How does AT&T handle 1 year updates?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by skiltrip, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    How does AT&T generally handle iPhone updates after 1 year?

    Like, say I got an iPhone 4 now. And next summer, the iPhone 5 comes out... or maybe even the iPhone 4S/4GS, do they let you get the regular price with an extension of your contract, or do they only do that on a major revision or if your contract ends in that year?
  2. Pushkar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    SW London, UK
    You pay early termination fee if you want to get out of it, or buy it on PAYG (Unsubsidised).
  3. skiltrip thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Ok. From what I understand, unsubsidized prices are roughly double what the subsidized prices are?
  4. tariqi macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2010
    Upgraded every year

    I'm on a family plan with 2 other people, and in total it's ~$150/month total. When you spend over $100/month on your plan, you become a preferred customer, and are offered an upgrade every 12-18 months instead of waiting 2 years. I've owned every iPhone. Purchased them all on launch day at the fully subsidized price (except the first iPhone, glad I waited for the price drop).
  5. Chunkycat macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2010
    They also have an early upgrade policy, but I think you pay $100 more than if you're qualified for a full upgrade.
  6. DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Basically, AT&T gives you a subsidized upgrade somewhere between 12-24 months depending on your monthly bill, usually at somewhere around 18 months for most iPhone users (that I've talked to).

    If you want to upgrade before that you're most likely going to pay the non-commitment pricing, which for iPhones has traditionally been $599/$699 for the current generation iPhone (in the two capacity levels, respectively). Now, AT&T has a tendency to create a middle of the line "early upgrade" price for iPhone owners trying to upgrade early, usually between the $199/$299 price point and the $599/699 price point.. so you come out with $399/$499 as an "early upgrade" option.

    This year AT&T slightly broke precedent and said "If you are currently eligible for a subsidized upgrade by the end of 2010 we'll give you one when the new iPhone comes out".

    I'd like to note that if you upgrade using the "no commitment" pricing of $599/$699 you don't have to renew your contract, but if you use either the full $199/$299 subsidy or the "early" $399/$499 option you have to renew your contract for another 2 years.

    Hope that answers everything for you.
  7. vizkiz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    Are you in the US? The US prices are as follows:
    16GB iPhone:
    Full subsidy: $199
    Unsubsidized: $599 (~3x the price)
    (Partial subsidy of $399 if eligible)

    32GB iPhone:
    Full subsidy: $299
    Unsubsidized: $699 (~2.333x the price)
    (Partial subsidy of $499 if eligible)
  8. gregnauman macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    I purchased my first iPhone last year on July 7th when I switched to AT&T and got the 3GS.

    First week of June they moved my upgrade date up one year and I purchased iPhone 4 on July 24th for the same 299 price (32GB) that I paid for the 3GS.

    I just signed a new 2 year agreement to get the new phone, no problems no questions and no early termination fee.

    I would suggest to purchase the iPhone 4 now, and upgrade in a year or less when the new one comes out.

    Heck I had my 3GS for 11 months, and gave it to my wife who wanted it, and got a new one. If she wouldnt have wanted it I would have sold it, and the new one wouldnt have cost me a dime.

    You cant beat that at all! Other than AT&T sucks in the 3G area. Even sprint has way better 3G coverage than AT&T.
  9. insidmal macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    11 months on a 1 year contract, 22 months on a 2 year contract, some providers offer you an 'early upgrade' for a higher, yet still subsidized price
  10. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    They have early upgrade but its 18mo not 12.

    What you really need to do is add a new line next year, swap sim cards then sell your old phone atleast 240 to break even on the 9.99 monthly line cost.
  11. vizkiz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    No. For a full subsidy, if you're the owner of the account, it's 17 or 18 months (I was eligible at 17, but I've heard conflicting reports on whether it's 17 or 18 months) on a two-year contract. Not sure about other numbers on a family plan, but I think it's 20 months.

    Note: I'm below the $100/month requirement for an annual full subsidy on a two year plan.

    Note 2: My brother added his wife to his plan, making it a family plan. Somehow, they bumped her number as the main number, and his to the secondary number. He was eligible Feb 2011, as he bought a 3GS in 2009. He was told by AT&T CSR that main numbers are 17 months and others on the plan are 20 months.

    Note 3: While these may not be AT&T's official time lines, these are my experiences and the experiences of others I have seen. I have never seen anyone have to go more than 20 months without being eligible for an upgrade.
  12. Forbidden Fruit macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    May sound like a strange question but is that $100 per month (for the 12 month upgrade eligibility) the total bill with taxes and fees included or just $100 worth of services before taxes and fees are added in?
  13. gregnauman macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    I was able to upgrade after 11 months on a 2 year contract.

    I think they base it on how much you spend per month.
  14. Martyrd0m macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2010
    I had just gotten my 3GS in march of this year and got the iPhone 4 on launch day for the early upgrade price 399 price. Got a 2 line family plan with 2 iPhones that runs 160 a month so that probaby helps or the J&J discount from my wife seems to do something cause I don't see why I got that option after just getting service 3 months prior. Verizon would have just laughed at the thought of an upgrade even a day early of your 2 year mark.

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