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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2010
Hi everyone, I know AT&T no longer allows two-year contract upgrades at third-party sellers, such as the Apple Store. I've seen the math where people break out how the Next upgrade path is more expensive for most users but honestly I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it all.

Here's my situation:

My brother wants to upgrade (he damaged his older iPhone) and my entire family is on a shared family plan with AT&T. Five lines with individual data plans for each one of us. My brother and I are on old 2GB data plans and the others are on unlimited data plans still.

My brother is eligible for the two-year upgrade now (plus the $40 upgrade fee) but he would have to go to an AT&T retail store to do this from what I understand, not an Apple Store. He barely uses data but I doubt it makes sense to go to a data share plan because it's nice that the other family members still have unlimited data.

In his case, is it better to upgrade to a new iPhone using Next or the two-year contract upgrade with a $40 fee? On our family plan each addition line is $9.99 and his and my 2GB data plans are $24.99, so he is currently out of contract going month-to-month with his portion of the family plan cost coming out to $35 plus taxes.

Thanks for any insight!


macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
East Coast
As long as you/your family aren't willing to switch to a Mobile Share Data plan, it's a no brainer that your brother should go for a subsidized phone. An iPhone 6 will run him $240, whereas a NEXT iPhone 6 will run him $650.

Since you guys aren't on a Mobile Share Data plan, you don't get any benefit for being out of contract.

In fact, anyone on a traditional minutes plan is losing money if they don't take advantage of their upgrade immediately. I've known people that are on AT&T and had an unused upgrade for over 4 years. That's like throwing $900 away.
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macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
" €0.0085 per MB of data usage" Ahem. Data is measured in GB or parts thereof so that would be €8.50 per 1GB - not bad. Things have improved. Less than six years ago companies were regularly charging "$0.02 per kilobyte" for roaming or for exceeding cap. That, believe it or not, is $20,000- per GB! People were coming home from holidays to enormous bills:
Then it was "reduced" to like $1,500- per GB etc but still quoted in miniscule terms to mislead people. Kid you not.
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