iPhone 5 Upgrade: ETF vs. Add Line vs. Non-Contract

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jason2811, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    Currently I have a 32GB iPhone 4S on Verizon and one more year left in my contract. I am on an individual plan with 450 minutes + Unlimited Text + Unlimited Data. With my discount, I pay $78 and after tax and fees that comes out to $90 per month. I have never used more than 1GB of data per month and never used more than 400 phone minutes on my 4S.

    I would like to upgrade to the iPhone 5 but I have one year left in my contract. I can 1)buy the phone off-contract and keep my unlimited data plan and cheaper price per month OR 2) terminate my contract and sign a new plan which is more expensive per month OR 3) add a new line to my current plan, which would require me to get a more expensive monthly plan. I'm laying out the options below. Please let me know what you think the best option is.

    1) Buy iPhone 5 Off-Contract

    $950 (full-price 64GB iPhone with AppleCare)
    + $84 (sales Tax)
    - $400 (sell iPhone 4S)
    = $634 TOTAL FOR OPTION #1

    Benefits: Keep $90 plan and keep unlimited data, monthly bill does not increase
    Cons: $634 up front.

    2) Add a Second phone line
    Note: I will not actually be using the second line.

    $500 (new contract price for 64GB iPhone with AppleCare)
    - $400 (sell iPhone 4S)
    $100 gone

    New Plan cost: $ 136 per month (will be required to sign a new Share Everything plan, which after my discount and fees/taxes comes out to $136-- 2 smartphones + 2GB shared data) OR $146 per month (2 smart phones + 4GB shared data).

    2GB data: $46 extra per month x 12 months + $100 fee above= $652
    4GB data: $56 extra per month x 12 months + $100 fee above= $772

    $652 TOTAL (2GB data) OR $ 772 (4GB data) FOR OPTION #2

    Benefits: can alternate between phone lines and get a new phone on one of the lines ever year
    Cons: no more unlimited data, more expensive monthly costs

    3) Terminate Current Contract

    $230 (early termination fee)
    +$500 (new contract price for 64GB iPhone with AppleCare)
    $730 total
    -$400 (sell iPhone 4S)
    = $330 gone

    Then sign a new contract. I would be required to do a Share Everything plan (even though I'm actually on an individual plan). With my discount and including monthly fees and taxes, it would come out to $104 per month for 2GB. Bill would go up by $14 per month. The other option is $114 per month for 4GB. Bill would go up by $24 per month.

    2GB data: $14 extra per month x 12 months + $330 fee above= $498
    4GB data: $24 extra per month x 12 months + $330 fee above= $618

    $498 TOTAL (2GB data) OR $ 618 (4GB data) FOR OPTION #3

    Benefits: seems to be cheapest option out of the three
    Cons: no more unlimited data, more expensive monthly costs.

    So which option would you go for? Thanks for taking the time to read this! (I know it was long)

    I'd really like to here the benefits of holding on to unlimited data seeing as I only use 1GB of data per month. I'd expect with 4G it might go up to 2GB per month.

    Note: Whether or not I do this this year or next year (when my contract is up), I will have to deal with the same issue. Next year I will have to give up my unlimited data when if I want to get a subsidized phone. If I keep my unlimited data, Verizon will make me buy the phone for full price.
  2. AHDuke99 macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2002
    Charleston, SC
    I was thinking the same thing, and then I just decided to keep my 4S until I can upgrade. It isn't worth all the hassle and hoops I'll have to jump through to do it. I can sell the 4S in May for $200 or more and upgrade for a mere $100 more. While I'd love to get the 5, unless I can get AT&T to credit my account $250, I won't do it. It isn't worth $400 out of my pocket or $300 more than how much I can sell my 4S for to get a bigger screen and a new design.

    Maybe I will keep calling till they give in :p

    But if I were you I would just add a line, have the upgrade switched to your main number and do that, pay the extra money per month and go with that. I think after this year we are all just going to have to get used to not upgrading yearly unless the carriers change their policies. I am used to selling my old iPhone and using the total money I make to buy the new phone subsidized. I can't do that anymore..
  3. scootaru macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Do you have to be on the FamilyShare plan to add a line for only $9.99? If not, that's what you should do.
  4. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    You can't do that without already having a family plan.
  5. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
  6. 808geek macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Well it all depends on how you feel about money. If it is no object to you, then I would just buy the phone outright to be able to keep my current plan.

    If you don't want to spend a lot of money out of pocket but still be able to keep your current plan, then I would just add another phone line.

    Or just wait the year and do the upgrade when the next iPhone comes out and still keep your current plan.

    Just depends on what you want or what you feel will suit your situation best.
  7. Kycia macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2012

    In my opinion keep the unlimited, i used this math:

    Keeping unlimited: $90x24months = $2160
    $2160+$950phone = $3110 total for 2 years or $1555/1yr

    for share everything 2 GB - $4214/2yrs or 2107/1yr
    for share everything 4 GB - $4454/2yrs or 2227/1yr
  8. AHDuke99 macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2002
    Charleston, SC
    I ended up adding a new line. AT&T told me I could keep my unlimited plan and everything and my bill would just increase $9.99 a month for the new dummy line after the transfer everything over when the phone comes in. Will Verizon not allow that?
  9. faiz23 macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2010
    Iphone 5 @ $650 + tax = $704 (unlocked for world wide use, direct from apple store)

    Straight talk @ $42.xx per month per iphone= $510 per yr (unlimited talk, text and 2gb data)

    I have 3 iphones currently on this setup. It runs me right around $126 with tax per month for 2 iphone 5's and 1 iphone 4S. I have unlimited talk, text and 2gb data per month. The underlying carrier is AT&T and straight talk being the MVNO. I have been using the same sim card for 8 months and had no issues with data limits with my current usuage. When my usage changes I will change plans. When I get tired of my phone I will upgrade as I wish. No contracts and NO stress....
  10. mcbrided macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    Yes, they do allow this (this is what I'm doing).

    We're on the share everything plan. I'm purchasing the 5 by opening a new line, moving it to the line I want, and swapping a fake tablet esin on the new line for 2 years. Comes out to roughly $250 over the whole contract.

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