MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple is planning to bolster its in-store iPhone sales in the United States by allowing customers to add pre-paid or month-to-month plans when purchasing full-priced, unlocked iPhones, according to a source that spoke to 9to5Mac.

Currently, iPhone customers who pay the full price to purchase unlocked iPhones from Apple retail locations must visit a carrier store or use a pre-activated SIM card to get service on their phones, but following the policy change, those plans will be available directly through the Apple Store.

iphone5s5c.png
Apple Stores will stock AT&T GoPhone pre-paid activation kits and T-Mobile SIM cards for both T-Mobile and AT&T pre-paid plans, with employee training taking place over the next few weeks.
Sales staff will promote ATT's $60 per month pre-paid plan (with 2.5GB of internet data and unlimited talk and text) to those seeking AT&T plans, while the stores will offer $50/month (1GB LTE data) and $70/month (5GB LTE data) unlimited data plans to customers seeking T-Mobile devices. The activations must be done at the time of purchase in Apple Stores and those devices will be unable to be returned to Apple for a refund.
The new pre-paid and month-to-month plans may be available at Apple Stores during the last week of June and are likely part of a push to move more device sales in store. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that 80 percent of iPhones are sold at third-party locations while 20 percent are sold in by Apple, a figure he would like to improve.

Apple has launched several other programs to improve in-store sales, including a recent iPhone upgrade event encouraging iPhone 4 and 4s owners to update to a newer device.

Article Link: Apple to Offer New Contract-Free Plan Options for iPhones in U.S. Retail Stores
 

frozen220

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
92
165
Launch day unlocked iPhone 6 ??

I wonder (and hope) if this means Apple will have stock of unlocked iPhone 6 that I can pick up in their store on launch day because I do not want to wait WEEKS AFTER the launch for the unlocked version to become available for order online only, then wait another 4-6+ weeks for shipment. I want an unlocked iPhone ON LAUNCH DAY!!!
 
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scottwaugh

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
359
12
Chicago
This'll be huge if they do this right

Wow, this will be a way to handle the migration away from 2 year subsidy plans.

There's alot of people who'd buy an iPhone with payments spread out over 2 years as opposed to plunking down $700 all at once.

Nice move on Apple's part.
 
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puffnit

macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2011
14
7
Lol, here in Poland I have unlimited calls, texts and 27GB of internet for 29$...
 
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MarvinK9

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2014
33
8
Rip Off

And all plans quoted cost more than double what they should. Telcos in North America are greedy slime-ball weasels.
 
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madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
2,704
595
Ohio
I wonder (and hope) if this means Apple will have stock of unlocked iPhone 6 that I can pick up in their store on launch day because I do not want to wait WEEKS AFTER the launch for the unlocked version to become available for order online only, then wait another 4-6+ weeks for shipment. I want an unlocked iPhone ON LAUNCH DAY!!!

This!!! This, this sooo much this!
 
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rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
I wonder (and hope) if this means Apple will have stock of unlocked iPhone 6 that I can pick up in their store on launch day because I do not want to wait WEEKS AFTER the launch for the unlocked version to become available for order online only, then wait another 4-6+ weeks for shipment. I want an unlocked iPhone ON LAUNCH DAY!!!

Then go in and tell them you want to buy a Verizon phone full price. It's unlocked...
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,868
15,002
In between a rock and a hard place
Why would anyone buy a non-contract phone from Apple using what's described in the OP? Unless I missed something, the most important point is buried: "The activations must be done at the time of purchase in Apple Stores and those devices will be unable to be returned to Apple for a refund."

Who would give up their consumer protection just to buy a phone in an Apple store? There has to be something missing in the OP.
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,940
3,843
No gsm LTE for us carriers on Verizon model I thought?

That was the case with the Verizon iPhone 5. It was limited to GSM and HSPA+ with U.S. carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.

However, the Verizon iPhone 5s connects to all the LTE bands in the U.S. just fine. You could pop an AT&T or T-Mobile nano-sim into the Verizon 5s as soon as you buy it and it would be no different than the 5s you'd buy at an AT&T or T-Mobile retail location.
 
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rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
No gsm LTE for us carriers on Verizon model I thought?

All VZW LTE phones must be factory unlocked by virtue of agreement that they signed with the FCC when they bought spectrum a few years ago. The VZW iPhone 5, while unlocked did not work on AT&T 4G/LTE bands because the proper radios were not installed. The 5S does. No reason to believe it won't stay that way moving forward.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022023953
 
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bewareofthephog

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2013
2
0
The T-Mobile 5S

I pre-ordered was unlocked. I don't see why anyone had a problem getting an unlocked model straight away.
 
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gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,691
1,108
East Central Florida
All VZW LTE phones must be factory unlocked by virtue of agreement that they signed with the FCC when they bought spectrum a few years ago. The VZW iPhone 5, while unlocked did not work on AT&T 4G/LTE bands because the proper radios were not installed. The 5S does. No reason to believe it won't stay that way moving forward.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022023953

Cool, did not know about the change in support with the 5S

Learn something everyday
 
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johnparjr

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
669
214
Earth
I wonder (and hope) if this means Apple will have stock of unlocked iPhone 6 that I can pick up in their store on launch day because I do not want to wait WEEKS AFTER the launch for the unlocked version to become available for order online only, then wait another 4-6+ weeks for shipment. I want an unlocked iPhone ON LAUNCH DAY!!!

You always could just buy device only
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
Then go in and tell them you want to buy a Verizon phone full price. It's unlocked...

When the 5s came out, if you wanted an unlocked phone that you could take to another country, the only option was to tell them that you wanted a T-Mobile phone. I know this becaue the guy in line behind me was in the US for a conference and lost his iphone, so he decided to stand in line on launch day and buy one before heading back (to france I believe). I remeber helping him out with this and that was the only option.

Since then, I think you are right that other telcos are starting to sell their phones unlocked. I believe Sprint also anounced the same, not sure about At&T.
 
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usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
I pre-ordered was unlocked. I don't see why anyone had a problem getting an unlocked model straight away.

Previously, unlocked phones were for sale 3 months after launch day. The Verizon iPhone 5 was GSM unlocked, and was (I think) the only carrier on launch day to do that.

With the 5s, the T-Mobile and Verizon phones were unlocked on launch day. I didn't pay that much attention, but I think the "officially" unlocked version had a bit of a delay.

Verizon and T-Mobile look like the phones to get on launch day, at least in the US...although T-Mo is in doubt since Sprint might buy them. We'll see.
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,037
4,224
The thick of it
Who would give up their consumer protection just to buy a phone in an Apple store? There has to be something missing in the OP.

I noticed this too. I don't think Apple can do that; there has to be some sort of return policy on the device. I don't see how a pre-paid purchase would be any different from a standard iPhone purchase. I could see if Apple sold the pre-paid iPhones at a steep discount. But if you're paying full price for it, there has to be a return policy. What if you also get AppleCare?
 
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rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
When the 5s came out, if you wanted an unlocked phone that you could take to another country, the only option was to tell them that you wanted a T-Mobile phone. I know this becaue the guy in line behind me was in the US for a conference and lost his iphone, so he decided to stand in line on launch day and buy one before heading back (to france I believe). I remeber helping him out with this and that was the only option.

Since then, I think you are right that other telcos are starting to sell their phones unlocked. I believe Sprint also anounced the same, not sure about At&T.

Again, VZW has been required by law to sell their LTE phones unlocked for about 2 years. The VZW iPhone 5 was factory unlocked.
 
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usamaah

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2008
190
287
Chicago
Hopefully as more years pass and the majority of consumers buy phones unlocked, phones will actually compete on price and that means cheaper smartphones for us all. I see this as a step towards that future.
 
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BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,653
604
I don't understand the part about being unable to return the phone to Apple if you want to....why not? If this is the case, I'd rather buy "device only" and get the plan elsewhere. Why would Apple be dropping customer service levels if you choose to go prepaid?
 
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