Question about buying AT&T iP5 at Full Retail Price & requesting unlock

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thehopscotch, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. thehopscotch macrumors regular

    thehopscotch

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #1
    I am planning to preorder the iPhone 5 and have been debating over the pros/cons of paying the $299 (32GB) + $250 early upgrade fee or just paying full retail. I just saw in another thread someone mentioned that if you pay full retail you can immediately request an unlock from AT&T. Is that correct?

    Right now I still have a remaining contract on my iPhone 4s, and I'll be switching from the 4s to the 5 and selling the 4s. Based on AT&T's unlock guidelines they specify that you can request an unlock code if "all contract obligations associated with the device are fully satisfied." If I switch from the 4s to the 5, though, doesn't the 5 "inherit" my contract obligations from the 4s?
     
  2. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I don't know for sure but I'm assuming that the 4S wouldn't be unlocked until after the contract is up but the 5, purchased off contract, should be unlocked. Fact is, you will still own the 4S and that was the device you bought on contract so that's the device that should be associated with your contract obligations. That being said, this is AT&T we're talking about so who knows.
     
  3. thehopscotch thread starter macrumors regular

    thehopscotch

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #3
    Ok thanks! That makes sense. Hopefully that's the case. I may just go the early upgrade fee route, though. It would be nice to have the ability for it to be unlocked while traveling, but realistically the extra money paid for the full price phone likely would end up being much more in the long run than what I'd really use when traveling, since I usually only go out of the country maybe once or twice a year max, and I don't spend a lot of time on the phone when on vacation.
     
  4. articulatefool macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    #4
    The money savings from unlocking and paying the premium are realized by switching to a cheaper plan.

    Popular plans include the $30 T-mobile plan or the $45 straight-talk plan (you don't even need to unlock for this plan).
     
  5. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    T-Mobile doesn't have LTE. Pass.
     
  6. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    If you're going to pay full price why not just buy the factory unlocked one? They cost the same price.
     
  7. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #7
    Heck. Straight talk can't access AT&T LTE either.
     
  8. articulatefool macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    #8
    I don't understand why LTE is needed.

    I get 7 Mb/s download on straight talk.
    I have never had to wait for buffering on a video at that speed.

    You guys torrenting on your phones or something?

    I guess I am willing to pay 1/3 the monthly price to wait an extra second for that app to update.
     
  9. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #9
    The full retail may already come unlocked. At least, that's the case with people who have bought it since apple released the factory unlocked version.
    Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing if full retail=unlocked.
     
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #10
    If last year is any indication, the factory unlocked version won't be released for a month or so in the US. Full-priced AT&T models sold at Apple stores were unlocked last year. Full-priced models sold by AT&T stores are locked, but AT&T has changed their stated policy and will unlock full-priced and off-contract devices.

    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/termsAndCondition
     
  11. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    You won't get anywhere close to 7 Mb/s when you travel to a big city where the towers are more congested. For someone like me who lives in NYC, LTE is really the only viable options for any type of data connectivity during business hours.
     
  12. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a

    Domino8282

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    #12
    So what is the physical difference between buying a factory unlocked device from Apple at full retail versus buying a full retail, locked AT&T phone and then requesting it to be unlocked?

    What I'm getting at is that if Apple doesn't start offering the factory unlocked model for a month and you're impatient, is there any drawback to just paying full retail for a locked one and then unlocking it later (as far as the phone's value, physical characteristics, etc.)?

    I'm also looking at having to pay the $250 "reduced discount" fee and thinking maybe just paying full retail for a factory unlocked model is wiser...
     
  13. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Unless you need an unlocked device, you're better off taking the discount and extending your contract.
     
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #14
    The AT&T version comes with an AT&T Nano-SIM while the official unlocked version does not. The latter also comes with the SIM ejector kit (i.e. glorified paper clip).

    ----------

    In NYC, AT&T's "4G" HSPA+ network often gets me a whopping 1 Mb/s download speed. LTE is more spectral efficient than UMTS so the network should get less congested.
     
  15. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #15
    I live in the Orlando Florida area. Let me know how straight talk or AT&T 3G/HSPA works around Disney area from 11am-9pm.

    The network crawls to almost a standstill often times on AT&T. I also have Verizon service and their CDMA service around Disney area is also super slow.

    LTE is a bigger pipe. Even in congested areas u can hit at least 5mpbs. Non congested u hit up to 50 mpbs.

    While its true no one really needs more than 1-2 mpbs most of time. But AT&T or Verizon 3G in congested areas u can barely use Internet cause half the time u can error messages cause web pages cannot load.
     
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #16
    T-mobile may not have LTE, but people have posted speeds of 14mb/s using their HSPA+ network...which is the speeds I get on LTE.
     
  17. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #17
    I like in Miami but we're up there a lot with the kids going to the parks or visiting fam. Service and speed works fine for me and my wife. In the parks coverage isn't great. Outside, pretty comparable to Miami when we're there.
     
  18. Gix1k macrumors 68030

    Gix1k

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #18
    I wonder if Verizon has an early upgrade cost. I'm about to port to AT&T, so I don't have to pay full price.
     

Share This Page