Is it better to buy at Apple Store or carrier?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cottonjenn, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. cottonjenn macrumors member

    May 4, 2009
    Just wondering if it's better to buy the iPhone at an Apple Store or your carrier, say AT&T store? Or does it not matter.
  2. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Apple store is the best option only because the Apple store is provided with more iPhone then carriers. For ex. The Apple Store would have 5,000 iPhone in all colors and storage options while your local AT&T would only have 4 and not every color, storage option. There was a friend on mine on the forum said her local AT&T last year only has gold and silver in 32GB when they wanted the rose gold 64GB.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    In the end, it really doesn't matter.

    With that said, people preordering sometimes had issues with the carrier's website, handling the preorder from start to finish, where is the Apple site seemed to handle the traffic better.
  4. TWD98j macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    I have to go through AT&T because of having corporate FAN discount on my plan. I have actually purchased every iPhone that I've ever owned through AT&T and have never gone through Apple. It's always worked out though. Last year for the 6S, I pre-ordered mine through AT&T's premier website and had it delivered, at my door, on launch day.
  5. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Aug 18, 2016
    I have bought through both and didn't find much of a difference. The first time I went through Verizon because I wanted to keep my plan and I couldn't do so through Apple. The second time I bought through Apple because I had a lot of gift card money there. I think the Apple store was easier/faster than Verizon, but I don't recall Verizon being much of a hassle.
  6. dmillar74 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2011
    Livonia, Michigan
    Last couple times I tried Apple's site for preorder, it was completely bogged down. Verizon, however, was smooth sailing at 3am!
  7. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    Seriously? I've had Verizon reps get physically mad and slam their tablets because I wouldn't buy a $49.99 accessory I could get on Amazon for $4.99. Never had an Apple rep do this. I'll never ever set foot in a Verizon store again.
  8. ErnstStavroBlohard macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2016
    Apple Store for sure.

    2 week no questions asked return policy, no restock fee. All phones are unlocked on the spot.
  9. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    I avoid all carrier stores like the plague. Buy it from Apple if you want an all around better experience.
  10. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    There's no difference.

    I've done both and found that the wait and chaos at either of my local Apple stores was not worth the hassle.
  11. Alexrat1996 macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2015
    Lehigh valley PA
    How is the process from ordering At&t do I have to ship it to same address as on At&t account and will it give that option when I preorder and will I get an order number after I preorder on that same page ? Once I logging do I just pick the line I want to upgrade ? What was your estimated Delivery date ?
  12. darknyt macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    As long as you are ok with the end of the two processes being potentially very far apart. :)
    When 6 plus came out I had colleagues wait a month longer than me using ATT instead of Apple. Maybe that was an anomaly.

    That said, with the process last year, preorder via Apple Store app was smoothest and actually worked with the slam. We had a few of us together trying to do it different ways as soon as preorders went live and the app was by far the easiest
    --- Post Merged, Sep 5, 2016 ---
    I guess experiences may vary, but it was premier ATT orders for 6 plus that were a month longer than my apple order. I won't order via ATT after watching the difference a couple of cycles. As I'm sure some of you have seen, even the ATT employees will admit you'll have better luck with Apple's volume advantage, esp on larger capacity.
  13. Alexrat1996 macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2015
    Lehigh valley PA
    The At&t account is business one I will try the fasted one I tried At&t page loaded faster at 2:51 am est but I order from Apple I want the smaller size iPhone 7 128 GB that wouldn't be an issue and will they put it on my next bill the At&t next installment I do for the 7 will they only charge sales tax ?
  14. Shadowbech macrumors 601

    Oct 18, 2011
    Planet iPhone
    Doesn't really matter but I would rather buy them at the apple store to avoid any re-stock fee that the Carrier store charges you.
  15. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    I laughed at this at first, but it's completely true. Just a few weeks ago I had a T-Mobile rep try to sell me a $50 10,000mAh power bank when I could get one with twice that capacity for half the price on amazon. Got real pissy with an irritated sigh when I refused and didn't say a word to me for the rest of the encounter.

    Sprint was the same way. Last time I will ever set foot in a carrier store unless it's absolutely required.
  16. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Never had a problem in my Mall ATT store. Picked up my 6sPlus last year on day one. No lines. My Apple store is hard to find parking. So, an inconvenience and twice as far away.
  17. dominiongamma macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
    I would if Apple allowed EIP with TMobile but the Apple Store app doesn't allow it
  18. caligurl macrumors 68030


    Jun 8, 2009
    my personal preference is to buy directly from apple.
  19. JayIsAwesome macrumors 65832


    Sep 8, 2013
    Ha, it happens on both fronts. The thing about carrier stores, is they're commission. Basically the same as car salesmen. And they're expected to meet their sales quota. Not their fault honestly, they're just doing their jobs. There are some apple Reps who can also be pushy. Or my personal fav "Yes, buy the expensive iPhone through us...that way we get credit for the sale. But transferring your stuff? And installing that screen shield? You know, all that extra work we don't feel like doing...yeah go to Best Buy...make them do it"
    --- Post Merged, Sep 5, 2016 ---
    And I've ordered every iPhone since the 5S via Verizon's site. Never had an issue
  20. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Never had any issues buying from Verizon online.
  21. DadBod630 Suspended

    Oct 13, 2015
    It doesn't matter. I ordered my 6 from Verizon and got it delivered on launch day.
  22. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    It probably depends where you live. I'd buy directly from Spark in NZ to get it on day one, as opposed to buying from Apple and waiting for it to come across from Australia.
  23. H2K03 macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2009
    I've done both Apple and Verizon. The lines are usually better at carrier stores. I'll preorder mine from Verizon online since they sent me a $100 coupon.
  24. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    The biggest positive of buying from Apple is if you have issues in the first two weeks they'll swap the phone out there. Not for s tefurb. A brand. We device. Or you can just return it. If you have an issue with something you bought from s carrier, Apple still stands behind the product, but the replacement is a refurb. This may not mater to some and is a bit moot right st launch since people aren't turning in defective units (so returns are actually just brand new units in different boxes).

    As far as ordering, I ordered from carrier (T-Mobile) for the first time last year. I ordered pretty late (evening after preordered so nearly 24 hour window) because they got the orders wrong the first time and didn't have trouble still getting launch day devices. I also went this route because it saved me $200 per phone. The brick and mortar stores got very few devices though and in previous years (with ATT) all they got was a few 16gb units.

    Long story short, online is probably ok either way aside from the returns question. In store I wouldn't go anywhere but Apple (st launch anyway).

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