AT&T Unlimited Data vs. Mobile Share - new iPhone every year

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by marddin, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. marddin macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    I share a plan with my brother. We have an outdated 450 anytime minutes with roll over + unlimited data (grandfathered). I'm paying $184 total after taxes. I also have a dummy line on the account that I use to get the new iPhone every year (1 year use my upgrade, next year use dummy lines upgrade).

    I would like to move to the mobile share plan as it looks like it can save me a ton of money month to month but I DON"T want to lose the ability to get the new iPhone every year. I normally upgrade and sell my previous model on CL for the amount of the new iPhone, sometimes more.

    Is there a way I can get the new iphone every year and be on a mobile share plan without paying outrageously?

    No i don't want to use At&T next.
  2. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    Without using AT&T next, not likely. AT&T next is a great deal if you understand it. It's a free loan. I bet if you did NEXT you'd get more minutes, more data, a new phone AND your bill would be cheaper.

    When I had next I had a new iphone 6 plus (paying monthly) 2 lines, unlimited talk and text and 20gb of data.

    I get a work discount and my total was around 145$/month so maybe a bit higher without a work discount.
  3. geoff5093 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2014
    Dover, NH
    Paying $184 per month just for your own plan is insane, or is that the price with your brother as well?
  4. marddin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    That's the price of both my brother and I. Total.


    I have done the math with AT&T next time and time again and it just doesn't seem logical or in my favor when it comes to cost.
  5. ducatiti macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2011
    I'm on a similar scenario but with four phones (one unlimited data) but only paying $140 per month. I don't think that any plan can beat that. 2 iPhone 6's, 1 Note 4, and one non-smart phone.
  6. EdMan macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    It really comes down to how much data you want to purchase. I was on a similar plan as yours with my wife as I had unlimited data plan from 2007 with the original iPhone. We both got new iPhones 6's on launch day and I ditched the old plan for a mobile share plan and it's saving me about $15 a month. We don't use much data so the unlimited plan was costing me especially since I had to purchase a separate data plan for her in order for me to keep my unlimited. Plus it was much less out of pocked to purchase the phones.

    The math is really not complicated as far as Next goes. It's really no different than if you buy the phone outright. Pay it off and you can sell it or do whatever you want with it.
  7. marddin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    The main difference between NEXT and not is with NEXT I have to pay the phone off in full to then sell it. Without next, I pay the subsidized price of $200 for base model then can sell when I upgrade for like 350-400.


    Wow, that is awesome. How is your bill so low with so many phones? If i may ask..
  8. BrettDS macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2012
    How have you done the math with next? If you calculate it based on turning in your phone after a year the way next is supposed to work, then you're right... next is a terrible deal.

    However, you don't need to trade the phone in with next. You have the option to pay it off and keep it (either when you finish making the scheduled payments, or in a lump sum at any time).

    Try to do your math again, but this time, make the next payments for 12 months, then pay off the remaining balance and get a new phone. Sell the old phone on CL and use part of the proceeds to cover the payment you made for the remaining balance.

    I think that by doing it that way and getting rid of your extra line you'll come out well ahead of what you have now.
  9. BrettDS macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2012
    OK, so I was bored, so I decided to try to do the math...

    I'm not sure how much data you and your brother use, but I started you with 10G since you get a break on the per line cost of the phone at 10G. You'd pay $100/month for the data and $15 each for you and your brother's lines... a total of $130/month.

    If you and your brother are splitting the cost of the plan, that means you're paying half, or $65/month. You said your existing plan was $184/month and you had two lines on that plan and your brother had one, so I'm assuming that you're paying two thirds, or $122/month for that plan.

    When you get a new phone with next you pay $0 down and no activation fee... just payments on the phone. If you went with a 16G iPhone 6 and the next 12 plan then you'd pay $32.50/month for your phone... a total of $97.50 per month including the plan.

    At the end of 12 months you'd still owe $260 on the phone, but you can pay that off, get a new phone and keep the existing phone. Assuming the phone is still in excellent condition you should be able to sell it for around $400 on CL, so after paying off the $260 balance you'd have $140 in your pocket.

    So, at the end of one year it would look like this... (The yearly cost is the monthly cost times 12. $97.50 for mobileshare plus the next payment and $122 for your portion of your existing plan)

    ...........................Next.....Existing plan
    Initial phone cost.....$0............$200
    Activation fee...........0................40
    Yearly cost..........1170............1464
    Phone pay off........260.................0
    profit from CL......-400.............-400
    total cost:..........$1030..........$1304
  10. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    If he's paying off the phone or choosing a short Next payment plan, then hes not going to wind up ahead. If he has to pay $400-500 to pay off the device, he wont be able to get more than that during the next cycle.

    My suggestion would be to use Next 18. After a year or so, you'll need to pay somewhere around 200-300 to upgrade. But you're not going to really come out ahead in this scenario. You're looking at $100 for 10GB, $15 for the iphone line and then around $33 for the phone payments. so you might come out $20-25 cheaper. Then, when you want to upgrade, go on AT&T's site to upgrade and it will let you pay enough to become eligible to upgrade.
  11. marddin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    so confusing. i don't think they could make it any more difficult


    I lean towards your logic. I don't have my research in front of me and don't feel like doing it again but I recall running the numbers and I never came out ahead if I chose next. I really just want to get off this old, outdated, and expensive plan but I don't want to unless I have a good secondary option.
  12. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Next 18 is a worse deal than Next 12. With Next 12, you need to pay off 60% of the device cost in order to qualify for a Next upgrade. With Next 18, you need to pay off 75% of the device cost in order to qualify for a Next upgrade.

    If you're selling the phone via ebay or CL or something, then both Next 18 and Next 12 work out to the same cost. Next 12 just has you paying higher monthly fees and lower pay off ($32.50/mo, $260 pay off after 1 year) while Next 18 has you paying lower monthly fees but higher pay off ($27.08/mo, $325 pay off after 1 year).
  13. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I don't think you'd come out ahead, but you wouldn't come out behind.

    Honestly, the first thing I'd do is get rid of your dumbphone line. You can early upgrade to a new iPhone every year for an extra $250. That would make your yearly base cost of upgrading to the new iPhone $450. Minus the $120/yr you're saving from not keeping your dumb phone line around. Then you can definitely flip the last gen iPhone on the market for around 400-500 and basically just have your upgrade paid for every year.
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Is that 2 separate accounts? That still works out to over $92/month. The base price before tax is $75 with the 200 text plan. Do you have $17 in taxes/fees, or are there overages? If it's the latter, try calling retentions first to see if they'll add some rollover minutes. I did last month (using the Sprint Cut Your Bill in Half promotion as an excuse) and got them to add 1000 anytime minutes to my balance.
  15. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I haven't seen it mentioned here... but you technically CAN be on a contract with the new plans, but AT&T will tack on a larger service charge ($40 versus $15) for every line (on contract). In MOST cases, this ends up being MORE expensive than just staying on next.

    Depending on what model phone you buy, consider the fact that Next allows you to just "trade back" your phone. This sounds terrible initiailly, but the difference between that and me selling an iPhone 5S was literally $70. I decided it simply wasn't worth the effort for such small reward back.
  16. cousintim macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2015
    It's hard to make Next math work for a single line. It's impossible if you get a material company discount.
  17. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Comparing AT&T Minute plans against Mobile Share isn't difficult, but it does depend on your exact details. The cost effectiveness of the plans depends on your own details since everyone has different scenarios.

    If you can, provide all of your pertenant details and I'm sure someone on the forum will run the numbers for you. Some folks around here enjoy doing that.

    How much is your plan costing you right now for each line item.

    You've already said that you intend to upgrade your phone every year and sell the old one.

    What about text messaging? Do you pay for it now?

    How much data would you and your brother need if you go with a Mobile Share plan?

    Do you get a corporate discount currently? If so, does the discount work on the cost of your unlimited data plan? Typically, the discount only applies on the minutes and the data portion is full price, but some folks have a discount that applies on both the minutes and data. When this is the case, it skews the calculations towards the minutes plan.


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16 January 22, 2015