Buy iPhone from Apple or carrier?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maceesback, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. maceesback macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    Is there an advantage to buying directly from Apple (be it online or a physical Apple store) versus a carrier like Verizon or AT&T, or a Best Buy?

    FWIW, I am about 2 hours from the nearest Apple store.
  2. b24pgg macrumors 65816

    Jan 28, 2009
    Verizon's return policy is 14 days while Apple's is 30 days.

    If you want an unlocked iPhone, you can only get it currently from the Apple Store (by getting a "device only" AT&T iPhone at full retail price)

    Other than that, don't know of any differences
  3. ijohnbro macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    I would buy it directly from Apple at the Apple Store. Because they are the ones you deal with if you have any problems with the phone, plus you will be on record you bought it there. Get in good with a salesman you're golden.
  4. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    Buy from an Apple store, not online. While many other can suggest buying online, I do not. If you ever need to return something you bought online, like a phone, at least have a backup phone for 1-2 weeks.
  5. Jmclark macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2009
    Windham, ME
    Other than the return policy, I don't really think it matters. Only reason I'm buying mine at the VZW store is because it's closer.
  6. musika macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2010
    New York
  7. ijohnbro macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Can you do the whole thing at Apple? Get signed up for service and all of that?
  8. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Personally I'd go with Apple unless 1) the carrier store is less crowded 2) the carrier store is closer and 3) you are confident with your device and service in where you won't be returning it.

    1,2,3 apply for me so I personally go to my carrier store, but Apple is the way to go.
  9. 0r30 macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2010
  10. Berkeley1297 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2011

    Don't even waste your time with a carrier.

    Apple reps are able to answer many more questions. They even setup the phone for you (activation, moving contacts from your old phone if your old phone can't upgrade to iOS 5, etc.).


    Yes. Definitely. And it's much more efficient.
  11. MrBob910 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    If you are with AT&T (corporate account only), you have to go to AT&T. I had a 4S reserved for store pickup and was turned away for this very reason. :mad:
  12. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Have always found Apple stores to be better service.
  13. IceCold29 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Apple Store!!

    Depending on your state, you will pay less taxes buying directly from Apple, online or in store, verse the carrier stores. I know in Nevada and I think in Cali, when you buy from the carrier they charge you tax on the entire phone value instead of just the sales price. Meaning if you buy a 32GB model for $299, you will pay taxes on $749. Here in Las Vegas that's $60 verse $24. Since Apple is the maker if the device they don't have to go by that tax rule, therefore saving the consumer money!! :D
  14. ThaiGuy macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    If you want true portabilty, buy at the Apple Store

    The notion that any iPhone bought anywhere unfortunately is untrue. Both the carriers & Apple are less than forthright about this. Read this excellent article from Forbes about it:

    The bottom line: It DOES matter where you buy your phone if you want unlocked portability someday in the future.
  15. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    Yeah definitely Apple. Has others have mentioned, if bought from Apple, they are unlocked, so you have total choice of what carrier you want to use.

    I live in the UK, but I don't live near an Apple Store (nearest to me is 90 miles away), so I order my iPhone from Apple's website. In the UK, if there is a problem with your iPhone and like me don't live near an Apple Store and like me have needed to order from Apple's website, you have a number of choices if the iPhone developes a fault.

    1: Take out an Apple Care agreement, when you contact Apple Care to request a repair. This will then enable you to a free pick up of the faulty one and delivery of a new one at the same time. If there is stock you have a new iPhone the very next day or the day after.

    2: Pay I think it's around £30 for the same service as above but obviously it wouldn't give you the additional feature of the Apple Care cover plan. Basically you would just be paying for the pickup charge.

    3: Apple will send you out an empty packaging, which you then place the faulty iPhone in, which is then returned to Apple, it will either be repaired or replaced. This option has a total turnaround of about 10 days.

    Not sure if you live near an Apple Store, so I thought I would point out the options available if a repair is needed. I've dealt with Apple/Apple Care on a number of occasions and I always find their service is outstanding.
  16. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    As a Verizon customer, buying from an Apple store is less complicated since Applecare will be registered on the spot and Apple will have proof of your purchase.

    Plus, I hate dealing with Verizon reps trying to dissuade me from buying an iPhone.
  17. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Other than a fan discount, there's no reason to buy at the carrier. Best Buy might be worth it for the rewards points. Apple charges less than the carriers for the same phone and the experience is better.
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If you have a special feature on your account like international data, or whatnot, don't bother with the Apple Store; they can't do anything.
  19. Mike73 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2012
    Being in Germany, I definitively will go with Apple or one of the retailers. At a carrier, you usually get a phone with a contract.
    I hate long term contracts and there are already so many pay as you go services where you can just switch should you see a better deal :)

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