Is NEXT not a good deal for me?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mosco, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Mosco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    #1
    So I have 3 lines currently, two iPhone 6 64GBs 1 year into 2 year contracts, and a dumb phone out of contract on a 15GB plan.

    I was thinking of updating to a 64GB iPhone 6s using the upgrade from the dumb phone account since ATT allows using upgrades from other accounts. Since I am on a 15GB plan, I figured switching to Next and getting the 25 dollar line discount would have been worth it, but the math doesn't seem to add up.

    [​IMG]

    Am I missing something or is the above correct? It seems like because I have a dumb phone who contract is offset from my phone line, I can update every year and its still cheaper if I go the contract option because I can sell the phone after the year instead of having to trade it in when using Next 12. I also looked into paying off NEXT after 1 year, and selling the phone, but that was still more expense. Is that right?
     
  2. Iyktyn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    #2
    My thought is you are forgetting to add in the dumb phone line fee to really make it a good comparison. By my math that would add another $10 a month after 36 months the amounts would be $1782 and $1585.
     
  3. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #3
    Good point. Whether or not it's worth it might depend on if you're on grandfathered unlimited.
     
  4. mb2008 macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #4
    You aren't eligible for a subsidized phone in year 2, you need to add a new line and runoff old or pay full price for the phone, unless you are flipping eligibility around your lines. Generally, if you are on a Mobile Share 15G, it's the same or cheaper to go Next. It was more of a no brainer for those that were able to switch from contract to no contract with no penalty last year.
     
  5. aesc80, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015

    aesc80 macrumors 6502

    aesc80

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    #5
    Forgive me for not knowing, but does the price of the phone really extend into its 3rd year? Just the thought of paying $1350 for an iPhone 6S 64GB is ludicrous. I'm guessing you're talking about upgrading a single phone every year. I'm probably not understanding your calculations, but it does seem like something is a bit off here. Then again, most people say Next is just another way to fleece.

    EDIT: Saw Jay's response. OK, so you are doing a flip every year. It's times like these I'm glad I'm buying outright. Less Excel time, more liberty (granted, I'm pretty sure I'm losing money somewhere).
     
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #6
    That's what the OP is doing. Upgrading his own line every other year and device swapping the dumbphone line that he keeps for $10/month every other year, assuming he's on the old plan and not on a family share plan.
     
  7. mb2008 macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #7
    OK, but he still has to pay the piper at the end, he'll have a lingering contract. I still believe it's about even, although ATT might do another contract forgiveness special to get everyone off subsidies.
     
  8. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #8
    That's why I pointed out that whether or not it's worth it might depend on if you're on grandfathered unlimited.
     
  9. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

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    Mar 1, 2011
    #9
    It doesn't seem to me that you're comparing things straight across. You're still on the hook for another year of contract for the phones on lines 1 and 2, right? You're also comparing a year's cost of a 2 year contract, with a year's cost of a 1 year Next (assuming you trade in).

    Phones 1 and 2 are red herrings, given that you're still under 2 year contracts for them, and all the action is taking place on the dumb phone line (you can't Next a line that is still under contract without paying the ETF). The entire difference is what happens on line 3. I'm assuming your numbers are accurate. Under contract, line 3 has costs of $480 (line fee) + $299 (cost of phone) + $45 (activation fee) = $824. With Next 12, line 3 has costs of $180 (line fee) + $450 (Next payments on phone) + $15 (activation fee) = $645. Once the year is up, the residual commitment is another year of extra line fee ($480-$180=$300) or pay the ETF (on contract); or on Next, another 6 months of payments ($225). With Next, you can trade the phone in, but you're probably better off selling it and paying off the residual 6 months.

    Under both scenarios, you're selling one of the phones you have now, right? So that's the same either way.
     
  10. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    #10
    I appreciate all the replies!

    Yeah, I have already been flipping every year. I used the upgrade from my line to get the iPhone 5 and 6, and then the upgrade from the dumb phone line to get the iPhone 5S. Now the dumb phone line is up for upgrade again, so I can take that upgrade and apply it to my account for an iPhone 6S with either another 2 year contract or use it to switch NEXT.

    Regarding the dumb phone line fee, I already have this line. I pay for my parents cell phone, who don't want/need a smart phone, so I have been using this method to upgrade iPhones already. I don't mind having the contract dangle, since I won't be switching carriers. (reception and 25% ATT discount)

    Just to make sure I understand, was your statement assuming that I was buying the dump phone line just to do this swapping?
     
  11. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2002
    #11
    So I have 3 lines:

    Line1 = iPhone 6 64GB w/ 1 year left on contract = $40/month
    Line2 = iPhone 6 64GB w/ 1 year left on contract = $40/month
    Line3 = dump phone up for upgrade = $15/month

    ATT allows you to transfer upgrades between accounts. So I can use the upgrade from Line3, and apply it to Line1. If I use the upgrade to go on contract for a 6S, that extends the contract of my dump phone line 2 years. Then a year from now, my Line1 will up for an upgrade because it isn't affected by the upgrade transfer, at which point I can update to an iPhone 7 and continue this cycle.

    I confirmed with ATT chat on Saturday that I can indeed use my upgrade from Line3, and apply it to Line1, and receive an access fee discount on Line1.

    AT&T :We can actually used the upgrade eligibility of your line ending in <Line3> under AT&T Next Installment Plan.
    AT&T : And since you are on a Mobile Share Value plan 15GB you are eligible to get $25.00 on your <Line1> line access fee. :)
     
  12. mb2008 macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #12
    I don't think it matters, since the line has no contract now, right? I have tired head right now or I could really go to town with a spreadsheet - I think you'll owe extra fees/taxes each month based on plan amounts, etc. I also don't like to rely on a carrier continuing the same charges in the future, so I like the no contract route.

    "AT&T :We can actually used the upgrade eligibility of your line ending in <Line3> under AT&T Next Installment Plan.
    AT&T : And since you are on a Mobile Share Value plan 15GB you are eligible to get $25.00 on your <Line1> line access fee. :)"

    NOOOOOOO!!!!!! They won't give you the $25 credit on Line 1 or 2 until the contracts run out. Line 3 will still be $15.
     
  13. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2002
    #13
    I will have to double check with them again then, because if thats the case, it sounds like my option is either use the upgrade from Line3 to extend its contract 2 years, then re-assess switching to NEXT when Line1 contract is up or just wait until the iPhone 7 and skip the 6S. I really don't mind extending Line3 contract though and I could still switch to NEXT next year on Line1.
     
  14. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

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    #14
    Yes, you'll get the $25 discount on one of your lines, because if you go Next, only 2 of them will be under contract. I don't think AT&T is saying you're getting a discount on two of your lines, they're simply swapping the contracts on line 1 and line 3. And I may be wrong, but I believe for a 64 GB 6s, the first year Next payments on Next 12 will be $500 not $450, but Next is still a slight win. When we did the math for our situation, we came out to Next being cheaper by about $150 over two years compared to a contract. General rule of thumb is that 10GB and up data plans are better on Next (not counting phones that are still on unlimited plans) because of the $25 discount.
     
  15. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #15
    I assume you've factored the $15/month for the dumbphone line into the math. If so, you might as well keep it because it's a bit cheaper.
     
  16. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2002
    #16
    I am not saying I would get the discount on 2 lines. From their chat, they said that the the Line3 would stay at $15 a month, but Line1 would move from 40 to 15 a month.

    Regarding the NEXT price, isn't it 37.5*12 for a 64GB? And I thought I knew the rule of thumb regarding the 15GB plan, which is why I am wondering why the math didn't add up.

    I would be paying that either way. I already have that line for my parents. I am not buying the line to do this update swap.
     
  17. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

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    #17
    Strictly speaking money, it would be better to Next line 3 instead of putting it under contract. You'd be saving about $125 the first year, and $50 the second year.
     
  18. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    How would I be saving money? Whether I use the upgrade from Line3 on Line1 for a contact or NEXT, Line3 should remain $15 a month. I wouldn't find any saving on dump phone plans for not being in contract unless its in the fine print somewhere.
     
  19. mb2008 macrumors regular

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    #19
    If you use Line 3 for Next, $15. If you use Line 3 for contract, $40.
     
  20. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #20
    Except he'll device swap the new iPhone from Line 3 back to Line 1, and Line 3 will be $15/month again. The OP can correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  21. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

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    #21
    Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen, that's essentially forgiving the second year of the contract on line 1. That extra $25 is what you pay for the subsidized price. It would be great if they put the discount on two lines, but you're still coming out ahead even if with the discount on only one line.

    Next 12 = 18 payments. 64GB 6s is $750, a Next contract is a 0% financing agreement, so divide $750 by 18, which is $41.67. Essentially you pay $500 the first year, then $250 over the remaining 6 months if you don't trade it in. The $25 discount that you don't get when under contract is paying for the phone, so on a contracted line, you're paying $300 (well, $299) upfront plus $300 in extra line fees = $600 cost for the first year of a phone under contract, versus $500 on a Next 12 plan.
     
  22. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

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    #22
    I would be very surprised if it works that way. AT&T would basically be selling him a phone for $299. That extra $25 a month on the line is what pays for the subsidy. It doesn't magically go away if you move the phone to another line.
     
  23. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2002
    #23
    ATT lets you apply upgrades from other lines. So I am not converting Line3 to a smart phone line, just using its upgrade.

    Exactly. The only wrinkle to this is if what mb2008 said is true, and ATT doesn't apply the NEXT discount to Line1 since its contract isn't up. I will need to find out, since the first chat rep said the opposite.
     
  24. mb2008 macrumors regular

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    #24
    No, I've done my share of swapping with AT&T. When they say upgrade swapping, they mean phone swapping between lines, not adding 2 years of contract to Line 1. According to AT&T, Line 3 has used a smartphone upgrade with contract for 2 years and will be charged $40 for 2 years. Line 1 will be charged $40 for one year.
     
  25. Mosco thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2002
    #25
    Next 12 is 20 payments, not 18.

    [​IMG]
     

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