iPhone buying advice

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Dave00, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2003
    Sorry if this would be better in the 'buying advice' section... but anyway.

    Looking for advice on the purchase of a new phone. We're on Sprint, wife has a 4S, I'm probably going to get the 5. I'm hoping that at the end of the (new) 2yr agreement, I can take both devices to a lower-cost carrier.

    So here's the thing. I can buy an iP5 now for $199, or $99 if I wait another 2 months. The problem with waiting is, that would lock us in even longer for the contract, and at that point I'd be debating about waiting further for the 5S. My question is, will I have any luck getting Sprint to unlock the phones at the end of the agreement? And is it more economical to get through Sprint with the $36 activation fee, or go to an Apple store.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Hi Dave. Sprint's unlock policy requires that you have at minimum 6 months of service with them with the bills paid on time. They will unlock for international use only. They won't unlock for domestic and it's my understanding that that applies even at the end of your contract. So, if you want to go elsewhere you might start looking at other carriers.

    There are options. Cricket has the iPhone 5. It's the 16GB version though so that may not work for you. T-Mobile should also be getting the iPhone very soon.

    But if you do go with Sprint, by all means go to an Apple store. If you've been on Sprint for any length of time you know that customer service is poor. Buy from Apple. That way Sprint never gets involved if there is a problem with the device. You deal solely with Apple. Apple will be able to access all your Sprint info and take care of you.

    I preordered my i5 and because Sprint's website went down under the crush I had to go to Apple's site to get it. I've never been happier that I did that because Sprint's only involvement in this whole thing is to provide me with a cell plan. Keeping Sprint minimized as much as possible is the best way to deal with them. Although now they are offering TEP for the iPhone.

    I'd stick with Applecare+ though. Pay once, no monthly charge and you are covered for warranty defects and for two instances of accidental damage (at $50 replacement cost). TEP has it over Applecare+ though in that it will cover theft and loss.

    There's also Squaretrade which is just like Applecare+, but covers you for 4 instances of accidental damage and does cover loss and theft.
  3. Dave00 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2003
    Thanks Erik, that's extremely helpful. I had thought about going with a low-cost carrier, but the way my benefits are handled, I have to pay for the phone and they cover most of the plan.

    So what happens at the end of your contract if you leave Sprint with your phone? Does it then just become a glorified iPod Touch? I was thinking of leaving for Virgin Mobile, which uses the same network as Sprint - it would seem to be nuts that you couldn't take the phone with you off-contract- but then again, everything is nuts in the mobile space in the U.S.

    It's nice to know I can just go get my phone at the Apple Store. I think we actually have some gift cards and the service is of course much better. I'll have to give AppleCare a thought, I generally never get warranties on anything but with two young children at home anything can happen. The service at Apple stores has been phenomenal - I got an iPad 3 for my wife for Christmas (through a third party online reseller) and it had some issues with screen flickering. Took it in to the Apple Store, and they gave her a replacement iPad 3, even though they were no longer selling the iPad 3 and we didn't buy it from them.

    Thanks again for the advice. I'll probably get from the Apple Store.

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