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iPhone 12 Starts at $799 With T-Mobile and Sprint Activation After All, SIM-Free Model Still Starts at $829

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Apr 12, 2001
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Earlier this week, Apple's online store indicated that T-Mobile, Sprint, and SIM-free models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini would start at $829 and $729 respectively in the United States, which was $30 extra compared to AT&T and Verizon models.


However, coinciding with the start of pre-orders for the iPhone 12 today, it turns out that T-Mobile and Sprint are now offering customers the same "instant discount" of $30 with activation. This means the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini now start at Apple's advertised $799 and $699 prices respectively with activation on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint.

SIM-free models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini continue to start at $829 and $729 respectively for use with any carrier.

It is unclear why the "instant discount" for T-Mobile and Sprint models showed up three days after AT&T and Verizon models, but it has certainly created a confusing situation for customers. Pre-orders of the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are available now, while iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max pre-orders will begin Friday, November 6.

There is no price discrepancy with iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models, which start at $999 and $1,099 respectively regardless of the model selected.

Article Link: iPhone 12 Starts at $799 With T-Mobile and Sprint Activation After All, SIM-Free Model Still Starts at $829
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 65832
Jul 6, 2012
1,500
2,388
Guess the mobile providers are eating that $30 - getting contract lockin as a return I suppose. Anyone who wants one direct from Apple pays a $30 tax (on top of the ~25% price increase over the 11 and removal of the charger and removal of the ear buds). Gotta say that sucks - Apple should make them the same.
 

deathcab

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2009
19
62
I think this is Apple’s way of trying to (indirectly) share in part of the carrier’s activation fees.

Pretty bad look from Apple to tie even more closely to the carriers and disappointing when there’s so much potential for Apple to instead move further away from them (they’re basically just commodity / utility providers at this point so why pander to them?). I always held out hope Apple would eventually become its own MVNO but that seems unlikely at this point.

There is a price bump compared to iPhone 11 last year, right?

Yes. Price for the unlocked 6.1” iPhone 12 is $130 higher than the unlocked 6.1” iPhone 11 at launch (not factoring in the the “value” of the accessories omitted from the 12 that were free in the box with the 11).
 
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Jman13

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2011
1,520
186
Columbus, OH
Still garbage that they advertise the price at $799 when it's actually $829. Because the carriers will charge you an upgrade fee, you're going to pay that $30 regardless, and it's so bogus, given that when you buy a phone outright the carrier needs to do NOTHING. You just put your existing SIM in and you're good.
 

Pixelspeeper

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2020
9
3
I just Pre ordered the 128GB Green IPhone 12 which am going to use for my betas softwares, will ordered the pacific blue 12 Pro Max in November for my daily and personal use.
 
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alexandr

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,771
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Still garbage that they advertise the price at $799 when it's actually $829. Because the carriers will charge you an upgrade fee, you're going to pay that $30 regardless, and it's so bogus, given that when you buy a phone outright the carrier needs to do NOTHING. You just put your existing SIM in and you're good.

sims... where we're going we don't need no sims.
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
6,488
10,824
This is a pretty greasy move to be honest. Just advertise the price as $829 from the start.

My guess is, this has to do with the mmWave antenna hardware costs. We don’t see this in other regions.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
7,755
9,973
Sunnyvale, CA
Yeah, if you buy the unlocked version its a ~28% price increase over the base 11 last year.
A 28% price increase? That would be a pretty big upcharge for 5G. It’s actually closer to 18%.
Iphone mini is 5.4 inch. The iphone 11 was 6.1 inch. To get a comparable size to last year it's $829 not $729.
Right, so not a 28% increase as OP claimed.
 
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minimo3

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2010
469
304
So they charge the carrier an extra $30 wholesale and “allow” the carrier to offer a voluntary discount On retail pricing. Smart move to increase revenue, they know the carriers will be forced to respond once any one of them capitulates.
 
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moabal

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2010
420
1,160
I do not really care what Apple decides to charge for the iPhone. However, going on stage and saying something starts at $699 when it really starts at $729 (iPhone 12 Mini) is just straight disingenuous.

They are more than welcome to partner with the carriers to subsidize part of the phone. However, just say the proper price of the phone! I cannot believe Apple would go this low.
 
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