If you bought new subsidized iPhones each year...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sammyman, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I had a nice system since the original iPhone came out. I'd buy one new phone each year and rotate between my wife and my account with ATT's subsidized pricing. I'd sell the old phone and it would usually pay for the new phone each year.

    What are you going to do in the future now that isn't an option? I think I will just wait until an upgrade seems worthwhile and then buy it outright. I'm not crazy about these monthly payments. I'm guessing I'll be on the 6s for a few years.

    What is your gameplan going forward.
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I decided a couple years back that I didn't want to be on a contract, and I don't want payment plans either so I'll just buy them outright whenever my old phone dies on me.
  3. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Seems like Apple's iPhone program would likely fit upgrading every year.
  4. Borin macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2016
    I take up monthly contracts and just change the phone every 2/3 years - there aren't that many options on this side of the pond.
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two

    I had a nice system too. Buy at sub-price, keep for 2.5 to 3 years as primary phone, keep as media device, buy new phones at sub-prices.

    Last year the dynamic changed when we got a lease. $0 down, pay over time. For the very first time we sold our phones, but only to T-Mobile so we could port out. I paid the down for the S model and back in a lease. This year we will do the same. Give our phones back and get the 7 on another lease. At that point we will be back on track on the numbered model (I don't like being on the S upgrade track).

    So, roughly around the middle of 2018 or 2019 we'll probably get whatever model iPhone is out and the 7's will revert to media devices.

    We don't sell our phones. Last year was an anamoly in 16 years of cell service.
  6. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2011
    Peoria, IL
    I do pretty much the same thing. I buy a new phone every year, but alternate between myself and my wife. We originally both had the iPhone 4 as soon as it was available on Verizon, but then I got the 5, she got the 5s, I got the 6+, she got the 6s. I plan on continuing in this fashion.

    As far as paying for them I have bought them outright at full price since I changed over to the more everything plan as it saves me money that way. All of my lines are off contract now, so I save $25/month on those lines. That means every two years I save $600, which is much better than the $450 discount you get on the subsidized phones.

    I usually hand our old phones down to family members, and trade in the real old ones. I traded in both iPhone 4 for $200 each back when the 6/6+ came out. Last year I handed down my wife's 5s to her mother (who was using my 5) and traded the 5 in for $200. This year when the 7 comes out I will trade in either my mother-in-laws 5s and give her my 6+, or trade in the 6+ (not sure if she would want the 6+ because of the size).
  7. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I just bite the bullet and buy mine outright every year. Usually give the older one to a family member of friend.

    No more AT&T contract for me but I realize that this is not possible for all. There is no way this will help phones sales as there will be some who only upgrade every other year or even longer.
  8. rockitdog macrumors 68020

    Mar 25, 2013
    With places like Verizon and T-Mobile and Sprint paying off contracts you could switch carriers every year and just trade your device in and have your remainder of payments paid for.... thats an option. I will likely stick with my device for 2-3 years.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Year to year, there's not much difference between the phones, so I never was tempted do anything to get new phones annually.
  10. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    I'll do what I always do buy full retail every time.
  11. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    With Verizon I am better off than I was before. I don't get to buy the phone for $300 anymore but my monthly bill went down about $40. I will easily be able to save for new phone money in that time.

    I was doing 2 year upgrades anyway though.
  12. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    Before my first iPhone I used to get subsidised phones on a contract but not any more. I'm sticking with a 4-5 year upgrade cycle. I'm currently on an iPhone 6 plus after upgrading from my first iPhone, a 4 which I ran for 4 years. I'll keep the 6 plus for at least another three years and look at what is available then. As others have said, I use my old 4 in a dock as a media player (internet radio mostly) and that works pretty well. My monthly call plan is $29 with 1.25GB of data and more than enough calls for me and the subsidised plans with a new phone cost closer to $100 a month and lock you in for 24 months while only giving a small discount on the handset so simply not worth it, especially with my low data/call use.
  13. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I always buy for full retail price and then sell it for $550ish 1 year later (64gb model). Doing that cost me $250 each year to have the newest iphone.

    I really make up for that cost by being on a prepaid plan with cricket for $35 a month.
  14. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    i know people who were on contracts that were eligible to upgrade, but didn't. They were proud of the fact that they were holding onto their iPhone3Gs for 6 years. One guy upgraded from 3GS to iPhone 6. I kept telling him that he was giving AT&T $450 ever two years. He just said that he didn't want to be tied to a contract.
  15. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    I'm still under contract (iPhone 6 Plus). I'll buy a new iPhone outright this year (either iPhone 7 or the new 4") and probably keep it for more than 2 years. I just can't justify spending ~$800 every year or two for a new phone. I can see how smartphone sales will go down now that people aren't just spending "$199" every 2 years for a new iPhone.
  16. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I've been on prepaid and bought phones outright long before the carriers started doing this.

    First thing is find the cheapest plan you can while retaining your needed data/minute allotments with acceptable coverage.

    I use T-Mobile's $30 100min/5GB plan.

    A new iPhone costs $800 after tax. After one year, you can sell it for approx $500 if it's in mint condition.

    When you do the math, that's equivalent to $25 a month. My bill is $30, so for $55 a month, I always have the latest device, and all the data and talk I need. Extra minutes are 10 cents each, which I rarely need.

    If I keep my phone for two years, and sell it, my equivalent monthly cost is less than $55.

    If you have the right plan, buying phones outright is practically a bargain. Go with a cheaper Nexus instead of an iPhone and you make out like a bandit.
  17. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    - Switched from AT&T Unlimited to T-Mobile Unlimited to reduce monthly payments.
    - Gonna wait and see if the next-gen iPhone is worth it.
    * With 4S-like improvements I'll hold-off upgrading.

    If we are lucky the resale value might increase. Only the 2 year contract kept the 2 year value of the (base) iPhone at 200. With it gone that might change. Also no longer will people buy iPhones on contract just to resale them for a profit. With more people trading in their iPhones after the financing deal, the supply on the used market might shrink as well.
  18. imlynxy macrumors 65816

    Mar 8, 2012
    Since people cannot get 199 iphones any more the resale value should increase(I cannot say the same about Appple stocks :) ) If I switch t-mo I'll get exactly 1/2 of Att's subsidy every 2 years, but my iphones will be unlocked right out of the store.
  19. na1577 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 20, 2008
    I plan to buy the phones outright but upgrade less frequently. Instead of every two years I will upgrade every three years.
  20. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've hopped on Next (now Jummp on demand with TMO) and have been happy with that. TMO has given discounts for higher storage capacities, hopefully they continue doing that. Saved $600 on three phones .

    This is honestly the first year I am considering not upgrading, but moreso because I am just THAT happy with my 6s Plus. I would have stayed with the 5S longer too except we finally got the larger screens that I craved (but the 6 plus performance was a disappointment).
  21. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    I have iPhone 5C now and the contract has ended so I'm month to month. I still currently have that $15 discount ATT gives hoping you'll upgrade to their Next plan. I just figure keep the 5C (which I like) and the discount until I see if Apple brings a smaller than 6, 6+ phone to market. Otherwise just bring another phone to the service when ths 5C croaks. I'm inclined to go back to a dumb phone really. I have an iPad and mini iPad and use them mostly on WiFi, so starting to think I don't need a smartphone anyway. The area I live in has zero service, terrain issues, so cellular data option is minimal use to me most of the time.
  22. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    From the original iPhone up to and including iP6 Plus, I bought mine outright because I upgrade annually and would rather pay cash. I then give the one year old iPhone away to family and start fresh.

    That was until iP6S Plus was released with nothing of interest for my use. I did buy two of the 6S models for family, tried my wife's and found my thoughts were correct, it didn't excite me.

    Going forward I'll take a wait and see approach since my 6 Plus is doing great and Apple continues to fail to give us significantly better battery life. Thinner is not my priority, it's Apple's obsession. I'm tired of battery cases and external battery packs to get me through a busy long work day.
  23. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    I used to buy it on contract subsidised but this year I just bought it outright. I think I will probably do the same in September.

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