Does buying an iPhone with a 2 year contract save the most money in the long run?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Reminisce32, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Reminisce32 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2009
    Does buying an iPhone with a 2 year contract save the most money in the long run? Or would I save money by paying full price up front as an AT&T customer?

    I'm currently holding onto a grandfathered unlimited data plan, so I plan on keeping my plan and staying with AT&T, but wanted to know if AT&T provided any way for me to save money monthly if I pay retail for the phone?

  2. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It depends on how much you are paying now. As a general rule of thumb, if a non-contract plan costs $20/month less than your current plan, then it is worth while (about $450 over 2 years). Subsidized plans cost more in general, but plans at AT&T vary. Unsubsidized plans are best especially if you keep your phone for more than 2 years, because you save more money each month.

    For example, if you are paying $200 for 4 phones on contract, and an equivalent subsidized plan costs $120 or less a month unsubsidized, then it makes sense to purchase your phones outright.

    T-mobile currently has arguably the best pricing for families of 4-6 people. This assumes you are ok with the coverage though. They are currently offering 2.5GB of LTE with tethering, international, and free music streaming for $100 a month total for 4 people.

    Edit: I misread your post. They will not let you keep your grandfathered plan and pay for your phone outright.
  4. theMaccer macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
    hard to say, but carriers are moving away from 2 year contract, so it must have been costing them.

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