iPhone 5 Purchase - non-contract

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fullmanfullninj, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. fullmanfullninj macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    Hey all, just have a question regarding iPhone 5 purchases.

    I am neither an ATT or Verizon customer (I know there's Sprint too, but I'm not considering a Sprint device). My cousin is here visiting from a foreign country and will be returning home next weekend. He would like to purchase an iPhone 5 to bring home and use.

    From what I remember, you can buy at Best Buy without providing any account information. However, the local Best Buys are still fulfilling preorders that they took from when the device first launched.

    A lot of Apple stores are out of stock on the model my cousin would like to buy. And from what I can tell, you cannot do that 10pm-4am online reservation thing for an non-contract/out of contract device.

    I have not yet checked ATT/Verizon stores, but I doubt they will be willing to just sell me one without an account.

    So does anyone have any advice or experience with this? I don't mind going to either Best Buy or Apple or ATT/Verizon.

    And does anyone know if the phone will activate? Will I need to activate it using a friend's information or something? He plans on bringing it abroad and since I do not have ATT or VZW, I cannot activate it for him here. Will this be a problem?
    I have not purchased a new device since last year, so I am not all too familiar with the new phone activation process.

    I would really appreciate any responses users can share with me. Or if anyone could point me in the right direction, that'd be great too. I know it might be really difficult to get an iPhone 5 within a week, but I can at least try.

  2. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    You (or your cousin) will have to drag your ass to an apple store when it opens and hope you get lucky. You might have to visit multiple stores.
    The only one you can technically buy unlocked right now is the verizon model. There are stories of the at&t model being unlocked at full price, but there's no guarantee.
    I believe I saw a thread on mr about activating the verizon phone with a different sim, but I suggest you search to confirm. You might want to call apple and ask as well.
  3. Southernboyj macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Good luck, I went through hell and back to get my iPhone 5 full price and I am a Verizon customer. :/
  4. fullmanfullninj thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    I've been looking at (legit) IMEI unlocking sites saying that the unlocks work with the 5 as well, that is why I am considering the ATT model for him. At this point, the more options the better :p Have you heard anything about IMEI unlocks not working for the 5? Because I'm sure he wouldn't mind paying for an unlock.

    Aww man...fingers crossed! Thanks though :)

    Thanks for your responses so far! Doesn't look too promising, but I guess I'll do some searching here and there for him. Thanks again!
  5. dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    It will be hard to find unlocked VZW iphone5 at full price, when there is still a shortage of the device. Because if the store sells an iPhone with a contract, they get a commission from the carrier, so why do they want to sell just a phone to you at a lower profit margin? Buy do give it a try, haggle with the manager, you might be lucky. :cool:
  6. JCCL macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    Where does he live? If he comes from Europe he should get the Verizon model as it it compatible with most LTE networks over there?

    I am from Mexico and found the AT&T model in a best buy in the US a week ago contract free, and yes it came unlocked. As soon as I restored got the "Congratulations your iPhone is unlocked screen". The AT&T model will be compatible with the LTE networks from carrier here, when they are launched later this year. If by any chance you but a AT&T model and it doesn't come unlocked, it is really easy to unlock so you shouldn't worry about that.
  7. fullmanfullninj thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    That is true :( LOL again, fingers crossed. It's gonna be tough for sure. Thanks for your response!

    He is from China, so I'm not even sure about LTE over there. A lot of users there only have Edge speeds, and I think he's fine with that. It's just a matter of getting a phone because it either is not for sale there yet, or it's a lot more expensive.

    Thanks for your response too! I'm feeling a bit more assured about the ATT model.
  8. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Since you didn't mention that your cousin was thinking about using an imei unlock, that didn't cross my mind. You should be fine if you use it.

  9. Newbie MacUser macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    You can try this. Do you have an iPhone or any other phone under contract with AT&T/Verizon/Sprint? If so you can go online at apple.com (Between 10pm-4am) and reserve a phone (upgrade) for yourself. Then you can go into the store and at time of pickup tell them that you want to pay the full unsubsidized price. At that time they will return your purchase and resell it to you at the $649 with no activation (no new contract renewal). That way you can get the unsubsidized iPhone 5 at full price. The only potential hitch is that you better have about $1200 open on a debit/credit card to do this return and rebuy. I did it myself and it worked. Then you can contact either ATT/Verizon/Sprint whoever your carrier is for the iPhone and request an unlock. All you have to do is give it to you family member who is visiting and they shouldn't have a problem using it back in their home country.
  10. Virgo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm STILL waiting since September for regular stock to appear in apple stores in NYC area.. trying to get an AT&T 16gb black full price so I can use it on T-Mobile USA :( I woke up super early one day and visited 3 apple stores that wound up having no stock at all, NOT doing that again =\
  11. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    Bugger :/ I am from Australia and want to purchase a IPhone but if it is going to be so hard to find then I won't bother.

    I get to NY on the 20 something of November.... My hotel is near grand central so I will go straight to the apple store there, if no luck then I will go to the east 42st store, fifth ave and another one that is close. I will try each day I am there and near a apple store. If I still haven't found one then I will give up and order one in Australia.

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