Buying/preording off-contract on release day

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SR71, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. SR71 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 12, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #1
    Anyone remember how this worked last year with the 5S? Were people able to preorder or buy the 5S off-contract (I mean the carrier specific models, not the unlocked ones) on release day?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #2
    I think you could only buy T-Mobile at full price the other carriers required the subsidized prices - at least initially.
     
  3. runningtowin macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2011
    #3
    You should be able to buy T-Mobile and maybe the SIM-free model (though they're identical, no reason to not grab the T-Mobile model, just in case). This is what I'll be doing. The off-contract (i.e. $700) Verizon model will be a couple months off, I'd expect.
     
  4. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #4
    I bought my off contract AT&T iPhone 5s about a month after the original release date. Some stores were selling them on day one though. It really depends on the person you speak with.
     
  5. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #5
    Bought two from apple.com and two from att on release day.
     
  6. Sodner macrumors 68020

    Sodner

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    Pittsburgh, PA
    #6
    i've always got my iPhones on release day at the subsidized price using either my wife's or my own upgrade. But this year I'll be buying the 6 at retail. I can't believe that if I'm prepared to fork over $800 or more they aren't going to take my money and hand me a phone. I don't care if the phone is unlocked or not. I'll just want a phone that works on AT&T.
     
  7. citivolus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #7
    was that the T-mobile model or the sim-free model? IIRC there were no pre-orders for the 5S so I would hope to buy the sim-free model of the iPhone 6 from Apple's website and pick it up later in the day on launch day.
     
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    The "T-Mobile" model IS the sim-free model except it just comes with a T-Mobile sim card. If you don't plan on using T-Mobile you can just throw away the sim and insert one from your carrier of choice. That's the one I bought on day 1 last year. Fully unlocked.
     
  9. ogremoustro macrumors 6502a

    ogremoustro

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    I thought the "unlocked" version came with at T-Mobile sim but you could just take it out and put in an AT&T sim?
     
  10. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

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    #10
    You guys are "half correct."

    The T-Mobile variant is unlocked... IF YOU BUY IT FROM APPLE.

    If you buy it from T-Mobile, it is locked to T-Mobile... even if you buy it outright. But, since you aren't buying it on EIP or contract, T-Mobile will unlock it for you if you've been a customer for 2 years and haven't requested more than 2 unlocks per line per year.
     
  11. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2007
    #11
    Apple did not make any "unlocked" models available at launch. Anyone who wanted to buy an unlocked iPhone 5s in the U.S. had the following options:

    1) Buy the T-Mobile version, either online or at the Apple Store. Since T-Mobile had already done away with contracts by that time, all of the units sold by Apple were unlocked. They came preloaded with a T-Mobile SIM, but were otherwise identical to official 'unlocked" phones that Apple made available over a month later.

    2) Buy the AT&T or Verizon versions at the Apple Store and request the device-only option. You could not buy a device-only AT&T or Verizon phone through Apple's website (and still cannot).

    ----------

    That's not totally correct either. T-Mobile will unlock a phone purchased outright from their carrier stores after 40 days on a postpaid plan, or 1 year (or after posting $100 in refills) on a prepaid plan. If you're on a contract, you also have to have migrated the plan to a contract-free monthly plan.

    http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588
     
  12. citivolus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #12
    Well I hope Apple will make unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 available at launch. Given the fact that subsidy plans are quickly on their way out in the US, I imagine lots more people such as myself will be looking for unlocked versions going forward.
     
  13. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    Aug 25, 2012
  14. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2007
    #14
    That's why the T-Mobile versions were the most difficult to find when the 5s launched. The ones sold by Apple were all factory unlocked, and available in-person and online. People looking to resell also went for the T-Mobile models first, since they were readily usable overseas.
     
  15. mobutt macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #15
    i buy on launch a full price att model and it's always unlocked. Has been since 4s.
     
  16. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

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    #16
    You are correct and mine was a brain fart. I meant to say 2 months.
     
  17. mjschabow macrumors 65816

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    Dec 25, 2013
  18. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #18
    I am on AT&T MobileShare plan and I am in a bit of a conundrum myself. Assuming Apple does not change the pricing....

    2-year contract:
    • Upfront with upgrade fee, before taxes: $239 (16GB), $339 (32GB), or $439 (64GB)
    • Monthly premium: $15 for 2 years
    • Total before subscription and taxes: $599 (16GB), $699 (32GB), or $799 (64GB)
    • Upgrade eligibility: 2 years

    Next 12:
    • Upfront before taxes: $0
    • Monthly premium: $32.50 (16GB), $37.50 (32GB), $42.50 (64GB) for 20 months
    • Total before subscription and taxes: $650 (16GB), $750 (32GB), or $850 (64GB)
    • Upgrade eligibility: 1 year

    Next 18:
    • Upfront before taxes: $0
    • Monthly premium: $27.08 (16GB), $31.25 (32GB), $35.42 (64GB) for 2 years
    • Total before subscription and taxes: $649.92 (16GB), $750 (32GB), or $850.08 (64GB)
    • Upgrade eligibility: 18 months

    Unlocked and contract-free (SIM-free):
    • Upfront before taxes: $649 (16GB), $749 (32GB), or $849 (64GB)
    • Monthly installment: $0
    • Monthly premium: $0
    • Total before subscription and taxes: $649 (16GB), $749 (32GB), or $849 (64GB)
    • Upgrade eligibility: immediate

    If you want to save money, traditional 2-year contract is still the way to go. But if you want to upgrade before 2 years and/or want unlocked phone, buying the phone unlocked maybe worth $50 premium.
     
  19. Deguello, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014

    Deguello macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #19
    Why is that the way to save money? I'd be paying an extra $25 per month on service for 24 months.
     
  20. rman0726 macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2009
    #20
    You also have to pay the $40 upgrade fee for the two year contract, which is waived with off-contract and Next.
     
  21. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2007
    #21
    Stuff like this makes my eyes glaze over! :cool: It's the exact reason why I opted to go without a smartphone altogether until late last year, rather than lock myself down with a contract.

    The part that's missing on this chart is the total cost of ownership when you include the monthly service charges. AT&T's monthly device charge on a BYOD plan will vary depending on how much data you purchase. With 10 GB or more, the monthly premium for going on-contract increases to $25 per line.

    IMO, it's all loaded with conditions and confusion galore by design. Decoupling the device cost from the monthly service fee gives consumers a straight answer on how much something costs and makes the math much clearer.
     
  22. citivolus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #22
    I don't think you're factoring the value of the device after upgrade. In the Next plan, I believe you are guaranteed a (low) trade in value, whereas in the contract-free option you could probably get much more for it by selling it on CL, Swappa, or eBay.
     
  23. EM2013, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014

    EM2013 macrumors 65816

    EM2013

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #23
    I'm curious to know if you can preorder a sprint iphone, online not in store, at full price? Will have to buy full price since I used my upgrade last year for 5S :(
     
  24. mjschabow macrumors 65816

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    Dec 25, 2013
    #24

    My question as well. It would be nice to have the option to purchase off contract online on release day.
     
  25. mr99 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2014
    #25
    I've always wondered, why do people buy them full price instead of subsidy? I understand not wanting a contract but the difference is many hundreds of dollars. Are you on a share plan that is much cheaper/month since you're not subsidizing a device?
     

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