Is there an advantage to purchase an unlocked Verizon iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by jaybar, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. jaybar macrumors 6502a

    jaybar

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #1
    Hi

    We have two Verizon iPhone 5 phones that are eligible for renewal. Is there an advantage to purchase an unlocked Verizon phone and thus not be under contract?

    Would I be able to use an unlocked Verizon phone on T-Mobile or AT&T. should I decide to leave?

    We have a shared everything Plan on Verizon and we are month to month with regard to our iPhones.


    Thanks

    Jay
     
  2. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #2
    Well, as of iPhone 5 all Verizon iPhones are unlocked by default. With iPhone 5 you can use it on pretty much any other GSM carrier (like AT&T or T-Mobile in US, for example), but LTE won't really work with most of them. With iPhone 5S or 5C the LTE will work with pretty much any other GSM carriers as well (so it's the same as having an actual AT&T iPhone on AT&T, for example).

    The unlocked part doesn't really have much to do with being under contract or not, the contract is more for the pricing and subsidy and not much else. So whether you get it under contract, under financing using the Edge program, or buy it for full price (without contract or financing), the iPhone (assuming 5 or later) will be unlocked by default.

    The advantages/disadvantages between different pricing options are mainly about any time commitments, up front payments, and monthly payments, as they could differ between different options.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    ^^^ This.

    But to be clear, your current two iPhones are already unlocked. That's a mandatory thing imposed by the FCC on Verizon as a condition of being allowed to use the LTE frequency it uses. You could go anywhere that would take you with those phones right now.
     
  4. jaybar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jaybar

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #4
    The response is great, but leaves me as confused as ever.

    Let's assume for the moment we would upgrade to iPhone 6, what are the advantages, if any. Of signing a new contract with Verizon? Disadvantages?

    Currently we have:

    1 standard phone.
    2 iPhones
    3 iPads (Cellular)

    2GB of shared data

    We are paying about $209 per month including taxes and fees.

    Is this a reasonable cost or could we do significantly better. We are in NYC.

    Thanks

    Jay
     
  5. jaybar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jaybar

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #5
    The question still remains as to whether $209 for all my devices is a reasonable cost ? The quality of service at my work location is better with verizon, but they are costly.

    Jay
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #6
    The only advantage of signing a new contract with Verizon would be that you get new phones at a subsidized price…and you're locked in for the term of the contract. Your new phones would still be unlocked, so if you wanted to leave you could but you'd still have to pay ETF.

    If you pay full price, there's no contract and you can leave at any time if you want because the phones are unlocked and you've paid for them.

    It's just up to you on what you can afford to do.

    I can't say if your price is reasonable or not. I can offer a comparison though.

    I pay $200 a month. But that's for two lines (both iPhone 5s (plural, not the S model)) on Sprint.

    • 1500 minutes shared
    • Unlimited texting
    • Unlimited data
    • 2GB Hotspot
    • TEP x2 (Total Equipment Protection)

    However, my plan, the Everything Data 1500 plan was discontinued last year. You can't get it anymore. Sprint still offers the replacement plans, the All In and My Way plans although it's been heavily advertising Framily. I haven't moved to either of those plans because they are actually MORE expensive the less lines you have. But Framily also has an Unlimited data addon for an additional $20 per line.

    Part of our bill is a $10 "Premium Data Fee" x2. That's a legacy fee that started in 2009 under the old plans but has since been rolled into the newer plans (you won't see it anymore on the new plans). But we have to pay it because we are on the old plan.

    Don't know if that comparison helps you or not.
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #7
    Cost is the main difference basically.

    With a contract you can get the phone (for example) for $199 let's say, and then pay your usual monthly fee, and be in a contract for 2 years (or pay an ETF if you leave earlier).

    If you buy the phone for full price, for $650 let's say, then that's what you pay right away, but the upside is you don't have a contract and can leave Verizon anytime without owing any early termination fees (ETF). Another big advantage is Verizon finally started to offer monthly discounts for lines that have a phone that isn't under contract, so depending on your share everything plan, you can get $10/month off (on plans with less than 10 GB of shared data) or $25/month off (on a plan with 10 GB or more of shared data). So there are some potential savings there for paying the full price right away.

    If you go with a financing program like Edge from Verizon, then you are paying for your phone every month essentially. You don't pay anything at first, or some small fee, and get the phone, and then every month you pay something like $30/month for the phone. The same $10/month or $25/month off savings mentioned above would also apply, so the monthly total cost would be slightly less offset by that. Depending on how long you plan to stay with Verizon and if you plan to pay off the phone or not it might be another way to go.
     

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