iPhone6 lifetime costs: contract vs full price?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ride74, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. ride74 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2014
    I'm looking at getting the iPhone6 64GB with AT&T. I have never been one to upgrade all the time. In fact, I buy a cell phone and can hold onto it for 4-5 years. Given this info, I'm trying to determine if it would be wise to just pay the full cost? My scenarios:

    $300 [64GB iPhone6]
    $65/month(1GB plan) for 2yrs [24 x 65] = $1560
    TOTAL after 2 yrs: 300 + 1560 = $1860

    If I continue for a 3rd year (65 x 12 = 780): 780+1860= $2640 accumulative costs

    $750 [64GB iPhone6]
    $50/month(1GB plan w/discount) for 2yrs [24 x 50] = $1200
    TOTAL after 2 yrs: 750 + 1200 = $1950

    If I continue for a 3rd year (50 x 12 = 600): 600+1950= $2550 accumulative costs

    As you can see, at 2 years only, scenario A is a cheaper option. But at some point past 2 years and definitely by year 3, I've saved (2640 - 2550 = 90). Not much, but it is something. And if I own for 4 years, even more would be saved.

    Here's my question: If I go with scenario B, how long could I go before AT&T (or any carrier for that matter) would choose to just raise my bill? After all, I wouldn't be on a contract. Does this happen often? I know over a 2-4 year period, plan prices are bound to change, but if I go in at a certain rate, does that typically hold for a while before a carrier would 'raise my bill'? I assume for at least 2 years?

    Assuming I do hang on to the phone for 4 years before upgrading, scenario B is cheaper, but only relative to what scenario A would've been.
  2. coldwaves macrumors regular

    May 30, 2011
    If plan price changes, it will also change for the contract price, isn't it? Also, if you buy the phone at full price, you can probably get much better monthly plan price for some prepaid service. I would guess $30-40/month can get you 1 GB data with unlimited talk and text.
  3. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    wouldn't the monthly contract price change after the 24 months? to match the off contract price? if you went for year four, couldn't you sell the iphone after two years and buy another contract price iphone?
  4. azhava macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    Arizona, USA
    In addition to the $65/month for your 1GB plan, you forgot to factor in the $40/month device fee (which is how they recoup the rest of the cost of your subsidized phone). So over the course of two years, add another $960 to the above cost, for a total of $2820.

    If you bring your own device (e.g., a paid in full iPhone), the device fee is $15/month - so add that to the total of plan B, for a total cost of $2310.
  5. ride74 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2014
    That's what I would like to know: Does the monthly contract plan price change after 24 months to match the off contract (cheaper) plan price?
  6. rigormortis, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    I've done the calculations and i have found that in order to save money on AT&T with payments ( full price vs 2 year contract ) you must subscribe to a data plan of 10 to 15 gigs.

    you need a phd to figure these plans out


    i believe AT&T drops the price from $40 a line to $15 a line once the phone is paid off.

    but i don't know if that is automatic or if you have to ask to change plans

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