Full Unlocked price vs Early upgrade At&t to save $100

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by curtoise, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Like almost everybody here in this forum I'm eligible for the "early" At&t upgrade, I need two new iPhones 5s 32gb, with the early upgrade I'll be paying $549 x 2 = $1098

    Next year I'll be doing the same unless Apple/At&t will lower the prices (!) and doing this I'm getting into a new 2 year contract every time I do the "early" upgrade.

    Doing the numbers for the 2 year purchases it will be $549 x 4 = $2196

    Now if instead of doing the early upgrade I go and buy two fully unlocked iPhone 5s 32gb it will be $749 x 2 = $1498

    I'll be paying $200 extra this year but I'll not extend my contract and next year with the new iPhone I'll be at the end of my contract where I can select the best option for me, new carrier, prepaid, etc.

    I'll become fully eligible for the $299 full upgrade for the new phone if I decide to stay with At&t too.

    My math:

    2 unlocked iPhone 5s 32gb this year $749 x 2 = $1498
    2 iPhone at full upgrade price next year = $299 x 2 = $598

    Total = $2096

    If I do not go that route and I keep signing for 2 year contract, I'm always stuck in the middle of contract and doing early upgrade price.

    2 early upgrade iPhones this year: $549 x 2 = $1098
    2 early upgrade iPhones next year: $549 x 2 = $1098

    Total = $2196

    Going Unlocked the savings are = $100

    I'll be saving $100 if I go the unlocked way this year and do full eligible upgrade price next year.

    On top of that I'll be finishing my contract next year with two unlocked iPhones and in good position to go prepaid or any carrier I want or stay and take advantage of the full upgrade benefits.

    How are unlocked phones selling? are in less demand than regular At&t "locked" phones?

    Am I crazy?
  2. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Yes, for making me read so much math on a lazy Saturday.
  3. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Lo I'm sorry but I'm going crazy making numbers, it make sense what I'm trying to do?
  4. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    After spending $1,489 + $598 over a year, does $100 really matter?
  5. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    $100 is a lot of money, of course it matters, if In the Apple keynote they've announced that the new iPhone is going to cost $100 more than previous iPhones everybody will be outraged by that increase, I'm not sure in your camp but a $100 savings is more than welcome in my household.

    That and the idea of saving money plus being contract free in one year fully owning your device ready to select whatever new choices with carriers, prepaid and more we will have next year.

    Do you like to spend an extra $100?, I don't.
  6. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    If $100 was a lot of money you would not be upgrading every year.
  7. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Saving money by spending money, its like buying something that you don't need just because its on sale.

    This is how I read your comment

    Damn interent.
  8. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    Do you know you can move to. A prepaid plan and save money on your monthly service.
  9. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Saving $100 and being contract free next year, is there anything wrong with that or I should go and give more money to AT&T just because?
  10. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2013
    OP just give up. No one here cares what you do with your money.

    Buy the phone whichever way makes YOU feel the happiest and be done with it.

  11. mjcxp macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    You will also have to pay the $36 upgrade fee if you upgrade each year. It is getting increasingly harder to have them waive the fee.
  12. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    If it saves you $100 do it, it's not like it is any more difficult to do it that way.
  13. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Technically there is no savings in buying an item just because it's the latest model.
  14. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    OK thanks everybody for answering, this is a wonderful and helpful community.
  15. xjosh macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    I would save the 100 dollars.
    Unlocked is also an better option for you, when you have to sell it.
  16. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Thank you, I'm checking eBay and the iPhone 5 32GB unlocked is going for about $480 and the carrier specific locked ones are going for about $400.

    I thought that the unlocked version should sell higher than that or I'm looking in the wrong place.

    How is the stock availability of unlocked on launch day? Is there a greater chance to walk out the Apple store with an unlocked phone than a carrier locked one? Anybody with previous experience on this?
  17. jankm macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2005
    I was considering this route too, but just for a single phone, for the reasons you mentioned: To save a few bucks if I stayed with AT&T but also be off-contract in a year and have the option to switch to T-Mobile.

    I'd also add the $36/phone savings this year of not upgrading through AT&T. I think that would make your total savings $172 + as you mentioned, selling 2 unlocked phones in a year vs selling locked phones.
  18. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    I never thought about the $36 fee, are you sure I'll not have to pay that if I buy unlocked and add my old SIM ? the new phone will need to be activated too.
  19. jankm macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2005
    I had just assumed, but applying logic to AT&T fees is dangerous. I found this support page. The 'at a discount' phrase is what I'd latch onto.


    Upgrade Fee

    The upgrade fee is a $36 one-time charge that applies when you purchase a new wireless device at a discount to replace an old device. The upgrade fee will be added to your next bill.
  20. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Well I've purchased a $199 Unlocked Nexus 4 2 weeks ago and I went to the corporate store and they put a SIM and gave me the phone working in 5 minutes, no question, no charges.

    In a reseller store they wanted $25 for a SIM.
  21. pooleman Suspended


    Jan 11, 2012
    Eastern CT
  22. pirateyarrr macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2009
    I'm amazed any iPhone buyer cares about money.
  23. GadgetGav macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2010
    My guess to why there's little to no price difference is that it's pretty trivial now to unlock a phone. I just paid $1.99 to an online service to have my AT&T iPhone 5 unlocked so that I could use a local SIM in Europe. Easy, quick and effective.

    I'm wondering the same about the availability of unlocked phones in stores. I have no idea how Apple decides on the mix of phones to stock.
  24. curtoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Let's day that they are not selling unlocked phones on day one, can you just ho and buy a full price at&t phone without using an upgrade and messing with your line?
  25. macconservative macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2008
    Yes you can buy at full retail price and not extend your contract

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