ETF for iPhone 5?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TheAppleGeek, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. TheAppleGeek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    #1
    Browsing AT&T's website, I came across the $325 ETF. As someone who has purchased the new iPhone on launch day the past two years, at regular price, I was a bit alarmed I was having to pay $549, 4G plans and all, for this phone.

    But of course, I'm not mad. I am just curious about a certain thing: if I were to pay the the ETF (I'd be paying $225), would I be able to get the iPhone 5 at regular price then? Or, would I still be paying it the early upgrade cost?
     
  2. livspop macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    #2
    Verizon requires that you wait 6 months after ETF-ing to sign up for service again. Not sure if AT&T has something similar or not??
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    #3
    If you break your contract, then you would theoretically be getting the full subsidized pricing since it is a new contract. However, it would be best if you call AT&T directly as they will give you a direct answer to this inquiry.
     
  4. christyn macrumors 6502a

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    Salt Lake
    #4
    Yes, but AT&T requires you to wait a certain amount of time before letting you sign up again. I think it's 30 days?
     
  5. TheAppleGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Oh. I can see why.

    In that case, would it be wrong of me to add a line to my account, and purchase the phone in-person at AT&T the morning it launches, then cancel my current account at a later time?
     
  6. christyn macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 18, 2009
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    Salt Lake
    #6
    Nope, you can do that.

    I believe you have to pay for the first months service but can cancel after that.

    A lot of people have been adding a line as AT&T will allow you to remove the data plan, put a dumb phone on the account and just pay $10 a month for that line. It ends up costing more over the course of 2 yrs, but not by much and is a way to not have to put the money up front.
     
  7. dave006 macrumors 68030

    dave006

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    Just West of East
    #7
    Do you want to lose your current phone number when you cancel your current line?

    That's what will happen.

    Dave
     
  8. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    He could port the number to Straight Talk or something which would automatically cancel the contract and trigger the ETF, then once he's eligible to go back to AT&T just port the number back.
     
  9. TheAppleGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2010
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    St. Louis
    #9
    I'm totally fine with that, honestly. I changed my number not even a month ago, and am not a fan of it, haha.

    ----------

    That's great news. Thank you.

    So, when I go to purchase the phone, I just explain the situation to the sales rep and they'll get it going for me?
     
  10. christyn macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 18, 2009
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    Salt Lake
    #10
    Yep, they're familiar with people doing this. You'll need to add on a data plan initially (just pick the cheapest option), and then remove it when you get a cheap dumb phone on that line. Then they can do a swap and put the new iPhone on your existing line.
     
  11. TheAppleGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2010
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    St. Louis
    #11
    Great!

    Thanks for your help. I am no longer worrying about upgrading.
     
  12. dave006 macrumors 68030

    dave006

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #12
    Sure that works but the OP will have to wait 90 days to return to AT&T to be eligible to be a new AT&T customer.

    Dave

    ----------

    Adding a line is not as simple as paying $10 more per month.

    Unless you are already on a FamilyTalk plan then you will have to convert your current individual line to the lowest priced FamilyTalk plan. Here is a thread that discusses the pros / cons of the "Add a $10 line story". So there is no real savings, just a way to make monthly payments instead of coming up with the $250 extra at purchase.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1439438

    Dave
     
  13. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #13
    I'm also curious to know about ETFs and AT&T with the iPhone 5.

    To buy an unlocked phone at full price is $650 (plus tax), right? For me, that's about $700.

    I'm thinking of becoming a new AT&T customer and getting the iPhone 5 for $200. I can buy it without an activation fee. My first month would $39 and a $20 data plan. Say $65 total with tax.

    My thought is then to cancel at the end of the first month and pay the $325 ETF. Since I would have completed my contract, AT&T will unlock the phone.

    My final cost would be 200+65+325 = $590. (Or $580 if I get credit for one month off the ETF)

    Am I missing anything here? Saving $110 would seem to be a no-brainer.
     
  14. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #14
    Tax on the phone, tax on the ETF, more tax on the service, and most likely you will be paying for more than a month's worth of service when you ETF.

    Your first month is prorated but your last month is not (when you ETF).
     
  15. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #15
    I would cancel after 14 days and before 30 days, so only one month of service. I already included the tax on service for one month. Tax on the phone would be $17. I don't think there would be tax on the ETF but even if there is it would only add $25. Even a worse case scenario would only add $42 to my original calculation. Assuming I get credit for 1 month, the ETF would be $315.

    I would still save $70 even with the worst case, compared to buying unlocked at the store.
     
  16. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #16
    It's always more complicated than one would think. Your first month's bill will include prorated charges + your a whole month billed AHEAD of time. ATT randomly calculates your billing cycle so it can be anywhere from 3-29 days before you receive your first bill.

    In the case they choose to prorate you for 10 days, on the 10th day when you receive your bill, you would have to pay 10 days + your whole first month's bill. Then when you call up to cancel on the 14th day, even though you're only 4 days into your new month, they will not refund you the remaining 26 days. It's part of the contract you signed.

    I did some research and I believe there is tax on ETF. If you cannot get activation fee waived, that's another $36 added on top of the month and few days of prorated charges. Lots of hassle/assumptions in going this route and it won't save you much at all imo.

    ATT also adds lots of bs charges to your monthly bill so total it's like 15% more than what the base price is
     

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