Please help me to justify an iPhone+at&t!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wongulous, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Okay, so this is the discussion between the S.O. and I: iWant iPhone, he wants something cheaper. We've all heard it, the "omega, you paid how much?" but it's not actually the phone price that he's nagging (he understands the value and I've explained that it's not subsidized), it's the cost of service.

    Pre-iPhone, I was all about upgrading to a Treo, and he just wanted a regular phone. Then he tried one at a Sprint store, and he was won over by the contacts, calendar, text messaging, AIM/MSN/Yahoo IM, downloadable apps, email (3rd party clients especially), syncing, BT DUN tethering to laptops, etc. So we were planning on two Treos. Then we realized that we'd better wait a month or two before upgrading because the iPhone would obviously be better.

    And it is. He thinks it's gorgeous, brilliant, amazingly easy to use, the web is loads better to surf on it vs. Blazer on Palm/Treo, it's simple, elegant, game-changing, etc. These are all his words. But he just thinks the AT&T plans are too expensive.

    To compare, with Sprint, I have a friend of the family who works at Sprint, so I am eligible to get the SERO (Sprint Employee Referral Offer) plan. They have several, but no family/shared plans. Which is okay, we'd still get mobile-to-mobile included.

    Here's a Sprint plan breakdown:

    1250 minutes
    7pm nights and weekends
    unlimited data (EVDO, aka 3g..), tetherable to a laptop so that you can surf on the laptop, including Mac OS X support easily enough
    +$5.00/month for 300 text messages
    Total: $54.99/line
    So, with each of us having our own 1250-minute plan, it'd be $109.98/month, plus taxes and regulatory fees and all that jazz.

    Plus our Treo 755p phones would only be $559.98 for the both of them, and like another $20 for a pack of screen covers, and a few miniSD cards (2gb is about $22).

    Compared to with the iPhone and AT&T...

    2100 minute family plan (but rollover and shared...)
    2 lines
    9pm nights and weekends :(
    unlimited data (EDGE, but it's okay! plus I have WiFi at home and lots of places... but so far it's not tetherable :( )
    200 text messages included
    $149.99/month (plus taxes/regulatory fees/etc)

    So Sprint would cost $2,640 over the course of the 2-year contract, for more minutes, earlier N&W, no rollover, faster internet that can be used with a laptop, and 100 more texts per month (closer to each of our averages)... and the AT&T would cost $3,600 over the course of two years. That's almost a grand difference, for a lot less... not even counting equipment cost difference of $400 (which it would TOTALLY be worth to get the iPhone versus a mediocre Treo).

    Some of the cost could be offset by buying an AT&T phone first, and getting the equipment discount in exchange for the 2-year contract commitment, and then waiting a week or two and buying the iPhone and transitioning to an iPhone family plan as an "existing" customer, and then I can sell those other phones off.

    For instance, I could buy two Palm Treo 680s, $300 each ($600 total), and then after I get $200 rebates for each ($400), I'd only be out $200.. but I could sell them on eBay and expect $150-250 for each of them, so potentially $100-200 profit. But that still leaves me with a $1200 price difference combining initial cost and 2-year-service costs by going the iPhone+at&t route... plus I'd have to wait and hope for 1-3 months on the rebates (if a family plan added line can even get the $200 rebate as the AT&T webstore implies), shelling out more initially. That, or just keep one or both as backup phones.

    How can I justify this, or should I? Sprint has much better coverage in my area, and I know about two dozen friends and family who have Sprint, but almost no one with AT&T/Cingular (that I want to talk to, anyway).

    Plus, it's so tempting to get a Treo and deal with a mediocre smartphone experience BUT be able to wirelessly sync it with my MBP to get internet anywhere that I get wireless signal... then I can browse using the REAL Safari and use iChat and everything else. Could I live with that kind of a compromise? Is anyone in the same boat?

  2. xiaoyu04 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Merced, CA
    I would think if coverage and cost is a huge issue- I'd stick to what works best for you (in this case, apparently treo's from sprint). But in the end, it's still all up to you.

    No one can change your mind once you've convinced yourself to go one way or the other ;)
  3. badtzmaru macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    wow can i get on SERO too?

    sprint charged me an extra $39.99 for phone as modem. which makes sprint pcs twice as much as at&t.
  4. shortelvis macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2007
    The at&t quote seems off..

    why not do the family talk for 129.99 which has 1200 minutes and add $8.99 for the early evening plan. There you just saved $240!! Yeah, at&t is just ripping off apple customers, just like every other manufacturer.
  5. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    True, but if it were up to me, I'd spend the extra money and LOVE my iPhone(s).

    But the only thing I'm torn on is BT DUN tethering which could really make a Treo+MBP worth it, if it never happens for the iPhone (or is worthless due to EDGE). Not that anyone here would know if that were going to happen. :) Though really I'd be fine with laptop WiFi at home and restaurants and work, so maybe it's not such a big thing.

    This thread is mostly about how to convince my S.O. that we should get iPhones though. ;D

    Sure. Go to a Sprint store and talk with an employee and get their business card that has their email address on it... anyone can sign up.

    Here's the SERO website:

    Here's some other forums/blogs with threads about SERO for background info:
  6. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    If you want a pure-business phone with apps, ext...I would wait

    If you want a cool/slick phone with edgy features....I would get it.

    I love my iPhone for my business but I am not sure its any better then a top-notch Blackberry-type phone.
  7. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Okay... here's the familytalk plans I see on AT&T's website:

    We could probably survive on the 1400-minute plan, yes, but that's $130 for 1400 minutes, where with Sprint we could get 1250 for $50 (and I could probably even have a smaller plan myself, like the 500 minutes for $30). Every which way I look at it, it's almost twice the cost per minute. And for what? I'm not getting anything spectacular. Ooh, visual voicemail. Unfortunately, that's not going to give me a $700 value annually over a two-year contract... but I really want the iPhone. :\
  8. erikhoeffs macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    Hey everyone,

    I was thinking of doing the same thing by activating and purchasing a non-iPhone from ATT at a discounted price, then sell it on eBay to offset some of the costs. Was concerned if I activate the iPhone as an existing customer, I would lose the rebate card money if ATT sees that the original purchased phone is no longer on the account. Thoughts?
  9. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Good question. I would assume it wouldn't affect you, because the only requirement to the rebate is filling out the paperwork and keeping AT&T service... and getting an iPhone wouldn't really be taking advantage of the system because it's not subsidized, so if it DID interrupt the rebate, it would either be in error or just because AT&T wanted to be ******s. :) Actually, there might be an ESN/IMEI check on your account as part of the rebate...

    I guess we'll find out in a few months when the rebate checks come in--hopefully some people have already tried this.
  10. erikhoeffs macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    I found this on the ATT website under iPhone FAQs. My interpretation is that I can get all of the discounts and rebates.

    Q. I just upgraded my phone recently. Are there any penalties or restrictions for upgrading to iPhone right away?
    A. No. Everyone can upgrade to iPhone right away, you just need to add an iPhone Data Plan (this may replace your current data plan but your voice plan will stay the same) and sign a new 2-year service contract. Discount eligibility for other devices will continue from the time of your current contract.

  11. Drewnrupe macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2006
    got to say it ...

    You want the iphone , you think it is worth the extra , so get it . Spending ANYTHING on a phone that you will be discontented with is a total waste , whatever you may save on paper.

    Alternatively - you get an iPhone and let the S.O. get what he wants :).

    Probably not the way to go if you call each other a lot , but heck, I still come back to spending anythign, especially this amount of money, on something you dont really want is just a waste and will hurt more in the end.

    You want it , you will end up with it eventually - come on , be honest you know you will , and it will cost more if you mess around trying to save a few bucks now coz you know you are goign to have one eventually.

    Treat yourself , you deserve it - as for the SO, let him come along for the ride , or sit with a Treo and be envious ...his choice !
  12. erikhoeffs macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    Spoke to 2 different ATT reps that said I would still get the rebate card even if I switched to iPhone after activating original phone (one verified it with supervisor). Also, for those that are interested in ordering a phone from the ATT website, use the following two coupon codes when ordering:

    wls25 will take off $25
    wls50 will take off $50

    Coupons can be used together if you can believe that! Save yourself another $75! Both expire 7/15.

    Thanks for all the help.
  13. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Well, we went to the Sprint store and looked at the phone, email, mp3-playing, and photo interface on the Treo... yeah, the calendar is a little better and the keyboard is really easy at first (but with just as many errors in a 20-25 minute timeframe), but the majority of the interfaces are HORRIBLE. It's neat to be able to download a million .prc Palm apps and make your own ringtones (though I'm sure that's coming on the iPhone), and it feels really solid and well-built, it's no icon of design.

    I think I might be swaying him. :) Plus we might be overestimating our minute usage because with mob2mob we'd be calling each other directly more than me calling from work to his cell...

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