Just a thought...about Carriers and iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Macguy76, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Macguy76 macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2011
    So, most of us on this forum have been using cell phones for a long time. Most, if not all of this headache about our phones have come from the carriers.

    The full cost of an iPhone 5 is $649 (16GB), $749 (32GB), and $849 (64GB).

    We have grown so accustomed to paying "Less" for our phones its become a hard habit to break.

    I think that most of us here have an iPad2 or iPad3 at this point.

    Those can be used with a carrier and cost $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB), and $829 (64GB).

    Knowing that, is there a reason why we should continue to pay these Cell phone companies "subsidized pricing" for a commitment of 2 years?

    I think not.

    Just some food for thought...What would the carriers have to do if we began buying our phones outright without extending our "agreements"?

    They would have to figure out a way to entice us to stay with them. In other words, they would be forced to create better service for their customers because they would have no way to "lock" us into their service! Better rate plans, better features, etc.

    Most of us on this forum who have ordered from the carriers know that it was a little difficult. Ordering form  seems to have been the preferred way since they know how to deal with this kind of demand. When  sells a new iPad, there is the mass hysteria, but the orders arrive and the customers are happy.

    How many of us have had an issue ordering a new iPhone 5 because of an "upgrade issue"? I would venture to say that a lot of us had to call the carriers for some reason or another due to "Upgrade Eligibility".

    I know this is a long shot, because most of us have been buying cell phones with a contract since the dawn of time. But, if more of us can pay a little more $$ for our shiny new iPhone 5 and not have a contract what could happen?

    We have a discount through my company and we also share our account with my parents and my sister. We have done everything possible to get our monthly cost down to a "reasonable" area, but we still pay too much.

    I have ordered a new iPhone 5 (32GB White-$749) for my wife, and it should arrive soon. We are both eligible for a discount on our lines. But on Friday, I will pay full price for my iPhone 5 (64GB Black-$849 because I am tired of playing the Cell phone companies games.

    Are you?

    Let me know your thoughts please.
  2. HowardSmith macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    For most it is not a "cell phone game". I have been with AT&T for 15+ years now and have no plans on leaving. When a new phone comes out and AT&T offers me a discount to sign another 2 year contract, I have no problem with that. If I want the phone and there is no discount, I pay the full price. There are many here who could not get the new iPhone 5 if it were not for their discount.

    The point is if one has no plans of switching from one carrier to another, you are foolish to not take what the carrier offers to sign another contract.:p

    To me the real "cell phone game" is where one changes from one carrier to another just to get a discount. Service and coverage are number one for me and AT&T has it covered for me.:)
  3. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
  4. Fontane macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    This is such a good point. As you observed, we get so mad about paying full retail for a phone but then run out and pay full price for other devices (such as an ipad) without thinking twice.

    Your post makes sense to me and actually helps me think through my own situation. Many of us have become so accustomed to getting discounts on the phones that it's an abomination when we have to pay full retail.

    But I think the real idea behind your post is to stop taking a discount from the carrier in order to have more flexibility and actually be in a position to demand good service. And I agree with you. The more people stay off contract, the more carriers will have to find ways to entice customers or actually respond to dissatisfied customers.

    Unfortunately, there are just too many people willing to make the trade-off of bad customer service for subsidized phone because they don't have the money to pay full retail (especially when managing 3 or 4 phones on a family plan).

    I think the unfortunate point is that we've become so accustomed to bad service from companies in the U.S. There are people who will defend Verizon or ATT until the very end, but there are also people who vehemently defend the U.S. airlines and anyone who has flown a European or Asian airline knows the U.S. is at the very bottom in terms of quality and customer service.

    One final point to add to yours: I was never aware of just how uninformed the Verizon reps are until I started researching my options for the iphone 5. Wow. I've called multiple times and received multiple answers to the same question. I asked why there was a $30 upgrade fee and I got a, no exaggeration here, 3 1/2 minute explanation of how/why Verizon needs to charge $30 to "recoup the costs of the phones." I couldn't even interrupt her to tell her I wasn't interested in the rest of the answer, which included the multiple uses of the $30, such as for tutorials online, expanding the 4g network etc. She was very scripted for this answer but couldn't answer my (what should be) simple question regarding transferring an upgrade on my account.

    Good post Macguy76.
  5. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    I'm on contract because Verizon has a larger 4G coverage than the others. Since I will not leave Verizon, why would I not take advantage of the subsidize price over paying full retail. It's a no brainer.

    Take the two year contract, and pay $199.00 or pay full $649.00 with the same data plan and carrier. Not too bright in my opinion. Some will go to a smaller carrier for a smaller amount. Good for them, but I've read complaints from those that have the smaller carriers (Virgin Mobil, Cricket, etc), and that is not so good. ;)
  6. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I agree 100% love AT&T not leaving, and I am sure there will never be a day where we buy phones at full priice, the MFG's including Apple would sell way less bc most ppl would just hang onto their old phones if there is not $ benefit from getting a new one. This is why Apple is not selling so many in China, or they woukd sell more if the phones were sub'd, ppl just do not have that kind of $ to spend every year, why does Apple get so much when it only costs them like $190.00 to make the phone? BC they can, so they make double their investment.
  7. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010

    I just don't get why people think they are so smart of AVOID a 2 year contract and pay all that extra money to do it. The monthly charge at ATT and VZ is exactly the same, no matter if you have the Iphone 3 or Iphone 5, fully paid for or discounted.

    All this effort just to avoid a contact, even though you wind up staying with them for 2 years anyways.
  8. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    So 64GB iPhone 5 under contract is $399. ETF is $250? So if I decided to go elsewhere, I'd pay $750. So if I decide to go contract less, the cost is $850? to me, the contract pricing just makes more sense and I have no plans to leave Verizon.
  9. Fontane macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    The idea behind the OP and my response is that if more people paid outright for their phones and did not commit to contracts, the carriers would be forced to improve the quality of their service and find ways to entice customers...instead of going the route of cable companies, which have essentially monopolized the market and are slowly closing in the walls on customers.

    The OP and I both acknowledge that it's unlikely people will start paying full price just to drive a change in the wireless industry, so it's really more of a pontification than a reality.
  10. E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    Personally, the reason I get an unlocked phone is so that I can travel with it. If I never planned on leaving the country, I'd get a subsidized phone. I'm also pretty happy with AT&T in general have had them for 15 years or so. Though, when TMO get their LTE up, I heard it will be compatible? If so, helloooo price wars.

    I like the European model for cell phone service pricing. It's competitive and it has lower plans if you buy an unsubsidized phone. The problem in the US is that we don't have enough carriers/MVNOs to make it competitive.
  11. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    The voice of reason. My sentiments exactly.
  12. Knowimagination macrumors 68000


    Apr 6, 2010
    I would gladly pay full price for my phones in exchange for cheaper service (since they dont have to make up my subsidy). But until that happens I am just going to remain locked in a 2-year contract. There is currently no incentive for me not to use the discounted purchase price.

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