Amazing. As if this couldn't be done with photoshop ;)

-t
Not the point I guess. Example, I sold Avatar on 3D Blu Ray the other day. I put a couple in my watch list, ones with/without free shipping, ones with a picture of their item, and ones with the generic eBay photo. They were selling between $80 and $90... Highest was $92, mine sold for $94... Granted that isnt that much more, but it covers more of the fees. And it is still more than all the others.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,901
3,420
Boston, MA
Amazing. As if this couldn't be done with photoshop ;)

-t
While it could be, most people don't go through the trouble of doing it. A person good enough with Photoshop can fabricate just about any scenario and make you think it's legit. Going with your logic, we may as well not take pictures of anything we sell because it could have just been photoshopped? yeah, I'd still rather go with the one with a picture.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
681
15
Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea, because obviously, it gets results.

Just shows how people believe thing they see more than they maybe should.

-t
 

TeeRom

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2012
30
0
I'm in the same boat as you, only I'm coming from a Galaxy Nexus. Is it possible to buy the phone from Verizon at full price? Or do I have to get it from eBay / craigslist?
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
50
I'm in the same boat as you, only I'm coming from a Galaxy Nexus. Is it possible to buy the phone from Verizon at full price? Or do I have to get it from eBay / craigslist?
You can get it from Verizon or Apple. When they are first released it will probably be easier to get it from Apple. Verizon may not be as easy to deal with since with tight supply they are going to want contracts.
 

M87

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2009
1,225
224
Am I missing something? Verizon ETF is $350 and decreases $10 every month, so right now it'd be $250 or so. New iPhone will most likely be $200 for 16GB as usual. That's only $450 to leave your contract and start over with a fully subsidized new iPhone. An unsubsidized iPhone is $650 for 16GB. I'm on a family plan, so I'm thinking I could just cancel my current contract and then get the new phone fully subsidized on a new line. Any reason this wouldn't work?
 

macMD

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2005
345
20
New York
You may get a Verizon sales person to allow you to upgrade early, I have managed to get it done before. The longer you wait to sell you 64GB 4S the less you will get for it especially a CDMA (locked to Verizon but global ready).
 

metzy25

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2011
1,018
38
Am I missing something? Verizon ETF is $350 and decreases $10 every month, so right now it'd be $250 or so. New iPhone will most likely be $200 for 16GB as usual. That's only $450 to leave your contract and start over with a fully subsidized new iPhone. An unsubsidized iPhone is $650 for 16GB. I'm on a family plan, so I'm thinking I could just cancel my current contract and then get the new phone fully subsidized on a new line. Any reason this wouldn't work?
This is exactly what I'm doing, I'm pre ordering it and buying it with a new 2 year and then selling my 32 gb 4s to buy out my contract after I get the new phone, it will only be costing me around $140 to to buy it out and $200 for the phone so I'm looking at around $350, for the new phone which is saving me $300 from buying at full retail.
 

Interstella5555

macrumors 603
Jun 30, 2008
5,219
4
I have a VZW 64GB 4S and have never really been happy with the screen size, I always wanted it to be bigger. I'm not so sure I like the tall look of the rumored next iPhone, though I'm thinking of ditching my 4S to get it when it comes out, which would put me at only 1-yr into my 2-yr contract.

I know I will pay some early termination fee (not sure how much), and I'm guessing I'd have to pay full price for a new iPhone. I'm also guessing I could sell the 4S for around $350-400. Are there any ways to get VZW to discount an upgrade mid cycle?

Thanks.
Why would you need to pay an ETF if you're staying with Verizon and why can't you just go buy the unsubsidized phone?
 

Shockwave78

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2010
1,077
58
This topic always comes up...its like people keep there phones or something and just the let the value go to waste and then throw them out in 10yrs...

Year 1 - Sign up for 2yr deal, get iphone for $199/$299
Year 2 - Sell iphone for $399-$500/Buy new iphone for $600/$700 full price
Year 3 - Sell iphone for $399-$500/Buy new iphone with upgrade $199/$299, $200-$300 profit...

Rinse and repeat...

Do this and you get a new iphone every year...I have been doing it since 2007 when they came out...Kind of a no brainer, not sure why people don't do it...In the end after 5yrs or so you are still only $200-$300 total in the hole for 5 new phones...
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,404
At the iPhone hacks section.
Sometimes, it is about talking to the right person who can make that happen. And AT&T has an early upgrade, you can ask for something like that...

You wont have to pay termination fee if you buy the phone outright.
They dont have a yearly upgrade any more.
They took that away months ago. Now everyone has to wait 20+ months for a full subsidy.
But like you said if you talk to the right rep they might be able to help you out and qualify you for a full upgrade and overide the old date.
 

Shockwave78

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2010
1,077
58
They dont have a yearly upgrade any more.
They took that away months ago. Now everyone has to wait 20+ months for a full subsidy.
But like you said if you talk to the right rep they might be able to help you out and qualify you for a full upgrade and overide the old date.
You can upgrade to a refurbished phone after you are into your new contract in as little as 6 months...

I did this for 5yrs also, actually for 3yrs in a row AT&T let me purchase about 3 or 4 refurbished iphones in December EACH YEAR...I made about $1500 in December 3yrs in a row because of this :D

I was still able to do it last year before i switched to Verizon. This was on AT&T premier site though.
 

ineel

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2010
212
11
All

You can do an early upgrade between month 0-20 of your contract. You pay the standard subsidized rate for the phone ($199) and $250 for the early upgrade. Months 20+ are full subsidized pricing. This applies only to AT&T iPhones.