Cons to buying unlocked iPhone 4S opposed to full retail from AT&T?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by turkish007, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. turkish007 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2011
    #1
    I contacted AT&T and they said I'm not eligible for an upgrade until 04/12. Is there any reason I should shell out the full retail to AT&T as opposed to just buying the world phone next month for essentially the same price? It seems like the unlocked phone would be a better choice. There won't be any limitations, loss of features, or loss of my unlimited data plan from AT&T will there? Thanks ahead for the responses!
     
  2. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #2
    I buy all my iPhones unlocked. It gives you options, not locked in contracts. A larger market for resale exists as well.
     
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #3
    If you're going to buy at full retail for use on a GSM network like AT&T, then there's zero downside to getting the unlocked version instead (other than having to wait until next month to get it). Plus, it'll have better resale value.
     
  4. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #4
    The con would be the money, obviously, and the extra wait time. Other than that, though, there's no downside I can think of.
     
  5. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    NYC
    #5
    If you're going to pay full retail, the unlocked version is a must. The obvious benefit of being able to put any SIM in it, not having an AT&T contract (not that it matters in the US), plus a much higher resale value.

    When the iPhone 5 comes out next year, you could probably sell for just $100-$200 less than what you paid for it this year and use that to either upgrade or just buy a new unlocked phone. :)
     
  6. ansabakhan macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #6
    i am in the same boat... the only thing i am concerned with is that ,they don't have a date yet... and i dont want USA unlocked iphone 4s to be like the white iphone 4 which took more then 8=9 months to come out
     
  7. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    #7
    The Apple website already said it would be out in Nov. so you'll have to wait 3-6 weeks.
     
  8. turkish007 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll definitely just wait until Nov. I'm sure my iPhone4 can hold me off until then. I now see that there is no point in both paying full price, and giving AT&T my soul. Thank you for the clarity :)
     
  9. ansabakhan macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #9
    you are doing the right thing.... for AT&T iphone you pay $849.00 where every one else is paying $399 or $649 .. so automatically the resale is around $550 after 6 months , but unlocked iphone for $850 today would very well be around $750 after 6 months ! as $850 is what every one paid for it...
     
  10. greytmom macrumors 68040

    greytmom

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  11. ansabakhan macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #11
    he can keep any plan he has currently ..changing sims from iphone 4 to iphone 4s should not change any thing ...
     
  12. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #12
    Initially I decided that I would just wait to buy the unlocked version next month. However, I then decided otherwise, and here's why:

    1) Buying now "saves" me $200 right now. My total out of pocket after taxes is $595 for the 32 GB. Had I waited to buy full retail it would be about $811. I realized that over a year from now or whenever the next iteration is released, I really don't forsee an unlocked 4S netting me over $200 more than a non-unlocked one. In my experience, unlocked sells for between $100-150 more. I've found, however, the biggest price differential stems from when you sell your phone. Listing and selling BEFORE the official announcement is the key whether locked or unlocked.

    2) The "unlocked" 4S isn't truly unlocked. You will not be able to sell it to a Verizon or Sprint subscriber. Stateside it would only be unlocked to AT&T and T-Mobile - since I won't sell to overseas buyers I won't consider other GSM carriers in this reasoning. Now, T-Mobile has all but said that they'll be getting an iPhone (whether the 4S or next version) in 2012, and assuming that pans out, I'm assuming T-Mobile users will be less willing to shell out huge dollars for a phone they can only use on EDGE when they will likely have the option to get the fully functional version.

    3) I'm perfectly happy on AT&T, have great 3G speeds in the Dallas area, and don't anticipate needing the "flexibility" of being contract free as I would just stick with them anyway. As far as being "off-cycle" for next year's iPhone I'll just be in the same boat as now, no biggie (new contract price + $250 - I will likely get nearly this amount for the 4S by timing its resale next year properly).

    4) The "unlocked" 4S may be another 6 weeks for all we know. I can't stand to use my original iPhone that much longer. Push notifications aren't working on it and I'm sick of having to check TextFree manually.

    All of these considered there's really no huge benefit to buying the "unlocked" 4S.
     
  13. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #13
    The third choice, of course, is the $250 early upgrade fee. Cheaper than full retail, but it does extend your contract.

    If you don't need unlocked (i.e. you don't travel internationally) then saving $200 now is an option worth considering.
     

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