questions about getting a new iphone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ghanwani, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. ghanwani, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013

    ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    I have an iPhone 4 and recently the home button has started acting up. I've tried the various workarounds and it seems to be working OK for the moment, but that has made me think if I should just bite the bullet and get an iPhone 5.

    I'll skip the obvious question of whether or not to wait till the 5S hits the shelves. That looks like a moving target right now.

    The first question I have is with respect to getting a gift card for the old phone from Apple. Since that works by mail, how does one apply the gift card to the purchase of a new phone? Buy the new phone, mail in old phone, then go back and get a refund on the new one? Has anyone used this service?

    Second, is there a general consensus on which color is better? I know that videos and stuff look better on the black phone, but the I think the white one is less susceptible to showing least that's how it looks in the stores. My current phone has 0 scratches on the glass (after 2.5 years of ownership) and it has been far from babied...I don't abuse it, but I have dropped it at least 2 times. It does have an Apple bumper. Can some people who have owned a black phone for a year say how it has held up with respect to scratches on the back and on the buttons? (I don't intend to get a case or bumper with this one.)

    It looks like buying from T-Mobile is the best deal -- 579.00 unlocked which is better than the Apple price. Of course buying from AT&T with contract would be a little cheaper, but the plan a bit more expensive. Is there any difference in the phone from T-Mobile vs an Apple-store bought phone for AT&T? Or are they both pretty much the same phone?

    Any other insights on specials or getting fees waived would be appreciated.

    BTW, I did think about switching to Android or Windows because there are so many choices to choose from and they have some great features, but I'd rather just get a phone that I know will work a little better than my current one in almost every way.

  2. Cody21 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    I can't comment on your question about the Apple Gift Card, but I can answer the others to the best of my knowledge.

    First of all, I have a black iPhone 5. Mine arrived without any scratches, and as of right now, I still have none. Although, I have kept it in a case since I received it on launch day. And I wouldn't say video looks better on the black iPhone, it's more for the apps that haven't been updated for the 4" screen; You can't see the black bars on the top or bottom in apps and some videos. Although, every app I own has been updated, but I would be willing to bet all the apps you currently use are already updated for the 4" screen too.

    Second, I believe the T-Mobile iPhone 5 is an unlocked version with AWS support for their network. The AT&T iPhone bought at the Apple store is locked to AT&T's network, so in order for one to take it to, lets say, T-Mobile for example, it would have to be unlocked. Although, the Apple Store does sell unlocked iPhone 5's.
  3. chestvrg macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2010
    If you are poised to upgrade your device OP, none of us are going to influence you out of your decision, but since you are saying the home button on your current iPhone 4 is acting up, taking it to Apple would be a good alternative.

    Same thing happened to my previous iPhone 4S, it was the power button getting sticky for $199 I was able to get it replaced by Apple.

    On the other hand, I wanted to get the iPhone 5, for two reasons. Reason1 because since my kid has the iPad mini, I was always having to carry two differwnt chargers (one for the iPhone 4S and one for the ipad mini). Now I only carry one. Reason2, when I found out t-mobile would have their own iPhone running on their AWS HSPA+ this was a good opportunity to try t-mobile again since every day they seem to be improving their network.

    In my case, I was able to get the t-mobile iPhone 5 on credit with a deposit of $199 and then monthly payments of $20/mo for the device itself. I got the 32GB version and I know that as soon as I finish paying for it in full I'll be able to get it factory unlocked

    About the color I got the white version b/c my kid has a white ipad mini as well and I wanted to go for a change of color after having three generations of iPhones in color black. If, and only if Apple comes out with different colors on any future iPhone, then I would choose color light blue.

    Hope you make a good decision ok. If you decide to wait for the 5S or whatever they'll call it then you'll be waiting for an unknown time. The iPhone 5 already has all the goodies you need in a great smartphone, including LTE 4G and recently HSPA+ on tmobile's AWS band, a good processor that should outlast you another year, a good screen and best of all is an Apple device, so what else would you be missing on a future iPhone model (NFC? Or fingerprint security?)
  4. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Was your phone still under warranty? Or do they do that for any phone, even if it's out of warranty?
  5. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    I found out the answer about this today. They said that
    (a) I would have to be willing to be without a phone till the gift card arrives in the mail; OR
    (b) Get a new phone and hope that the gift card shows up within 14 days of the purchase. (Which I think is risky.)

    However, there was a Wireless Solutions kiosk in the same mall and they were willing to give me $130 cash for the phone (Apple's website rates the phone at $150, but who knows it they'd actually pay that much out when they inspect it).

    I took a good look at the white and black phone. The black phone definitely show scratches much more. The display models have many scratches on the base near where the charger is but you really have to pay attention on the white ones to see it, while on the black ones they are barely visible. So I guess I have to decide if I'm willing to live with more visible scratches or not.

    They had these bumpers in the store:
    and they let me try it on one of their phones...didn't much care for it, although it would help raise the phone off surfaces to it would be less likely to get scratched.

    I hate making decisions like these...keep the old phone and amble along (speed definitely didn't feel like a big factor) or get a new one, and if so, which color.

    The store was surprisingly quiet today...very few customers and most of their sales guys were just hanging out. Most of the time when I go there it's like a zoo.
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Just a thought, but if you're worried about scratches, have you considered something like a fu body zagg or ghost armor? It allows you to keep te stock look of the phone but still have scratch protection. I personally don't much care for how it feels, and I actually like cases on my phones, but it might be something to look into. It sounds like you really want black and are just worried about scratches. My wife has the black phone and keeps a case on it, but there are stil some notable scuffs, especially on the bezel, likely from dust and what not rubbing it just right. I really liked the 4/s for its scratch resistance qualities, not to mention the fact that the back was dirt cheap to replace if it ever cracked or scratched.
  7. chestvrg macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2010
    No, my warranty had already expired.

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