Benefit to full price purchase?

ScubaCinci

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
1,471
113
Cincinnati OH
Is there any real benefit at all to paying full (unsubsidized) price for a phone other than not being locked into a contract?
 

supersalo

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
383
133
Is there any real benefit at all to paying full (unsubsidized) price for a phone other than not being locked into a contract?
Yes, you will have a lower "data" charge if you own your device.

For example, on AT&T's Mobile Share plans (10GB), if you're on a 2-year subsidized plan, the data charge is $40/month.

If you bring your own device or own it outright, the price drops from $40/month to $15/month.

If you're on their "Next plan", it also drops to $15/month (but you're essentially leasing the phone).
 

RTWG

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2008
135
103
Yes, it's usually much cheaper to buy the handset outright and then sign up for a cheaper, SIM-only contract (at least that's how it works in the UK).
 

donster28

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2006
1,601
601
Great White North
Is there any real benefit at all to paying full (unsubsidized) price for a phone other than not being locked into a contract?
To put it simply (and yes, these are just sample prices):

SUBSIDIZED:
Cost of Phone (paid upfront): $200
Monthly Charges (2-year contract): $100 x 24 = $2,400
Charge to unlock the phone: $50
Total at the end of contract: $2,650

UN-SUBSIDIZED:
Cost of Phone (paid up-front): $1,000
Monthly Charges in 2-years (month-to-month, no contract): $50 x 24 = $1,200
Total at the end of contract: $2,200

Total savings by going un-subsidized: $450
 

ScubaCinci

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
1,471
113
Cincinnati OH
Hmmm...I'm having a hard time pricing month-to-month services on Verizon's site. I'm at work though so I keep getting interrupted. Damn work and its interference in my personal time! :D
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
65
If you travel internationally, you can just pop in a pre-paid sim though Verizon is already unlocked.
 

bassett700

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2009
93
12
Dingus, VA
Benefit for some of us: We're on an old loyalty plan with unlimited data that's too attractive to give up....in terms of both data and cost. Buying a subsidized phone forces me to a more expensive family plan and one with data limits. New plan cost wipes out any savings from a subsidized phone. Over 2 years I will save $600+ by sticking with my current plan and buying two Iphones outright.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
Is there any real benefit at all to paying full (unsubsidized) price for a phone other than not being locked into a contract?
If you can get service discount equivalent to at least $450 per line over the course of 2 years, then you break even buying full price versus subsidy. If you get service discount of more than $450 per line over the course of 2 years, then buying outright saves you money. Less than $450 and subsidy is better.
 

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
527
918
Fort Wayne, IN
If you're on their "Next plan", it also drops to $15/month (but you're essentially leasing the phone).
How is that? When I calculated out the payments when paid in full, the phone ends up costing exactly the same amount as purchasing outright. If you trade after 12 months, then AT&T makes money on the trade. At least that's how I understand it.

It all boils down to whether or not you have to have that new phone every 12 months.
 

ravinder08

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2010
291
40
I purchased my iPhone 4s for £449
Took a sim only deal for £10 per month (900 mins, unlimited text, 2.5gb of data)
Total cost over 3 years = £809
trade in my unlocked 4s for £140
Total cost £669 over 3 years or £223 per year.


Gonna put the £140 towards the cost of my iPhone 6 64gb and get another Sim only 4g deal with 3 network (in the UK) for £10 per month.

I'm purchasing the phone on new credit card that charges 0% interest on purchases for 20 months to help spread the cost too.
 

daviddth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2009
786
104
Australia
For me it's a no brainer to go pre-paid (No contract) as I pay $30 a month for a plan that suits my needs, but if I need more data I can simply pay more that month, or buy data packs to suit. An equivalent plan that suits my usage is in the order of $90 a month, and if I go over on data it becomes VERY expensive
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
How is that? When I calculated out the payments when paid in full, the phone ends up costing exactly the same amount as purchasing outright. If you trade after 12 months, then AT&T makes money on the trade. At least that's how I understand it.

It all boils down to whether or not you have to have that new phone every 12 months.
Yup. That's how it works.
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
You'll see the real benefit when you want the new iPhone two years from now and you are still under contract on release day and Verizon won't move your eligibility up even a few weeks. They are notorious for this.

Just buy your phone and stay contract free. You are paying for it one way or another anyway.

Also, prices are getting much more competitive. Prices will change over the next two years. You don't want to be stuck.
 

From A Buick 8

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2010
3,114
126
Ky Close to CinCinnati
This is for us US folks, but most of the cost break downs i have seen are for AT&T, i am not sure Verizon gives the same monthly cost break for folks who BYOD or pay full price (i may be wrong though).
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
This is for us US folks, but most of the cost break downs i have seen are for AT&T, i am not sure Verizon gives the same monthly cost break for folks who BYOD or pay full price (i may be wrong though).
Yes, they do. You can pretty much use the same calculations for AT&T Mobile Share Value 10GB + NEXT 12/BYOD for Verizon More Everything + EDGE/BYOD.
 

bobright

macrumors 601
Jun 29, 2010
4,754
17
Yes, when the iPhone 6(s) comes out next year with a Sapphire panel and 2GB of ram we can easily flip our phones on eBay and upgrade without being locked into a contract. ;)
 

Fant

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2009
169
1
Actually when they introduced the new BYOD plans where they seperate your service cost from your device cost ... the service costs went up from their old plans. Therefore if you have one of their old plans (that includes a subsidy), it's typically much cheaper to just extend a 2 year contract than to switch to one of the new plans. I think where the break even point is if you have alot of devices (at least 4 or 5) each with their own data plan you can save some by sharing a single data bucket. But for less than that, I dont see how the new plans are any cheaper.
 

supersalo

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
383
133
How is that? When I calculated out the payments when paid in full, the phone ends up costing exactly the same amount as purchasing outright. If you trade after 12 months, then AT&T makes money on the trade. At least that's how I understand it.

It all boils down to whether or not you have to have that new phone every 12 months.
Because if I purchase it outright, I can sell it in 12 months and use the proceeds to pay for the upgrade.

On the next plan, that's not possible (plus you're playing the extra $20-$30 per month to pay down the phone cost).
 

indychris

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
527
918
Fort Wayne, IN
Because if I purchase it outright, I can sell it in 12 months and use the proceeds to pay for the upgrade.

On the next plan, that's not possible (plus you're playing the extra $20-$30 per month to pay down the phone cost).
IMO, you basically just contradicted yourself. You just pointed out that going with the Next 12 plan and paying a few extra dollars each month is essentially getting a 0% interest 1 year same as cash deal. So the benefit really isn't there. Heck, at least I get over 1% interest just leaving a few bucks in my checking/savings account.
 

supersalo

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
383
133
IMO, you basically just contradicted yourself. You just pointed out that going with the Next 12 plan and paying a few extra dollars each month is essentially getting a 0% interest 1 year same as cash deal. So the benefit really isn't there. Heck, at least I get over 1% interest just leaving a few bucks in my checking/savings account.
No, I didn't. The monthly data charge is the same for Next as it with BYOD (bring your own device).

With Next, you're paying to rent the phone for 1 year, then giving it back.