iPhone - My Brain Hurts Trying to Figure Out Most Economical Way to Upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zachlegomaniac, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Simply put: I have an iPhone 6 on AT&T Next 12. My wife only upgrades every two years so she subsidizes through them every two on contract. I've gone back and fourth between annual upgrades and biennial upgrades.

    I (think) I've done the math correctly, and, since I keep my phone in like new condition I'm best off (financially speaking) keeping the phone for two years, selling it myself at market value, and then upgrading. Can anyone confirm this? All these new plans and options being thrown out from various carriers are dizzying for a guy with a family and a full time job.

    Thanks for your help. I'm fine with upgrading every two if it's the most economical. It seems (based on sellmymac.com) that the depreciation of an extra year is almost negligible for iPhones at two years of age versus one.

    I should also note that I do not desire to keep my iPhone beyond two years.
  2. dljeffery macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    Issaquah, WA
    Keeping your Next 12 phone for two years is obviously the way to go if you are trying to keep costs down. Your phone bill drops substantially for the final four months of the two years, plus you can turn around and sell the phone when you get your new one. But if you're fine with your normal monthly bill (including your 1/20th iPhone installment payment), then I see no reason to not upgrade every year.

    The real question is, should your wife be on a subsidized contract? For most people, if you do the math, the Next plans work out to be cheaper.
  3. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah I figure my phone bill drops for $37.50 for four months ($150), I miss being taxed on my new device for the year ($50 here in MA), and I sell my two year old phone for $500 (currenlty mac2sell values a 64GB 5s at $520) bringing me up to $700 saved on the non-yearly upgrade for my biennial purchase. This means I could almost buy the next phone outright between the money I saved and the market value of my current phone should I continue to keep it in great condition.

    Otherwise the math starts to go the other way if you're doing it annually. Am I taking crazy pills here, or is that all sound? Whenever I upgraded after a year before I just always wanted the latest iteration, and didn't think much about the cost (wise consumer, eh?).

    As far as my wife on the subsidized contract: I think we still save there. An AT&T rep recently told me over the phone that only one Next phone per family share plan provides a discount on a plan. She said for this reason it is wise to keep her on the subsidized contract if she doesn't care about annual upgrades. She also mentioned that because we share a measly 3GB/month that the savings would be even less. I suppose I could have found out more from her while I had her on the line, but she didn't really seem like she wanted to have the conversation so I turned to good ol' MacRumors members.

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